Gutkha now sold in paper sachets

The product is being sold in paper sachets for about a week now at most beeda stalls and highly resemble the plastic sachets.

But the consumers are shelling out more for their favourite product. While the maximum retail price (MRP) for a plastic sachet of gutkha was Rs 1.50, one paper sachet of gutkha is being sold for Rs three.

Due to the increased price, there has been lukewarm response to the gutkha in a new avatar. “One paper sachet of gutkha costs us Rs 2.50. So, how can we sell it at MRP?” the beeda shopkeepers ask.

Wholesale dealers do not release the product to the market in huge quantities, so as to increase the demand. They are confident that the consumers will buy it, no matter what the price is, said Basavaraj, a beeda shop keeper.

Earlier, three plastic sachets of gutkha of a popular brand was sold for Rs five. Now, three plastic sachets of the same brand are being sold for Rs nine. However, gutkha of other brands continue to be sold in plastic sachets.

There are other problems that consumers face when gutkha is sold in paper sachets. The sachet may get torn and the gutkha spilling out into one’s pocket. It can also get wet during rain, said Virupakshagowda, a consumer.

With manufacturers beginning to sell gutkha in paper sachets, arecanut trade has picked up in the APMC market here, with the prices stabilising.

The prices were Rs 17,009 to Rs 26,409 a quintal on Tuesday, said APMC officials.

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