This Deepavali, sweet makers fear a dip in demand

Despite the economic impact of the pandemic on businesses, sweet stalls in Tiruchi have begun preparing varieties of delicacies for the upcoming Deepavali festival. However, the quantity being prepared is markedly low this year, they say.

At Sri Madapalli Sweet Shop in Thiruvanaikoil, big vats of ghee, dry fruits and sugar have been stocked ready to be added into large pots and pans to prepare sweets for the festival season. The shop began preparation for around 10-15 sweet varieties on Thursday. “We first start with Mysore Pak ‘Horlicks’ and ‘Boost’ Barfi and then move on to other sweets,” said S. Balaji, shop owner.

The process, which includes preparation of nearly 2,000 kg of sweets, takes six days. Badushah, jalebi and other sweets requiring use of sugar syrup are made nearer to the festival day. “They can be done quickly, while Mysore Pak and Barfi take time to cool and cannot be packed until they are at room temperature,” Mr. Balaji said.

The unit where Mr. Balaji’s sweets are made is a house in one of the many small streets in Thiruvanaikoil. “Only up to six people prepare these sweets to ensure quality control,” he said. The sweets are priced between ₹350 to ₹800 per kg.

Meanwhile, K. R.V Ganesan, owner of Aswins Sweets, said that large sales are not expected this year. “We are making nearly 70% less sweets than we usually do. Along with reducing quantity, varieties of sweets have also been decreased,” he said. The sweet-making process is yet to begin at their production unit in Perambalur.

The number of orders too, has seen a sharp fall, he added. “Schools, colleges and offices make up for a large number of the festival-season orders. With schools and colleges closed and work-from-home option for offices, we are preparing for a dull Deepavali,” he said.

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