Sweets, no doubt, have long been the popular eating items of Nepali consumers. They are mostly consumed not only to satiate the hunger but also the taste buds. The major sweet products available in the marketplaces are Rasbari, Lalmohan, Jeri, Barfi, Laddoo, Peda, Gutpak, Khuwa, Dudhbari, etc. Similarly, Lakhamari, Anarsha, Fini, Aitha, Roth, Yomari and Gulmari are some other such items.
“There are around 1,250 shops/outlets dealing with the sweet products across the country. Of them, 50 are based in the Kathmandu Valley,” says Suman Manandhar, President, Nepal Sweets, and Snacks Association.
In fact, the demand for sweet items across the country in increasing by 20 percent per annum. “The customers have long been opting for the sweets as light meal any time they want-be it morning, afternoon or evening- they want. And, the number of such customers is going up gradually over the period of time,” adds Manandhar, who is also the owner of Sweet Cave.
Established some four decades back, Sweet Cave located in Kalimati is a popular eatery for the traditional sweets along with cakes, pastries, veg momo dairy products, etc. Prices of especially sweet items here range from Rs 800 to Rs 15,000
“We have been able to do brisk business because of the reasonably priced quality products and better customer services,” says Manandhar. According to him, the daily sales of Sweet Cave stands at Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000.
Gulab sweets is another brand name that has carved its distinct image in the Nepali market. The very Indian brand belonging to Shalimar Hospitality & Foods Pvt. Ltd entered in Nepal in 2013.
This famous brand currently has 7 outlets inside the Kathmandu Valley-Sundhara, New Road, Naxal, Patan, Kalanki, Koteshwore, Kamal Pokhari, and Maharajgung.
“Apart from a wide array of Indian sweet items, its menus offers South Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes. The prices of sweet items vary from Rs 1300 to Rs 2700 per kilogram,” says Prem Thapa.
Though he refuses to disclose the exact sales figure of Gulab, he says that the arithmetic performance of his company is up-to-the-mark.
“Many customers bank on us as we have been making tireless efforts to serve them the top-of-the-line products,” claims Thapa. According to him, hygiene and taste are two major factors on which his company puts premium while delivering such products.
Angan, run by Pashupati Foods, is yet another leading name for sweet products in the Nepali market. It, which is a franchised dealer of the India-based Bikanerwala Foods Pvt. Ltd in Nepal, has five outlets inside the Kathmandu valley and 2 outside it.
“We are one of the most preferred addresses when it comes to consuming sweet items,” says Shrawan Agrawal. In addition to bakery items, dry fruits, and other snacks, Angan offers a whole range of traditional sweets including laddus, khoya. The price of sweets ranges from Rs 1,200 to Rs 2,950/kg.
“With its commitment to quality, hygiene, and affordability, Angan has garnered a great deal of trust of the customers,” he claims.
Established in 2014, the Nepal Sweets and Snacks Association is working to preserve and promote the rights of traders involves in the sweet and snack business. According to Manandhar, the Association has also been lobbying with the government for streamlining the business. “Setting certain criteria for maintaining quality and imparting training to the related shopkeepers and workers on hygiene are some measures that need to undertaken by the concerned authorities.”