The home bakers of Britain are revolting. Fed up with paying £2.50 for a pretty cupcake, which they know they could have made at home for a fraction of the price.
Its daylight robbery on the high street, and manufacturers such as Renshaw are looking to address this by taking on the American cupcake phenomenon – overpriced, over-iced and over here – through the launch of ranges of ready-made icings.
The new reality of austerity Britain means that nearly 50% of UK consumers now bake at home as it enables them to reduce their shopping bills. Such has been their appetite to don the apron that home baking has been valued at £576 million in 2010 (according to Mintel) and the prediction is that this figure is going only one way.
But the (probably once) humble cupcake, long the preserve of sticky children’s parties, is now all grown up and has become one of the most popular items now baked at home. But something funny is going on though with our reaction to austerity Britain if the Renshaw range is a response to perceived demand.
We want to spend less – that’s a given – but the consumer is not really interested in a second rate cupcake. Oh no. They want exactly the same brightly coloured confection that they’ve seen in the fancy bakers at £2.50 a pop.
Even though we know it’s a sweet mini luxury, which we previously just coughed up for, now we’re not so sure. But we still want that same ‘model’ in the comfort of our own homes and with all the trimmings.
Coffee shops meanwhile are also facing up to budgeting, but in a more traditional way. They are upping the amount of food in the mix because they are finding increasing resistance to their £2-plus caffeine fixes. When it comes down to it, shoppers are now likely to ditch the luxury of a high-end coffee and buy a sandwich instead.
Despite these moves by shoppers to strip out costs, don’t think the move to baking at home is in any way downmarket. The launch of the Renshaw range took place in the sumptuous surroundings of London’s Connaught Hotel where Champagne flowed alongside the icing sugar mixes. Like we said, it’s austerity Britain but not as we know it.