The sale of mishti has gone up and people in the industry are happy that Kolkatans have taken to buying and gifting sweets in greater numbers during the festival season.
Across Kolkata, almost all sweet shops have reported a jump in sale of the traditional as well as fusion delicacies during Puja 2022 compared with the last two years.
Some of the shops have recorded sales like in the pre-Covid times. Many shop-owners attributed the rise in sale to a tendency among a large number of buyers to visit shops and have a look and feel of the items before buying them, which they couldn’t do in the last two years because of the threat of Covid.
Many others said the practice of gifting mishti to loved ones during the festive period has revived after two years of lull.
“The response has been extremely good this time. Sandesh lovers are not in a mood to discriminate. They just want to have all different varieties packed into a big box for Dashami,” said Partha Nandy of Girish Chandra Dey and Nakur Chandra Nandy, a 170-year-old sweet shop in north Kolkata.
The boost in sweet sale was discernible early into the Puja, shop-owners said, with pandal-hoppers out in numbers since as early as Tritiya and Chaturthi. With crowds thronging the pandals, the sale of sweets, too, started going up, at times way beyond the expectation of the owners. “Our 200sq ft shop in Sovabazar (Nabin Chandra Das) ran out of stock on Saptami evening. We didn’t expect that. Our sales have gone up by several times compared with the Puja in the previous years,” said Dhiman Das of KC Das Private Limited.
“Even after realising that the demand would soar, we ran out of our stock of baked rosogolla on some days,” said Sudip Mullick, of Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick.
“The tradition of gifting sweets is back this time and sweets are selling like in the pre-Covid days, which is quite encouraging.” Market veterans said the Rs 2,000-crore sweetmeat industry in West Bengal had been battling a slump since the outbreak of Covid-19 in India in March 2020. This despite the state government’s attempts to soften the blow by relaxing some curbs for the sweet shops a number of times.
“Higher sales this year augur well for the industry,” said Nilanjan Ghosh of Mithai. “The challenge is to get an uninterrupted supply of milk, which has not been the case over the last few days.”
“Our outlet at the airport has been doing well to the extent that we have been forced to send sweets at least four times a day, instead of the usual two,” said Subhajit Ghosh of Banchharam. He said that unlike the last two years, people are feeling free to visit shops and try out the items before buying them. That, he said, is partly responsible for the boost in sale.