National Cupcake Week (14-19 September) has been a great success, with the national media picking up on the celebrations, as well as many local papers.
Bakers up and down the country have been promoting the popular bakery product, offering deals and launching new products for the Week, co-sponsored by Puratos and Chevler.
The Times, The Inde-pendent and The Sun all wrote about the delights of cupcakes, and Channel Five’s show The Wright Stuff had a daily slot dedicated to trying the winning recipes from British Baker’s cupcake recipe competition.
Joanna Skelton, Waitrose patisserie buyer, said: "The week was a great success at Waitrose with cupcake sales up 60%." Its Seriously Cupcakes also proved a hit with consumers with sales of the Seriously Lemony Buttercream Cupcakes up 82%, she added. Both Waitrose and Marks & Spencer supported the week with point of sale in-store.
Birds of Derby also saw sales soar. "In the week itself we sold 3,500 cupcakes and the following week our 50 shops have put in orders for 7,000! We used the British Baker POS material and our own, which were a super duper success," said retail and sales manager Mike Holling. "It is the first time we have ever done cupcakes. We worked with National Cupcake Week sponsors Puratos and Chevler and both were really helpful. The recipes have gone down a storm."
Leakers Bakery in Dorset baked a range of special cupcakes during the week. Manager Natalie Stone said sales had "exceeded all the company’s expectations". The bakery offered its cupcakes, including Blueberry & Lime, Vanilla Frosted and Chocolate and Chilli varieties, for half the normal price at 75p. "It was really successful," continued Stone. "Our cupcake lady was kept very busy, and we sold out on Saturday."
Other bakeries launching new products included Handmade Cake Co and Sayers and Hampsons. A number of cupcake businesses and bakeries offered customers special deals in order to entice customers into their shops or to place orders. Scrumptious Buns, The Little House of Cupcakes and Angelina Cupcake offered money-off deals, and Campbells Bakery gave customers the chance to claim a free cupcake.
Pia Cato, owner of The Vanilla Pod Bakery, based in Gloucester, said the week had definitely driven awareness of cupcakes. As well as handing out bite-size cupcakes in the high street, she also taught a class of 13-year-old disabled children how to bake cupcakes and was interviewed by local reporters.