Omg! How Do We Keep Up With Cake Ingredient Increases?!?!

Decorating By CarolLee Updated 8 Nov 2011 , 8:56pm by costumeczar

CarolLee Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 11:49am
post #1 of 42

I don't know how to go about increasing my prices so that it off-sets my costs, time and delivery! Just yesterday I purchased ingredients for an Italian Cream cake to serve 75 and the cost to me was $62.35. That's before my time, utilities. Now, I only get $150 for that cake because that's what my market will bear. Down here in southeast Texas, let me just say, if I keep going up - my customers are gonna go to WalMart! I'm frustrated and wondering if I should just QUIT! I love this job, though. Sorry - just venting this morning...GGRRRRR

41 replies
jason_kraft Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 2:49pm
post #2 of 42

That doesn't sound too bad for a 75 serving cake, but maybe if you posted a breakdown of how much you paid for each ingredient we could help you find cheaper sources.

$2/serving is also pretty cheap for a custom cake, you may want to consider reaching out to a different target market (for example, more affluent areas) and increasing your prices.

QTCakes1 Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 2:50pm
post #3 of 42

I know! The price of butter is just crazy! You'll just have to do gradual increases. You'll probably lose some to Wal-Mart, but you don't have a choice, you have to increase your prices.

JSKConfections Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 3:15pm
post #4 of 42

I understand...prices are way out of control! I found a half gallon container of heavy cream at Costco for 7.88! I was very happy with that find. I had a co worker ask me if I got 6 or 8 bucks for a dozen vanilla - white chocolate ganache topped with cocoa buttercream! Really? just the chocolate and cream for the ganache is about $5! So we do have to find the correct market for our products for sure...or just make them for family and that's it!

Alexsmommee Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 3:58pm
post #5 of 42

You may not like my response, but "restaurant supply". Storage can be an issue if you are home based, which is sounds like you are. Me too. I do however buy some things from a local distributor. Jay Qualls gave a speech at ICES this year about numbers in your business. One great example he gave was about vanilla extract. He used to buy the little bottles at the grocery, did the math to find out he was paying well over $100 per gallon. He found he could buy a gallon of good extract for under $20 at a restaurant supply store. I think it might have actually been under $10, can't remember. I can buy a little box of Swan's cake flour for abt. $4-$5 or a 50 pound bag for $17! I have converted our living room coat closet into a "pantry" for the business. Boards, tools, fondant, 50# of hi-ratio shortening and 50# of powdered sugar live in this rather small closet.
My husband is in heavy manufacturing. He's been teaching me about the 7 forms of waste. I have been trying to apply it to my business to help greatly with overall cost. A decade or two ago you could add up all costs (don't forget your payroll even if it is just you), add your profit margin and that would be your selling price. NOW, tables have turned and many times you have to find a price the market can handle and then reduce your costs to improve your margin. That is why so much is currently out- sourced to low cost regions!
Do definitely try to find a market that can enjoy a fine product for its true value, but consider looking into ways to improve your margin.

QTCakes1 Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 4:10pm
post #6 of 42

I hear you on the restaurant suppllies, but they are going up as well. Geez, I hope no one is getting supplies at the grocery store. Please get your supplies at least at a wholesale club. That will help out down on cost.

jewels710 Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 4:19pm
post #7 of 42

Alexsmommee....what are the 7 forms of waste?

jason_kraft Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 4:23pm
post #8 of 42

The 7 forms of waste is a concept from "lean manufacturing", which was instituted by Toyota in the 90s to improve production efficiency. They are transport, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, overprocessing, and defects.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_manufacturing#Types_of_waste

thumbs Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 4:33pm
post #9 of 42

It is getting hard. I stocked up at a Wal-Mart sale a few weeks ago. They had icing sugar on for cheaper then I can get iat Costco or bulk. I have 3 around me and the first store didn't have any left so I also was able to get a raincheck icon_smile.gif Then go to the other locations to buy on the spot icon_smile.gif

I have been trying to get Restaurant supplies but seem to be having a hard time getting of them to contact me back or provide full lists so I can see what I am able to purchase.

Kiddiekakes Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 4:57pm
post #10 of 42

Wholesale is definelty the way to go but you have to know your prices as someone stated..Less than 2 years ago I was paying $38.00 for a 80lb sack of Icing sugar..Today it has gone up to $78.00..Also get a rep for the big food companies...I called Dawn foods a few months ago to order some product for me ..The customer service girl answered so I figured I'll just order from her...I told her the item codes and then I asked how much and nearly fell off my chairs..some items had gone up 100%..So I apprehensively stated"That wasn't what I paid last year..Did it go up that much?" After a few other items I was mortified and thought if these are the prices..I should shut down now!!She then said well who is your rep..So I gave her his name.."Oh well he is no longer here"..I bascially said..I don't care..This is what I paid last year what's going on..She put me on hold and came back a few minutes later and said "Oh I see in your file that so and so had special pricing for you so these are the prices"..And low and behold they were the same or close as last year so my point is...Work with a rep to get a better deal for your product as this clearly showed that they were up charging for items unless you work with a rep and you make a deal...

cakeyouverymuch Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 5:03pm
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by thumbs

It is getting hard. I stocked up at a Wal-Mart sale a few weeks ago. They had icing sugar on for cheaper then I can get iat Costco or bulk. I have 3 around me and the first store didn't have any left so I also was able to get a raincheck icon_smile.gif Then go to the other locations to buy on the spot icon_smile.gif

I have been trying to get Restaurant supplies but seem to be having a hard time getting of them to contact me back or provide full lists so I can see what I am able to purchase.




depending on where you live in Ontario, you might be better off having a look at prices at the (Loblaws owned) Wholesale Club. No membeship necessary, and the one in Winnipeg carries bulk icing sugar that works out at half the price of Costco.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wholesale_Club#Ontario

djs328 Posted 2 Nov 2011 , 2:07pm
post #12 of 42

what kind of cocoa powder does everyone use? and where do you get it?

CrumblesConfections Posted 2 Nov 2011 , 3:32pm
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolLee

I don't know how to go about increasing my prices so that it off-sets my costs, time and delivery! Just yesterday I purchased ingredients for an Italian Cream cake to serve 75 and the cost to me was $62.35. That's before my time, utilities. Now, I only get $150 for that cake because that's what my market will bear. Down here in southeast Texas, let me just say, if I keep going up - my customers are gonna go to WalMart! I'm frustrated and wondering if I should just QUIT! I love this job, though. Sorry - just venting this morning...GGRRRRR




I know the feeling. I'm in Houston and it's the same. People are always complaining about price from a home baker but don't realize how we struggle to keep our dream going, but they'll happily pay upwards of $4,000 for cakes just because someone's been on the food channels. They don't understand that ingredients cost money and they want these wonderful specialty cakes, but want to pay WalMart prices for them. I explain that my cakes are made fresh and I only freeze for a day or 2 if necessary. I'm getting ready to do a complete overhaul because I saw on CNN the other day where nuts have gone up too and I know that usually happens around the holidays so people wanting pecan pies, nut rolls, fruit cakes, etc. are in for a rude awakening. I'm going to let them know up front that these items have gone up in price. I even went to the grocery store yesterday and bought a box cake for $2.09! I was in a hurry so I had to, but I wanted to cry! I remember complaining not long ago when those boxes were $.88 and $.99! I love what I do so I don't want to quit. I feel like I need to create a niche for myself in order to keep going because it's getting too expensive.

jason_kraft Posted 2 Nov 2011 , 3:47pm
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by djs328

what kind of cocoa powder does everyone use? and where do you get it?



We use Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder, it's available in bulk at Amazon.com (6 x 8oz packages), usually for about $2.50-$3 each.

djs328 Posted 2 Nov 2011 , 3:50pm
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by djs328

what kind of cocoa powder does everyone use? and where do you get it?


We use Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder, it's available in bulk at Amazon.com (6 x 8oz packages), usually for about $2.50-$3 each.




Thank you! icon_smile.gif Just a hobby baker but MAN, the price of cocoa is killing me! icon_smile.gif Do you find it is better than the regular Hershey's?

jason_kraft Posted 2 Nov 2011 , 4:03pm
post #16 of 42

We tested several different types of cocoa powder but Special Dark was the best (and one of the cheapest). It is also dairy-free, and Hershey does a good job avoiding cross-contamination of allergens.

Unfortunately Amazon itself is out of stock right now, the third-party sellers on Amazon are priced considerably higher.

jenmat Posted 2 Nov 2011 , 4:06pm
post #17 of 42

A few weeks ago I ordered whipped icing from my supplier and was floored at $40/bucket.
Sam's club still has it at $19.23.
So, it does pay to shop around, my supplier is sometimes 20-40% more for items I can get them at Sam's.

costumeczar Posted 2 Nov 2011 , 5:14pm
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

I hear you on the restaurant suppllies, but they are going up as well. Geez, I hope no one is getting supplies at the grocery store. Please get your supplies at least at a wholesale club. That will help out down on cost.




I just want to point out that I have an account at a wholesaler that I never use because their prices are higher than going to Walmart for me. You can't assume that a wholesaler is cheaper all the time. Shop around!

shannon100 Posted 2 Nov 2011 , 5:36pm
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Quote:

I even went to the grocery store yesterday and bought a box cake for $2.09! I was in a hurry so I had to, but I wanted to cry! I remember complaining not long ago when those boxes were $.88 and $.99!




Crumbles, where in Houston are you shopping?? I bought several DH mixes yesterday for 1.06 at HEB in Katy. If you are near a Joe V's shop, they sometimes have them for .94 or .96 a box! Walmart has them for 1.14. But Kroger is over 1.50 a box for DH. Definitely look around for your best prices!!

sillywabbitz Posted 2 Nov 2011 , 6:04pm
post #20 of 42

I'm in Seattle for work and my hotel is by a Cash and Carry. Oh man I wish I lived here! I bought a box of 100 6 inch cake circles for less than $5 and 500 Reynolds cupcake liners for $4.50. The also had Bettercreme by the gallon, Frostin Pride and Pastry Pride. The had the larger scale cake mixes by Krutz but they are about the same price as Walmart individual ones. I just can't believe how much cheaper they were on so many items. But sadly I can't fit much in my carry on. My sis is in Phoenix and they have Smart and Final. I just can't figure out why we don't have places like this in Texas.

CarolLee Posted 3 Nov 2011 , 2:36pm
post #21 of 42

Crumbles - I hear ya! ...and the price of Cream Cheese is beyond doubled!! I have the feeling this year the Italian Creams and Red Velvets are going to take a hike...in price I mean. Geeeesh!

tarabara Posted 3 Nov 2011 , 3:05pm
post #22 of 42

Wow. I go to HY Louis (warehouse store) here and the DH cake mixes are over $2...they're around $2.95 at the grocery store, I think. Guess I need to drive down to Seattle!

MCurry Posted 3 Nov 2011 , 3:26pm
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by djs328

what kind of cocoa powder does everyone use? and where do you get it?




I use Hershey Cocoa in a 5 pound bag from the wholesale distributor Restaurant Depot. It cost about $22 a bag. I'm a huge fan of restaurant depot for price and basic ingredients. However, you need to storage to hold certain items like flour, sugar, etc.

I have also used Valhrona which cost about for an 7 pound bag is about $70.

carmijok Posted 3 Nov 2011 , 3:53pm
post #24 of 42

I agree with all of this...these prices are insane...and now peanuts and peanut butter are going to skyrocket like 40%! My big costs are in cream cheese and butter as I always use it in my buttercream. I did find at Sam's Club a big block of Philly Cream cheese for around $7...it's a big solid block that has the equivalent of six 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese which comes to about $1.16 per block. It's selling in the grocery store now for $2.50-pllus for one 8-ounce package!
I usually buy the 2lb package of C&H powdered sugar --and that's gone from $1.88 to now $2.50 but have discovered that the C&H one pound boxes run like 88 cents each! Duh! So I obviously have been buying the boxes and paying $1.76 for 2 pounds. But I'm sure all that's going to change soon.

MCurry Posted 3 Nov 2011 , 4:02pm
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

We tested several different types of cocoa powder but Special Dark was the best (and one of the cheapest). It is also dairy-free, and Hershey does a good job avoiding cross-contamination of allergens.

Unfortunately Amazon itself is out of stock right now, the third-party sellers on Amazon are priced considerably higher.




I agree with you on Hershey and allergies. I use for clients whose children have nut allergies.

CrumblesConfections Posted 3 Nov 2011 , 4:26pm
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannon100

Quote:
Quote:

I even went to the grocery store yesterday and bought a box cake for $2.09! I was in a hurry so I had to, but I wanted to cry! I remember complaining not long ago when those boxes were $.88 and $.99!



Crumbles, where in Houston are you shopping?? I bought several DH mixes yesterday for 1.06 at HEB in Katy. If you are near a Joe V's shop, they sometimes have them for .94 or .96 a box! Walmart has them for 1.14. But Kroger is over 1.50 a box for DH. Definitely look around for your best prices!!




Oh my!!! I better stay out of Kroger then!!! I'll be checking HEB. Where is Joe V's? I'm in Alief. I normally get them at Walmart, but was short on time and Kroger was the closest. And I hate to say this, but I did try Kroger brand cake mix and it was TERRIBLE. Didn't rise properly at all!!! So a little advice of caution on that because you don't want to end up in a pinch with that mix. Not bashing, just stating facts. But a few years ago, I ordered a box of cake mix from Amazon.com and that was the best thing I'd done. I think it had 24 boxes in there. I might go that route again since box cake seems to rise perfectly. I just add a few things here and there to adjust flavor as needed.

CrumblesConfections Posted 3 Nov 2011 , 4:29pm
post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

I'm in Seattle for work and my hotel is by a Cash and Carry. Oh man I wish I lived here! I bought a box of 100 6 inch cake circles for less than $5 and 500 Reynolds cupcake liners for $4.50. The also had Bettercreme by the gallon, Frostin Pride and Pastry Pride. The had the larger scale cake mixes by Krutz but they are about the same price as Walmart individual ones. I just can't believe how much cheaper they were on so many items. But sadly I can't fit much in my carry on. My sis is in Phoenix and they have Smart and Final. I just can't figure out why we don't have places like this in Texas.




Indeed. I hear folks all the time saying how they are buying in bulk, but quite honestly, most of our stores don't sell that way. Sam's Club and Costo are expensive on things like that, IMO. I'm spending a TON of $ on mixes and frosting. I should be making my own, but having a full time job and making cakes is hard because I can only work on them after work and by then, I'm beat and want the easiest way out, which isn't always the cheapest way out. If I buy from a distributor or something, the shipping cost is ridiculous, so I'm at a crossroads on what to do.

shannon100 Posted 3 Nov 2011 , 4:49pm
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrumblesConfections

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

I'm in Seattle for work and my hotel is by a Cash and Carry. Oh man I wish I lived here! I bought a box of 100 6 inch cake circles for less than $5 and 500 Reynolds cupcake liners for $4.50. The also had Bettercreme by the gallon, Frostin Pride and Pastry Pride. The had the larger scale cake mixes by Krutz but they are about the same price as Walmart individual ones. I just can't believe how much cheaper they were on so many items. But sadly I can't fit much in my carry on. My sis is in Phoenix and they have Smart and Final. I just can't figure out why we don't have places like this in Texas.



Indeed. I hear folks all the time saying how they are buying in bulk, but quite honestly, most of our stores don't sell that way. Sam's Club and Costo are expensive on things like that, IMO. I'm spending a TON of $ on mixes and frosting. I should be making my own, but having a full time job and making cakes is hard because I can only work on them after work and by then, I'm beat and want the easiest way out, which isn't always the cheapest way out. If I buy from a distributor or something, the shipping cost is ridiculous, so I'm at a crossroads on what to do.




Crumbles, Joe V's (http://joevsmartshop.com/) has several stores over the Houston area. You are probably within about 30 minutes of one wherever you are. (I'm not familiar with where Alief is.) They don't take cards though, so make sure you have cash or checks. (Or maybe it is only cash or debit card? I don't remember for sure. But they do limit how you can pay, to keep costs down.) Have you heard of the Cake Craft Shoppe in Sugarland? Their boxes and boards seemed to be a lot cheaper than Walmart and Hobby Lobby. It is a bit of a drive out there, but if you only go once a month, it might be worth it to stock up.

CrumblesConfections Posted 3 Nov 2011 , 5:21pm
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

I agree with all of this...these prices are insane...and now peanuts and peanut butter are going to skyrocket like 40%! My big costs are in cream cheese and butter as I always use it in my buttercream. I did find at Sam's Club a big block of Philly Cream cheese for around $7...it's a big solid block that has the equivalent of six 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese which comes to about $1.16 per block. It's selling in the grocery store now for $2.50-pllus for one 8-ounce package!
I usually buy the 2lb package of C&H powdered sugar --and that's gone from $1.88 to now $2.50 but have discovered that the C&H one pound boxes run like 88 cents each! Duh! So I obviously have been buying the boxes and paying $1.76 for 2 pounds. But I'm sure all that's going to change soon.




Hold the phone!!! $2.50 for the 8 oz cream cheese now!!! So cream cheese frosting must go up too! This sucks!!! I buy Walmart brand powdered sugar to cut some of the cost though. I don't see any difference in taste. I just sift it

CrumblesConfections Posted 3 Nov 2011 , 5:24pm
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannon100

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrumblesConfections

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

I'm in Seattle for work and my hotel is by a Cash and Carry. Oh man I wish I lived here! I bought a box of 100 6 inch cake circles for less than $5 and 500 Reynolds cupcake liners for $4.50. The also had Bettercreme by the gallon, Frostin Pride and Pastry Pride. The had the larger scale cake mixes by Krutz but they are about the same price as Walmart individual ones. I just can't believe how much cheaper they were on so many items. But sadly I can't fit much in my carry on. My sis is in Phoenix and they have Smart and Final. I just can't figure out why we don't have places like this in Texas.



Indeed. I hear folks all the time saying how they are buying in bulk, but quite honestly, most of our stores don't sell that way. Sam's Club and Costo are expensive on things like that, IMO. I'm spending a TON of $ on mixes and frosting. I should be making my own, but having a full time job and making cakes is hard because I can only work on them after work and by then, I'm beat and want the easiest way out, which isn't always the cheapest way out. If I buy from a distributor or something, the shipping cost is ridiculous, so I'm at a crossroads on what to do.



Crumbles, Joe V's (http://joevsmartshop.com/) has several stores over the Houston area. You are probably within about 30 minutes of one wherever you are. (I'm not familiar with where Alief is.) They don't take cards though, so make sure you have cash or checks. (Or maybe it is only cash or debit card? I don't remember for sure. But they do limit how you can pay, to keep costs down.) Have you heard of the Cake Craft Shoppe in Sugarland? Their boxes and boards seemed to be a lot cheaper than Walmart and Hobby Lobby. It is a bit of a drive out there, but if you only go once a month, it might be worth it to stock up.




Alief is close to West Oaks Mall. I've heard of Cake Craft Shoppe and been meaning to go. I'm not far from Sugarland at all! I'll have to find a Joe V's too. Any little bit helps! Thanks for the info!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%