Rising prices of milk and sugar over the past two months will mean people have to spend more to sate their appetites on pedas, barfees and rosogullas.
At Asiatic Store in Churchgate, a kilogram of malai barfee has shot up to Rs 300, from Rs 280 a week ago. At Brijwasi Sweets in Andheri, a kilogram of mawa peda costs Rs 280, up from Rs 250 on Dussehra.
While sugar prices across the country have risen because of low yields, the supply of milk and dairy products has dropped because of a poor monsoon. “Due to the lack of rainfall, there has not been enough fodder for the cattle, which are therefore not producing enough milk,” said R.S. Sodhi, chief general manager of Amul, adding that it will take another 15 days for the supply to rise to normal.
Producers are therefore diverting less milk to make ghee and butter.
Geeta Mehta, a homemaker from Grant Road, has already begun striking off names from the list of people she wants to gift sweets this Diwali. “I normally buy four to five kilos of sweets, but this year I will have to cut down,” she said.
Facing tough competition from chocolate manufacturers, shop owners are worried that the higher prices will dampen sales. The economic slowdown, coupled with people’s preference for other kinds of Diwali gifts, such as electronic goods, toys and chocolates, might make things worse, they fear.
Abdullah Mithaiwala, co-owner of Suleman Mithaiwala at Mohammed Ali Road, said sales during Eid and Dussehra were lower than in previous years. Given this, he said the shop’s owners would meet soon to decide whether or not to raise prices further.