Sugar and lemon candies, in a million hues, gleamed from huge glass jars and drew children to the small shops, in front of the schools, that sold them. Now these candies, neatly packed, have found a place in the super market shelves along with the premium chocolates. It is nothing but nostalgia which brought candies like lemon candies, jellies, candied cumin, peanut brittle, pallotti and sour candies back into the market. For many, the sweet memories associated with these candies are as special and beautiful. These candies have an incredible demand inside and outside the state as well. The chocolate bars on the super market shelves are mostly grabbed by children, while the adults go for the good old sugar and lemon candies.
The lemon candies have surely found a special place in the super markets and even give the imported premium chocolates a run for their money. The merchants and shop keepers are eager to make sure that they stock up enough sugar candies as they don’t want to disappoint both children and adults who turn in huge numbers to buy it. Most of the candies and sweets of the yesteryears are sold at all the leading supermarkets in the city.
One of the main companies which supplies candies in 5 districts, from Ernakulam to Kozhikode, functions at Thrissur. This company alone supplies candies worth Rs 60,000 per month in these districts. There are many such companies, functioning in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which distributes candies at various supermarkets and shops across Kerala.
Loved by all
There is an interesting snippet about the study which was conducted to realize the demand for lemon candies. Neatly packed lemon candies were kept, at a shop, on an experimental basis. The next day, the supplier was delighted to find out that the product was sold out. When he enquired more about it, the shopkeeper had apparently told that it wasn’t any customer but his employees in the shop who had finished the candies.
MS Rajeevan, the owner of Thrissur Patturackal Kairali Food Products, which supplies such candies to many districts including Ernakulam, says that it is not the children but the adults who enjoy these sweet treats the most.
The overwhelming demand for sugar candies, in the markets of Kerala, is quite surprising. It is the nostalgic Malayali hearts, which love to nurture the sweet memories of the past that earned an amazing demand for these candies. In the beginning, it was just small scale producers who made and supplied the candies which were cheaper. Now candies which are made in better qualities and packed attractively too are very much in demand. These candies, however, cost a bit more than the regular ones.
Malayalis still haven’t forgotten the sweet taste of the lemon candies and it is the beautiful memory of it which prompts them to go for it. Many even ignore their health, to sneak in a candy or two and enjoy it secretly, while reminiscing the good old times.