THIRUVANANTHAPURM: This summer, instead of tasting Coke and Pepsi, the city is preferring soft drinks which are healthier. As many as ten outlets of KELPALM (Kerla State Palmyrah Products Development and Workers’ Welfare Corporation Limited) are running successfully at various locations in the city. Bottled palm drinks such as ‘Palm Lahar’, ‘Palm Squash’ and ‘Palm Syrup’ are available in the stalls. ‘Palm Pine’, a mixture of various fruits, including pineapple and palm fruit, is the most popular drink. ‘Nongu’ and ‘pananga’ (palm fruit), and ‘akkani’ (palm sap) are the other edible items offered by KELPALM.
Vinod, owner of the KELPLAM franchise at Althara Junction, says his outlet witnesses a daily sales of around ` 4,000. “Most of the soft drinks are available for ` 10. A glass of ‘nongu sarbath’ will cost ` 30. Mixed fruit ‘sarbath’ and ‘Palm Pine’ will cost ` 20. Sales of soft drinks in orange, pineapple and ginger flavours too are picking up fast,” he says.
With the mercury touching the 36 degrees- Celsius mark, the city is finding ways to beat the heat. ‘Nongu’, or ‘ice apple’, has a cooling effect, making it the most popular item in the summer season. It is recommended especially for pregnant women.
Vinod started his franchise in Althara Junction four months ago. He also runs outlets at Thycaud and near the Railway Divisional Office. “During rainy season, ‘karipetti kappi’ was the hot favourite. Now, people need drinks that cool their body. KELPALM products are healthier too. There are no artificial or harmful products in them,” he says.
P Don Bosco, Chairman and Managing Director, KELPALM, says the City Corporation has been very cooperative in setting up the outlets. “The Corporation gave permission to set up ten franchises at various locations. All of them are popular, offering various palm products,” he says.
Taking a cue from the success of the outlets in the city, KELPALM has plans to set up similar outlets in other parts of the State as well. In addition to KELPALM outlets, the products are available in other shops too.