Anyone Offer Both Box Mix And Scratch?

Business By shannon100 Updated 13 Nov 2011 , 12:35am by LoveMeSomeCake615

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shannon100 Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 3:26pm
post #1 of 12

I'm a modified box baker. I get RAVE reviews for my cakes. Everyone loves them. However, I'm noticing a trend towards non-processed foods. I was thinking of perfecting a couple of scratch recipes and offering them as "premium cakes" if anyone wanted scratch over box. Does anyone do this? I know some of the people who order from me would rather have a cheaper box cake, but some may pay more for scratch. I would have 2 different pricing structures and would make it clear that one side starts with a box and one is all scratch.

PLEASE do not start a scratch vs box debate on this thread!! I just want to know if anyone successfully does both!!

11 replies
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Kiddiekakes Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 5:22pm
post #2 of 12

I use mixes for my regular cakes but when I make a 3D cake I use a scratch chocolate and vanilla recipe.It holds up better and is denser and virtually no crumbs...

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nhbaker Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 6:25pm
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Some of my cakes are totally scratch and some are versions of WASC. I don't specifically point out which is which to my clients (it's not a secret either, if they ask, I'll tell them). And my most popular flavors are the WASC versions.

However, I don't charge any different for them. You indicated that you would say "one is totally from scratch, and one starts with a box" so does this mean you add stuff to the box mix (like WASC recipe). If so, they why does that make those cakes any cheaper than a scratch cake? Figuring in the mix and the ingredients you add would actually make it more expensive to make than a scratch cake, correct?

IMO if you offer scratch cakes as "premium" and charge more for them than your "mix" cakes, then the message you would be sending is that you other cakes are of inferior quality.

It it were me, I would just keep doing what you do. Most often, if a client prefers a scratch cake, they'll tell you. Then you can offer it to them, but I wouldn't charge more for it, it just doesn't seem right. I would stick with what is working -- as the saying goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

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bikemom3 Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 7:28pm
post #4 of 12

I offer both but no one knows which is which and I plan to keep it that way icon_biggrin.gif

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Lovelyladylibra Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 7:36pm
post #5 of 12

I offer both. Same price for both. And I have no problem openly admitting what is what

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ufo9978 Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 8:15pm
post #6 of 12

I offer both and some of my clients favs are also WASC versions.

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LNW Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 8:24pm
post #7 of 12

I'm not a legal baker so I can't answer your question personally. There is a small bakery in the city near me who bakes 100% from scratch (and they advertise the snot out of that) and many other's that bake from a mix. They all cost about the same. I looked into buying my son's birthday cake from the scratch bakery just to try it out (I've never had good scratch cake before) and their prices were the same as another very popular bakery in the city that bakes from a mix. I wouldn't charge more for your scratch cakes just because they are from scratch unless you are using expensive ingredients in them and they warrant the higher price. Plus having all those different prices is confusing to customers. What's that saying, keep it simple stupid icon_wink.gif

BTW, your taco cupcakes are the coolest darn things I've ever seen! What a neat idea!

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shannon100 Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 9:24pm
post #8 of 12

Thanks, everyone. I guess I've just seen so many posts that definitely make box bakers seem inferior, and even though I KNOW my cakes are AMAZING, it's hard to not question it sometimes, you know? I think I'll just continue with my modified box mixes unless someone specifically asks for scratch. The only reason I thought I'd charge more for scratch is because I could do a box mix in my sleep, but I've failed miserably at a few scratch cakes. I want to keep trying until I can figure it out though. It seems to take so much more care with the mixing to get it perfect, so I thought the increased time to get it to the oven should be covered somehow.


BTW, your taco cupcakes are the coolest darn things I've ever seen! What a neat idea!

Thanks! I got the idea from the galleries here. They were a huge hit at a tex-mex themed pot luck lunch. icon_smile.gif So easy too!! I've only made them once, but hopefully now that I'm a legal business, someone will order them so I can make them again!! (I haven't updated my pics on here in a while. Guess I should do that! I've gotten a lot better lately!)

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cakelady2266 Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 10:07pm
post #9 of 12

For the basic flavors like white, butter, chocolate etc... I use DH. I also have a line of specialty cakes that are scratch and are more dessert type cakes (apple, carrot, Italian cream etc). The specialty cakes are priced higher than the box mixes.

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snowynight Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 10:31pm
post #10 of 12

I have offered both box and scratch for many years and no one has ever complained. Now I do doctor up a box mix with maybe an extra egg or extra vanilla but that is only when I am mixing two. Either way my customers always come back and that makes me happy. icon_biggrin.gif

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jason_kraft Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 11:28pm
post #11 of 12

There's nothing wrong with offering premium products, but I wouldn't position them on the basis of box vs. scratch. For one thing, there can be a negative connotation to box mix cakes among some consumers, so it may not be something you want to specifically advertise (although of course answer truthfully if a customer asks).

When positioning a premium line it's a good practice to focus on the specific higher quality ingredients used in each premium product instead of the process used to make the product, unless the process itself is a value-add (e.g. a Kosher certified process).

You'll also want to avoid cannibalization...ideally each of your product lines will compete for separate target markets, otherwise some of your marketing spend will go towards competing against yourself.

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LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 12:35am
post #12 of 12

We do both mix and scratch, it just depends on the flavor. We do have different pricing, but it's not determined by whether it's box or scratch. Our first tier of pricing is our basic flavors- white, yellow, chocolate, and marble. Something like carrot cake or white chocolate cake is priced slightly higher per serving because of the more expensive ingredients, i.e. nuts or white chocolate.

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