Tuesday, July 8, 2014

When Food Fads Fade--Fast

Crumbs, a chain that at its peak operated 78 gourmet cupcake bakeries from its base in New York City, abruptly shut all stores on July 7th. It was the largest US bakery chain marketing specialty cupcakes, founded in 2003. After steady expansion on the East Coast, Crumbs was acquired as a way to go public in 2011, with the long-term goal of operating 200 stores by 2014.

Instead, the cupcake fad has peaked and now faded, in a rapid acceleration of progress through the stages of the product life cycle. With cupcakes in the "decline" stage of the PLC, Crumbs had to retrench in the face of worsening financials; its stock was suspended from NASDAQ trading.

It seems that the cupcake fad has given way to other food fads (cronut, anyone?). Meanwhile, Crumbs fans miss its cupcakes, judging by comments on the Facebook page (111,000+ likes). The bakery also has thousands of Twitter followers and Pinterest followers. Will Crumbs be able to reinvent itself to take advantage of demand for other newly-popular baked goods?

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