Will inflation be a spoilsport this Diwali? The answer is yes. Not only crackers or high-end consumer goods, but gift hampers — which usually comprise food items — too may burn a hole in your pocket. These hampers are a staple among many households when it comes to distributing gifts on Diwali.
Food inflation has already led to a hike in the dry fruits' cost with most packets at all major markets costing almost 50-80% more than last year. Nikhil Grover, a businessman from Lajpat Nagar, buys about 12-15 dry fruit boxes every year. "This year, I am paying more than Rs 15,000 extra for the same quantity I paid last year," said Grover.
At the plush Khan market, dry fruits hamper costs have almost doubled. At the Bombay Fruit Mart, no hamper is priced below Rs 2,000. "Cost of each item has increased. For instance, walnut prices have risen from R500 per kg last year to almost R850 per kg this year," said Banarasi Das Rajora of Bombay Fruit Mart.
Saluja Dairy Mart in the market offers custom-made gift hampers comprising olives, olive oil, dry fruits, jam, coffee, baked beans etc among other things. A hamper costing Rs 2,050 this year has cookies, chocolate bars, Cadbury chocolates, almonds, roasted peas, jam, gold coin chocolates and baked beans apart from few other items along with fancy diyas.
"The same hamper costed Rs 1,800 last year. We calculate the MRP of each item and add to it the packaging cost," said Gurvinder Saluja of Saluja Dairy.