Srinagar: Ice cream sales dipped by around 40 per cent due to the Covid threat in Kashmir valley.
Though sales have now started picking up during the past one month, distributors say people by and large avoided having ice-creams when the pandemic was at its peak.
“All trades have suffered during the Covid lockdown but ice-cream sales took a bigger hit. Some doctors had advised people to avoid ice creams when thousands of cases were being reported daily. There was a fear that eating an ice-cream can cause a cold or sore throat that could pose a risk during the pandemic. As a result, our sales dipped by 35 to 40 per cent during the past two years of Covid lockdown. During the lockdown after Article 370 abrogation in 2019, we had suffered bigger losses,” Distributor for Amul Ice Creams in Srinagar, Ejaz Ahmad Shah told The Kashmir Monitor.
Kashmir Trade Alliance (KTA) president Aijaz Shahdhar echoed similar views but said ice-cream sales had started picking up of late.
“During the past one month, ice cream sales have picked up but before that, distributors were worried. There were hardly any takers for ice creams. Earlier when summer was not at its peak and Covid cases were high too, people were scared that eating ice creams may cause flu or sore throat that could lead to Covid complications. Despite increase in sales during the past month, overall there has been a dip of around 40 per cent in ice cream sales during the Covid lockdown as per our estimates,” Shahdhar told The Kashmir Monitor.
“Overall, all businesses have been hit since August, 2019 as people have no buying power. Small-time traders and shopkeepers and people who are working in the private sector mostly buy essential commodities,” he added.
Mohammad Shafi, a retailer in uptown Srinagar, said he started keeping ice creams at his shop only before Eid-ul-Adha.
“For the first time this year, people started asking for ice-creams before Eid and that is when I started keeping ice-cream at my shop. Now, people are buying freely but earlier hardly a few people would ask for ice creams. Otherwise, people would start asking for ice-cream from April end onwards. This year, ice cream sales picked up in July when there was a significant dip in Covid positive cases,” he said.