KATHMANDU, May 5: With most people preferring readymade pickles over fresh homemade ones, different companies have started flooding the market with local brands, giving customers a wider choice.
New brands of Nepali pickles that have hit the market recently are Tasty, Alas, Taaza, Rasilo, Balkumaari, Indreni, Darjeeling Fresh and Om.
They would be competing with brands such as Druk, Nawaras and Samjhana, which have for years been catering to customer preferences for the typical Nepali flavours.
"We have added almost all the newly introduced pickle brands to the store as more customers place demands for pickles that suit typical Nepali tastes," said Parwati Basnet, a sales girl at Bhat-Bhateni Supermarket at Koteshwar.
There are around 40 varieties of Nepali pickles available in the market. Of these, pickles that satisfy customer demand are the ones made of mixed vegetables, tomato, mango, lime, fish, fenugreek, bitter gourd, garlic, chilly, lapsi, chicken, buff and mutton.
"A recently introduced new variety made from jackfruit is also enjoying a warm response," said Basnet.
Though Indian pickles brand such as Health Food, Kitchen Recipe, Nilon´s, Haldiram´s and Mum´s are also available in the market, traders said customers have recently been preferring Nepali brands because of cheaper prices, unique taste and quality.
With a rise in demand and in the price of raw materials, traders said local manufacturers recently jacked up their prices 5 to 10 percent.But Nepali pickles are still cheaper than Indian brands.
"I invariably buy Nepali brands because these enhance the taste of food better than foreign brands," said Tiya Subedi, a customer at Bhat-Bhateni Supermarket who was buying pickles. “As I love sour and hot taste, I have bought a big bottle of Druk pickle which I love the most,” she stated.
Nepali pickles are making a mark abroad as well. "A number of non-resident Nepalis visit my shop looking for Nepali varieties. They say friends abroad like the taste of Nepali pickles," said Suresh Dangol, who runs a pickles shop at New Road.
Traders say that pickles made of dried meat are mostly preferred by people who go abroad as they can be stored for a longer period.
According to manufacturers, they are exporting more than Rs 350,000 worth of pickles every month to the United Kingdom alone.