Mutton takes a bite out of chicken sales

Kathmandu, October 7

While goat traders in the market are doing brisk business since a few days following the onset of Dashain festival, chicken sellers have witnessed tepid sales.

As people basically prefer to consume mutton over chicken during Dashain, the number of customers seeking chicken have gone down slowly, according to traders involved in the poultry business.

“Sales of chicken have gradually started declining from Ghatasthapana, the first day of Dashain,” Shyam Khadka, a chicken retailer based in Chabahil, said, adding that chicken business is expected to go down by more than 60 per cent next week.

Traditionally, Nepalis consume goat meat during Dashain, especially after the seventh day of the festival — Saptami — thereby affecting chicken business.

Traders say that chicken business normally comes down by 30 per cent during Dashain on an average. In the week after Saptami, the business is more sluggish, causing the chicken business to drop by more than 50 per cent.

However, officials of Valley Cold Store, one of the largest chicken meat sellers in the Valley, believe that the trend of consuming only mutton during Dashain has changed in the recent years and people are consuming chicken during Dashain as well.

“Chicken business is comparatively tepid compared to normal times and will surely drop further next week. However, the business will not go down like in previous years as people in recent years prefer buying chicken meat from the market rather than killing goats and other animals during Dashain,” Sakchyam Ghimire, sales director of Valley Cold Store told The Himalayan Times.

According to Ghimire, people have also started considering chicken better than mutton from the health perspective in recent years, thereby helping the chicken business remain vibrant even during Dashain.

The store sells around 20,000 chickens in the Valley on a daily basis.

Junga Bahadur BC, president of National Chicken Sellers Association (NCSA), says that sales of chicken throughout retail outlets will plummet by 50 per cent in one week.

“The business until today has not come down drastically. However, chicken business is sure to drop for a period of at least one week,” said BC.

BC informed that Kathmandu Valley consumes 350,000 kilograms of chicken meat on an average in normal times.

Meanwhile, chicken price has come down by five rupees per kg in the market following lowered demand. Today, chicken was available at Rs 275 per kg.