Traditional Marketing
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You are Here: IndiaDairy.Com / Background Information / Traditional Dairy Products / Traditional Marketing

Even today, marketing in the dairy industry is mainly the forte of Halwais. They are the ones who procure milk, treat it and prepare traditional delicacies for sale to consumers. Many a time they also act as vendors for milk, butter, ghee(clarified butter), and curd. Some products, which can be packaged, are being manufactured on a large scale by entrepreneurs.
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Marketing: Traditional Milk Products

Marketing of the indigenous dairy products is as traditional as the products themselves. Halwais produce and sell these products in all urban and semi-urban areas of the country. Halwais have prospered over the years because sweets have high margins of profit. Some halwais are better known than the others due to the distinctive quality and taste of their mithais. Usually, halwais display a board stating that their preparations are made from pure desi ghee and emphasize that they do not use cheap, hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Major Marketing Thrust

The major marketing thrust is to decorate and extend halwai shops during festival seasons. This is also the flush season when there is usually no shortage of khoa and chhana, the two basic ingredients required for the preparation of most traditional milk-based sweets. The festival season sale in many areas accounts for 30-40 per cent of the annual sales of these sweets. Some large-scale mithaiwallas have also taken to advertising in mass media during the festival season. Most sales are made across the counter.

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The usual mode for packaging is in cardboard boxes, lined with parchment paper. Products like rasagollas, gulabjamuns, rasmalai, rabri, mishti doi, etc., are sold in earthen pots, as these pots do not show any wheying off. More recently, plastic bags are are gaining popularity.


Some entrepreneurs have even started canning rasagollas and gulabjamuns. They have switched over to steam-operated kettles rather than using coal fires, particularly for the export market. Bikaner in Rajasthan has emerged as a large processing and manufacturing center for rasagollas. Halwais there execute large orders and provide labeling for canned rasagollas which are manufactured in the traditional way.

Ghee is usually marketed in the traditional mandis by those who collect it from villages and refine it further to remove all moisture. From mandis, it goes to retail outlets. Ghee is usually branded by big traders. Large ghee mandis exist in Hathras and Khurja in Uttar Pradesh, Porbandar in Gujarat, Guntur in Andhra Pradesh and Erode in Tamil Nadu. Jodhpur in Rajasthan is probably the biggest ghee trading center in India.

Some manufacturers now advertise ghee on a national scale. Organized dairies are marketing branded ghee which fetches a good price because of the guaranteed quality. Traditionally, ghee from each part of the country has it's own specialty e.g. ghee from Saurashtra is renowned for its graininess and long keeping quality. Similarly, Hathras and Khurja ghee is famed for its smoky flavor.

Kulfi, a traditional form of ice-cream,  is usually sold from door to door by hawkers. Some manufacturers offer it as a part of their ice cream range.


The standardization of traditional processes and products in terms of sensory profiles, compositional and physico-chemical attributes has been an elusive goal to pursue. The small scale of their operation and scattered production, only contributing to the difficulties.  Considerable need exists for restructuring this sector for attaining product standardization and quality assurance within the scope of regional influences.

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