Kochi: The food catering section of Kerala which was dull during the pandemic period is making a comeback slowly during the Vishu-Easter season. There is a 30-40% hike in orders and bookings compared to the last two years.
In addition to the Easter-Vishu-Ramzan seasonal orders, bookings are done for farewell parties as well. All Kerala Caterers Association (AKCA) informed that even though there is an increase in the number of orders and bookings still there is no increase in the number of items.
The season extends up to mid-June from April. As three celebrations are coming back to back, a business worth Rs 200 cr is expected. Since people are working in this field who are not part of the association as well, a business of more than Rs 350 cr can be expected.
Currently, there are 2160 members in the AKCA. It is assumed that about 2500 non-members of the AKCA are also working in the field. As last year’s Vishu was affected by Covid, there was no good business. But this year, a good number of orders are received in all districts. At the same time, in a few districts due to Ramzan, orders are not received to an expected level.
AKCA State President Prince George said that by the end of the month, it is expected that Ramzan orders will also start.
Increase in price of items
The price of vegetables, meat, cooking oil to cooking gas and fuel has been skyrocketed. About 25 percent rise in prices have taken place. AKCA informed that if the price of these essentials continue to rise, then the price of food items will also have to increase.
Rs 10 lakh worth of banana leaf
The supply of banana leaves for Vishu ‘Sadya’ is from Tamil Nadu. Even though there is a supply of banana leaves in Kerala, more than 95 percent of the leaves are coming from the neighbouring states. A leaf costs around Rs 4.50 currently but during the festival season, it increases up to Rs 6. About Rs 10 lakh worth of business is done in Kerala during the Vishu season alone.