Sweets traders in Amritsar, known for its rich food, are asking consumers to expect a further hike in prices, according to several traders.
There is a huge increase in the price of desi ghee, the key ingredient in Indian sweets, said grocer Ashok Kumar.
“Prices of sweets have already gone up 15 percent over the previous year and are likely to increase further as the festive season approaches,” said Vijay Kumar, manager at a sweets shop.
“The increase in the rates of various ingredients has lead to the increase in the prices of sweets and has led to a reduction in the number of customers shopping for them,” said Kumar.
“Earlier, some 50 customers from all over the state would visit us every day during around this time of the year. Now, footfalls have dropped to some 20 customers a day.. The customer numbers will fall further if and when prices increase further,” Kumar said.
Many are placing orders for chocolate gift packs or cakes now. “The number of orders have increased, and our order book is full thanks to advance bookings”, said baker Sujan Singh.
“Sweets such as the laddoo, patisa, burfi, chandarkala, which were priced in the Rs. 200 to Rs. 290 per kilogram range last year are now selling at Rs. 300 to Rs. 350 a kilogram,” said Sita Ram, the owner of another sweet shop.
“Even sweetmeat shops, run by religious organizations, have revised their price list,” he said.
“Middle class families had already reduced their sweets purchases as there are other important things needed to run a kitchen.. We are a disappointed lot because this has affected our sale and profits,” said Harbhajan Singh, owner of a third sweetmeat shop in Amritsar.