Marketing: Traditional Milk
Marketing of the indigenous dairy products is as
traditional as the products themselves. Halwais produce and sell these products in all
urban and semi-urban areas of the country. Halwais have prospered over the years because
sweets have high margins of profit. Some halwais are better known than the others due to
the distinctive quality and taste of their mithais. Usually, halwais display a board
stating that their preparations are made from pure desi ghee and emphasize that they do
not use cheap, hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Major Marketing Thrust
The major marketing thrust is to decorate and extend
halwai shops during festival seasons. This is also the flush season when there is usually
no shortage of khoa and chhana, the two basic ingredients required for the preparation of
most traditional milk-based sweets. The festival season sale in many areas accounts for
30-40 per cent of the annual sales of these sweets. Some large-scale mithaiwallas have
also taken to advertising in mass media during the festival season. Most sales are made
across the counter.
The usual mode for packaging is in cardboard boxes,
lined with parchment paper. Products like rasagollas, gulabjamuns, rasmalai, rabri, mishti
doi, etc., are sold in earthen pots, as these pots do not show any wheying off. More
recently, plastic bags are are gaining popularity.
Some entrepreneurs have even started canning rasagollas
and gulabjamuns. They have switched over to steam-operated kettles rather than using coal
fires, particularly for the export market. Bikaner in Rajasthan has emerged as a large
processing and manufacturing center for rasagollas. Halwais there execute large orders and
provide labeling for canned rasagollas which are manufactured in the traditional way.