So, I have been using plain white cardboard boxes I buy in bulk from a wholesaler to pack my cakes in. I use the ones with 1 dozen cupcake inserts as well.
I did some really nice cupcakes for Valentine's and the lady who I did them for agreed with her friend that my packaging needs sprucing up. She said to me "Packaging is everything! It can make or break your business" So far, I just put my business logo sticker in the middle of the plain white box.
What do you all do? Do you spend money for those fancy colourful or pink boxes from a company like Brp box shop and tie ribbon or bows on boxes or do you go with the most cost-effective packaging for your cakes, cupcakes and cookies which would be the plain white boxes with no froo-froo?
Great question. I've been going back and forth between the two. In my bid to decide, I've looked at what the most popular cupcake shops are using, almost all use simple packaging (white or brown natural boxes) with the distinguishing factor being that their logo is printed on (vs. using a sticker with the logo on it).
I see the economic benefit of keeping it simple and keeping costs down, but I also see the draw of fancy packaging. The big question is can you absorb the cost without hurting your profit margin too much? I know some might say pass it on to the client but that is only possible if your product isn't already at the threshold of what your market can handle.
My business answer: the purpose of having fancy packaging is to entice someone to buy a product sitting on a shelf for sale on impulse because it's pretty, cool, or recognizable with your brand. Or you may need to invest in a type of package for transport purposes (I'm dealing with this headache right now - mass selling individual desserts that won't get munched up at delivery) . But a lot of the packaging, especially for cupcakes, is so over the top and not functional - and expensive! I think if you have a store with a window display or have product on a shelf somewhere it's important to have something signature on your box and maybe invest in a few bells and whistles. But if you are a custom baker or home baker where all your product is made to order, I think a simple efficient box is all you need. The client ordered your cake without seeing a box - they aren't going to hand the cake back to you or not order from you in the future because the box isn't fancy enough.
I order from BRP but only because my cakes are too tall to fit in a standard 5" tall cake box - I need the 6". The added cost is minimal from if I bought at the restaurant supply store. And I don't do cupcake inserts.
Another thing I've seen is instead of using labels is get a big rubber stamp made of your logo and use that instead. It's actually much more cost effective then getting labels printed! I'll probably do that myself once I run thru the 5000 labels I had made a while ago.
Hey FromScratch, How do you box your cuppies without the insert? I've been dying to stop using them, but I don't want the darned things sliding around in someones car...
I use the plain boxes from BRP and use stickers that have my logo/info on them. The windowed brown boxes for cupcakes and the plain white ones for cakes. I don't even want to know what it would cost to get pre-printed boxes made! And while I love the pink ones on BRP, I don't think it's worth the added expense.
If I'm doing a vendor event, I'll tie a ribbon (the cheap kind from the party store) around it with a bow and one of my cards hole-punched attached to it. I've actually had a lot of compliments on the "presentation" when I do this and it's super cheap and easy. Maybe that's a quick way to spruce it up - just tie a ribbon around it? You could even get fancy and get ribbon printed with your logo (but maybe not since that's probably mucho expensive...).
I get the 10x10x4 window box, it fits 12 cupcakes perfectly, and 24 minis in 4 rows of 5 and 4 in the last row (but my minis are larger then average) - if you make bon bon sized minis they would probably be too small. RE regular sized - the way they fit in there they will maybe move a little bit, but not enough to fall over and never have - I bonzai thru the city with a cargo full of cupcake boxes and have never had one fall over or even mess up the butercream. I always frost and decorate my cuppies after they are in the box. I am able to use the same sized box for all cupcakes and I completely skip the inserts. Cost effective, functional and looks just fine.
I had a friend that also ran a cake business here that moved to the UK, she gave me all her old boxes and she used cupcake inserts. I though I'd give them a try - my cupcakes popped out and fell over every time I tried to use them. Even just moving the box from one table to the other they'd fall over! I have no idea how others use them... the ones I have are collecting dust and as far as my business plan goes, a waste of money and trees.
What size liners do you use for your mini cupcakes? I was at a bridal fair several years ago and a company had nice big mini cupcakes for samples. I would love to use those at a show but could never find them.
And I use:
The Wilton mini is 3 minis to 1 regular cupcake. The above is 2 minis to 1 regular cupcake.
thanks for the links!
Wow thanks for the links. Look how this thread proved to be so helpful. Glad so many of you all chimed in.
I echo the thanks!
I echo what From Scratch said about packaging. I have pretty packaging for my impulse items, or for my items that are typically gift items, but I use typical white flimsy boxes, either taped, or with a rubber-band, depending on size. I think it would be cute to have packaging, but I am too cheap. I have a stamp with by business info on it that cost $32 at Staples, and another I spent $4 on and $8 on a stamp pad, to add some color.
BUT, a Gigi's Cupcakes just opened in the area, about 5 miles from me. A friend and frequent customer of mine text me she was going there, gushed about the inside of the place, and then sent me pictures of the box, brochure, business card, and the cupcakes after she left... She says its very upscale and fancy and decadent and indulgent and yadda yadda...I was eaten alive with sorrow for about 30 seconds, (I have a retail location going in after the first of the year, about 1 mile from there) then saw the cupcake and heard the price. The box and bag it comes in is BEAUTIFUL!!! you'll have to Google it, if not, I may add a pic, but the cupcake had about 3 times more icing than cake, and they were sloppy and blobby with jimmies on them. And they are $3.25 a piece. Mine are super cute cupcakes, with just enough icing, filled, and $2 each. In a white box, no insert. I have NO fear that there will still be people who will come to me.
When I asked her about the flavor, she said they were delicious, but she said the presentation was what she loved about them. So there are those kinds of people out there... I'd rather pay $16 less a box of them, and have a plain white box, that the turquoise and pink one with the printed bow.
From Scratch, it sounds like you have either the plastic inserts or really awful ones. They shouldn't fall over. If you ever want to use them, you might try some diffwerent ones.
Nope, not plastic - they are the cardboard inserts that everyone uses.
I don't think they are made by the same manufacturer and I bet you could find some that would work, it you ever wanted to. I don't see how it could be your cupcakes unless there's something different about them.
And I forgot to post my 2 cents before -- I mostly use plastic containers like the grocery stores. They are ugly, but keep the cc's moist. I get them from Cuptainers
I just wanted to say thanks to "From Scratch" for turning me onto boxes with no liners!! I have hated those liners, because they are too tall and they cut off the tops of the cupcakes. So for years, I've been cutting down each and every darned one!! This Christmas I went "commando" and WOW no one even noticed! I love that I am using fewer boxes and SMALLER boxes!! Overall, I think it looks better to have a compact box with a dozen cakes in it, than a giant box with 12 CC or worse 2 boxes.
I'm in love with this usage! Thank you for sharing so generously!
I buy plastic cupcake cases (I think from Paper Mart) and I love them! No assembly required and you can see the cupcakes without opening the lids. I have 12 packs, 6 packs, and 4 packs. Every cake or cupcake order that leaves my business will have a label on it with my contact information (you can see it on the picture I've attached here). I actually just printed up a whole bunch of return address labels and put my business info on it (from Vistaprint) instead of getting custom stickers and so I have a ton of them ready to put on every box, tray, or container. Then, I also put a handful of postcards or business cards with my info on it for them to pass out at the gathering in case anyone wants to contact me. I don't do really any advertising (at least no paid advertising) and I have a steady business by just word of mouth. I hope that helps :) Happy caking!
I use the plastic containers too and I love them....but this April I am going to a festival that is for Earth Day so everything is about recycling and etc....so I was thinking about for the festival to get boxes, so they are biodegradable and etc...thoughts on those?
And I use:
The Wilton mini is 3 minis to 1 regular cupcake. The above is 2 minis to 1 regular cupcake.
just as an aside, Just Sugar Coat It has the heavy brown mini paper with a 1.5" base http://www.justsugarcoatit.com/mini_brown_baking_cups_p/mbbc96.htm
Thanks for the link to the whites. These are tough to find in the wider base. I found some little 12-spot pans from Kitchen Aid at Target that have the wider base.
On the topic of boxes, if it is a present cake or a may be for a new customer I will use my standard craft brown brp box with logo sticker and a ribbon tied around it. I stock up on spools of ribbon in logo colors at the dollar store on on seasonal clearances to use for this. There is a bit of extra specialness in pulling open a bow to get to your special cake. But it really depends on the situation.