Nepali pickle makers come into their ownNepali pickle makers have been making efforts to secure a larger share of the market dominated by foreign brands by coming up with a wider variety of products.
Of late, Nepali pickles have been making their presence felt in establishments ranging from department stores and five-star hotels to small groceries. Some of the pickles are exported to various countries too.
“We started our pickle business four years ago and we are seeing a continuous growth in out consumer base despite the dominance of Indian pickles at many stores,” said Hima Nepal, manager of Sahara Khadya Udyog.
Established as a partnership between Ranju Aryal and Indira Sapkota, the company has 10 employees and produce 12 varieties of pickles including fenugreek, lemon, chilly, mango, jackfruit, tomato, prawn, meat
and Chinese plum. Pickles
usually have a shelf life of six months to one year, according to entrepreneurs.
“We sell pickles worth Rs100,000 monthly,” said Nepal, adding that they were further encouraged in their business after getting quality assurance certification from the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control two months ago. “Some of our pickles are being exported to the UK too,” added Nepal. Sahara pickles are available in 200gm to 2kg bottles and are priced from Rs30 to Rs800.
Similarly, Mahendra Gopal Shrestha, proprietor of Nandini Food Products who went into the pickle business with his wife, said that their annual turnover amounted to Rs1.5 million. The company has been producing six varieties of pickles in sweet and sour tastes. It employs five persons. “We are seeing an increase in demand from party palaces these days,” he said, adding that many department stores had also started giving priority to domestic products.
Pickles made of green mango, hog plum, capsicum, radish, sprouted fenugreek, Akbare chilli and lime are among those in high demand, according to him. “Although there are five to six organised producers in the market, we can see numerous unorganized players in this business,” said Shrestha. Nandini pickles come in 100gm to 400gm packs and prices start at Rs80.
Likewise, Dibyashwori Khadya Udyog recently started making pickles with seven women entrepreneurs. “We entered this business two months ago after seeing the swelling consumption of pickles,” said Dibyashwori Parajuli, proprietor of the company. “Although we won’t be able to replace imported pickles, we
are trying to convince customers by offering them traditionally-made products.”