"If trends are anything to go by, there is a considerable rise of about 30 percent in demand for assorted cookies, low-cal premium biscuits and bakery products this Diwali as consumers shift from sweets amid fears of adulteration," notes a sector-specific analysis, aimed at assessing the prevailing market trends this Diwali, conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

"Growing suspicion about adulteration, together with rise in preference for healthy and low-fat products, has hit the demand for traditional sweets which has fallen by over 50 percent, especially those made from milk," ASSOCHAM secretary general D S Rawat said, releasing the findings.

"The Rs 25,000-crore biscuit industry in India is making merry this festive season and its business is likely to grow by leaps and bounds owing to multiple factors like attractive packaging in different shapes, sizes and flavours, quality control, longer shelf life and others," stated Rawat.

"Considering there is an emotional value attached to traditional sweets, branded sweets market is doing a brisk business," he added.

India's traditional sweets market which is worth over Rs 50,000 crore remains largely unorganised and constantly faces threats from rising prices of key raw materials like milk, butter, sugar and dry fruits, and therefore, many resort to use of inferior or adulterated ingredients and in some cases, they may even use chemicals to keep down the cost.

Biscuit hampers are selling like hot cakes and have even surpassed demand for chocolates and fruit juice packs owing to their growing acceptance amid varied Indian palates and are affordable, highlighted the analysis.

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