Sunday, September 2, 2012

Supermarkets Rev Up Wedding-Cake Revenues

As independent bakeries disappear from many suburban areas, supermarkets with in-house bakeries are courting couples who want anything from a basic wedding cake to an elaborately decorated extravaganza.

Often, customers can save hundreds of dollars by buying from a supermarket, thanks to a large company's buying power and efficiency. Another reason, apart from price: Wedding-related reality shows and cooking shows are putting the spotlight on custom creations, giving couples ideas they can adapt for their special day (and their budget). Supermarkets are sending their bakers to school to learn these trendy techniques and come back prepared for almost any special event challenge.
Cake by Publix

Publix Supermarkets, headquartered in Florida, has offered wedding cakes for many years. Last year alone, it reported a 4% increase in wedding-cake sales. The retailer advertises in wedding magazines and exhibits at wedding expos around its five-state trading area. Some branches include an in-house event planning service, Apron's, to help customers with customized cakes, food, flowers and other special-event needs.

Cake by Farm Fresh
Farm Fresh and other supermarkets owned by Supervalu, based in Minnesota, are also boosting their bakery business with a 5% increase in wedding cake sales, year over year. "We’re working in various ways to promote our wedding cakes — word of mouth, in-store information and bridal shows," a Supervalu exec tells Supermarket News.

Of course, couples that order a cake from the local supermarket may also look at flowers while they're in the store...

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