Having your cake and selling it - Macphie

Eight out of ten people say they don’t believe a celebration is a celebration until someone brings out a cake.

This sounds like an ideal opportunity for the bakery industry but what is it we like to celebrate?

Birthdays and Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Valentine and royal weddings, end of term and start of jobs.

And now divorces, Saturdays and even just your favourite TV show.

Bakery is a £2billion a year industry and there is no end to the occasions that you can bake for.

The beginning and ending of a football season or rugby tournament can have the commercial baker smiling, as biscuits and cakes decorated in team colours or teacakes shaped like balls will delight the young fan, or sweet bakes to celebrate Wimbledon.

Love cake

Valentine’s Day is a great way to help with what can be a quiet month.

Mintel’s research has shown that people are generally uninspired by traditional Valentine’s gifts, so this is a great chance for a baker to jump in.

Try a bunch of elegantly iced red velvet cupcakes or – for anyone not in love with the occasion – anti-Valentine’s bakes. Broken-hearted doughnuts can make people smile and sweeten the hardest heart.

Easter is an established opportunity to offer everything from traditional hot cross buns and simnel cake to cute mallow chicks and themed cupcakes.

Royal weddings and babies are becoming regular occurrences.

Try thinking about relatively simple robust bakes (no one wants an overly fragile bake) that you can use for a baby rattle or faces iced onto a large cookie.

All these can add value to your bakes and sweeten your customers.

Young adults are more likely than most to be persuaded to impulse buy these small bakes, so the quirky or even downright silly can go down well. They are the Instagrammers, so it could raise your social media profile at the same time.

But what are the best ways to make great small bakes that grab the eye and entice impulse buyers?

Carve your name

Cookies are big business now and whether it is soft and chewy or a harder biscuit, there is nothing that personalises a sweet bake more than writing a name or a message on it.

It’s becoming increasingly popular for sweet foods, from chocolate to marshmallow, to be personalised in some way or frosting used to make faces, flowers and general decoration.

Get all mallowdramatic

Mallow is an easy-to-use filling that appeals to adults and children alike. Customers love its sweetness and the fun airy shapes it makes, whilst for the baker, it is easy to pipe and can take on the most delicate of flavours.

It’s great for a little chubby teacake and delicately drawn heart.

Try it, then buy it

Did you know that in Mintel’s most recent survey on cakes, 57% of people surveyed said they had made a choice to purchase after trying a sample in the shop? Could your business try this out?

Or you can appeal to the 30% of people who research on the internet before making a bakery purchase.

Set up a social media page, photograph your finest work and advertise it absolutely free of charge.

This could bring new custom to your business or inspire your regular customers to try some new products.

Either way, a little investment in time and imagination, could pay big dividends for your bakery.

You can find more inspiration – including Valentine, Easter and Halloween – in the recipe section of our website

  • Research from Cakes, Cake Bars and Sweet Baked Goods – UK – March 2018, Mintel