Pune: Health conscious Puneites, who vouch for organic vegetables, fruits and foodgrains, have started buying organic products on a large scale. Although organic food made its entry in the market a few years ago, it has seen a sharp rise in sales in the past couple of years.
Interestingly, the demand has seeped through all sections of society.
According to online grocery sites, there is a 30 to 50 per cent rise in sale of organic products in the city. Neeraj Parkhe, owner of Subzi Mandai, an online site, said, "In the last year, my business of organic vegetables has grown from almost 1,000 clients to 2,000 clients."
He attributed this growth to the rise in demand of cut vegetables. He said, "Last year, I had an enquiry by one of my regular clients whether we have cut vegetables. After that, I started providing cut vegetables, which was an instant hit."
Few of these sites also provide weekly and monthly organic vegetable packages to clients. Ashok Patil, owner of Veg Mart, said, "Initially, we had very less clients, as organic food was not preferred by many. But gradually as people started knowing the benefits of consuming organic veggies and fruits, the demand saw a sharp rise. Then after catering to daily needs of vegetables and fruits, we started a package service. It proved beneficial, as it didn't burden clients and we didn't have the daily pressure of delivery either."
Generally, organic products are opted for by techies, doctors, businessmen, sports enthusiasts and youngsters. Vishwanath Shinde, owner of Swap Pure, said, "Not all have shifted their food habits, but those who keep experimenting with different food have shown keen interest in organic products. I cater to people from Aundh, Katraj, Kothrud, Hinjewadi, Mundwa and Dhayari."
Besides vegetables and fruits, pulses, cereals and dry fruits too are in great demand. Shriniwas Kulkarni, owner of Organics and Naturals, said, "We get these organic cereals and pulses from farmers in Nashik, Gujarat, Kolhapur, Sangli and Pune districts. Initially, it was health freaks, who would come to my shop, but now the reach has increased. These pulses or cereals are 30 to 40 per cent costlier than the normal ones, but yet they are in demand."