Housewives turn Eid sweets into lucrative industry
The Eid sweets industry is fast becoming a lucrative arena of creativity and competition among housewives.
Indeed, many women are going the extra step and exhibiting their artistic talents right on their plates.
“The Eid sweets industry is becoming fertile ground for competition among women,” said Amal Al-Saleh, a housewife.
“Women use new and creative ways to package and present their sweets, which are often mixed with dried fruit,” she said. “Some have even created a juice fountain.” “Eid budgets can span anywhere between SR500 and SR3,000 because of the high cost of chocolates and nuts,” she said. “Many women come up with highly original ideas for displaying their creations. This can include anything from match sticks to chessboards, while money for children is wrapped in small copies of the Qur’an or using children’s accessories.”
Maha Asiri, another housewife, said Eid is a time of year where family and professionalism come together.
“Even women within a single family compete to outdo each other in their creativity,” she said.
Sweets, chocolates, cookies and “baklava” are presented in crystal, silver, ceramic or even straw bowls.
Jamila Asiri, a bakery owner, said many women take advantage of demand and sell their innovations to stores.
“These women often turn their homes into sweet-making venues during Eid and sell them to restaurants and food sale centers, which is a creative way of supporting their families economically.”
Randy, a salesman in Al-Bustan, a store for sweets and nuts, said that the price of good-quality chocolate is high because of the increased price of cocoa.
“Confectionary and chocolate stores also come up with special designs to make and wrap chocolates. A plate of chocolate starts from SR150 and could reach up to SR1,500, according to the type of chocolate,” he said.
Ghassan Mohammad, a salesman at a Swiss chocolate store in Jeddah, said other women buy American sweets, cakes and Swiss rolls because they have gotten bored with Eastern sweets.
“Ladies pay special attention to ensuring that their sweets are presented attractively,” he said. “They sometimes send in their own plates to have them arranged the way they want.”