So what's the deal with cupcakes? Trends usually fade, but the cupcake craze remains in full bloom. The television show credited for making cupcakes cool again, Sex & The City, is no longer in production. But cupcake bakeries sure are.
I continue to receive press releases and news articles weekly about a new cupcake bakery that just opened or information on the cupcake craze taking over another city. What once was a New York City and Los Angeles phenomenon is sweeping its way through the middle of the country now too.
I'll admit it, I sort of don't get the hype, and a lot of retail bakers I speak with don't get it either. I mean cupcakes have been around for years. What's the big deal? But, maybe we're too close to it. And, maybe the simplicity of the cupcake is exactly why people are eating them up.
Your customers are looking for just that…simple, honest food. The cupcake's popularity demonstrates how far one single product can go if bakers focus on making each component of a product as good as it can be. Then, add the extra details that make your product stand above the rest. For cupcakes, the details are in the unique cake and icing flavors, decorations, garnishes and even in their packaging and merchandising.
Full-line retail and supermarket in-store bakeries are taking cues from boutique cupcake bakeries by experimenting with their own cake and icing flavor combinations, merchandising them as single-serve desserts in service showcases and decorating the cupcakes with special twists. They too are getting results.
The economy is another factor that also may be fueling cupcakes' and other desserts' popularity. During tough economic times, people look for simple pleasures to cheer them up or remind them of the “good ol' days.” A cupcake or other sweet bakery treat fits that bill perfectly and doesn't break the bank. Some food establishments are even using the uncertain state of affairs to their advantage. The term “credit crunch” is so recognized in the U.K. now that candy makers are making their own chocolate version of the “credit crunch” and restaurants are promoting menu deals they're calling the “credit munch.”
Times are tough, but people still need to eat. And, they still want quality and to treat themselves on occasion. Family, relationships and celebrating at the home also become more important during times like these. Sounds to me like your bakery products might be just what the doctor ordered. The key is making your bakery the best place for them to fill their prescription.