Amritsar, August 7
Packed gifts have overtaken traditional sweets this Rakhri festival.
Food items like salted snacks, chocolates and dry fruit were lapped up by customers, said a confectioner, Rajesh Ahuja. He said these items offered a stiff competition to traditional sweets.
Moreover, he said children love chocolates, biscuits and cakes over traditional sweets.
Traders feel these products are not only cornering their market share, but also encroaching upon the share of traditional sweets.
Many city-based sweetmeat businessmen are venturing into manufacturing other products like ‘namkeen’ and selling dry fruit to attract customers ahead of Diwali.
A resident of Green Avenue, Sushma Mahajan, said she bought chocolates, cakes and pastries rather than traditional sweets this Rakhri besides dry fruit and ‘namkeen’ for her brother and his family.
A wholesale dry fruit merchant, Raman Mehra, said undoubtedly the sale of dry fruit had shown an upward trend before the festival in the past some years. It even forced big traders to float their own brands to sell cooked and salted dry fruit and ‘namkeens’ in beautiful gift packs, he added.
Raman Kumar, a sweet-maker, said the demand of ‘petha’ goes up during the festival season, as there is little chance of adulteration in it.
Made from white pumpkin, also called ‘chitta petha’, in common parlance, expert sweet-makers down the generations have been making ‘petha’ in the narrow lanes of the centuries-old Pethewala Bazaar in the walled city.