Today I’ll be talking about “loss leaders”
a product sold at a loss to attract customers.
Bread and milk are generally loss leaders, also cakes.
Before I get into it I'll just say - I am not against bakery store workers as they are just doing their job. I am against the mass production of a product designed to last way longer than it should .... with that said .......
You go into “chain” grocery store because you know the cakes are cheap. The stores price them this way, they know you will come in for the cheaper cake – because you are “saving money”.
While you are in the store, you look around get the rest of your party supplies. Before you know it, you see a few items that aren’t on your list and you add them to your cart. You then walk around some more, find more things and add them to your cart.
Before you know it, the cheap $20 cake you went into get has blown into over $100 of extra things NOT on your list. You may have got the “cheaper cake” but now you have spent more money and done some serious impulse shopping.
Stores do this because they know they will hook you, just giving them more money to add to the multi millions they have already.
The other reason they are so cheap is they are mass produced - as you see from the photo they come in bulk in boxes. All cooked off site at a factory by machines then once done are frozen. Seeing as they are done in bulk they can make, freeze and store them for as long as they want to. I haven known bakery staff that have had cakes in a store for up to a year before they are taken out and decorated in the bakery section. Then you take into account the ones they do take out, decorate and have on display for sale in the open cold storage. If they aren't bought that day, they can sit there for up to 2 weeks before they are put on clearance for sale.
Next time you are in a store, check out the sell by date on a cake and then look at the MASSIVE list of ingredients - all you can't pronounce and all things to make it stay fresh - haha "fresh" longer.
Don't even get me started on the "buttercream" that is used to frost them with - that will be a post for another day!
If I didn’t make cakes or felt like not making a cake for a celebration we were having, I would go to a small business before I would go to a chain store. If you have a tight budget consider making your own cake before getting it from a store, you should generally have oil, butter and eggs at home already just pick up a box mix or 2 and give it a try!!
At the end of the day an order with a small business, could be the difference in signing up for little league or helping a family pay a bill. I know that is what it like for me when I do orders.