Since the COVID-19 pandemic was hard for everyone, people turned to different kinds of comfort, including baked goods. It’s normal for people to seek comfort food when they’re stressed. And in the time of COVID-19, cookies, cakes, and pastries became the pick-me-up of many. As such, a lot of people also started their own baked goods businesses. It served as both their lifeline and source of joy.
True enough, baking ingredients saw a spike in demand during the pandemic. Interest in bread-making particularly soared; yeast sales in the U.S. jumped to a whopping 647% in March 2020. Due to the high demand for ingredients, some consumers reported experiencing difficulty while buying them. Hence, they resorted to baking mixes, which saved them time and money.
But to those who started a baked goods business, mixes were, of course, not an option. And the lucky ones had their hard work pay off. They successfully grew their business and turned it into a secure source of income. If you’re one of them, chances are you’re looking into serious expansion: mass-producing your baked goods.
Realistically speaking, though, a one-year-old business is probably not yet ready to expand at that scale. But it doesn’t mean you can’t put it in your goals. If your products were a big hit and your brand made its mark in the industry, you’re by all means fit to mass-produce in the future.
But homemade is different from mass-produced. Your baked goods may hint at flavor and quality changes when it’s a machine that has made them. Still, it’s not a reason to scale down your goals. You need to make the right considerations before mass-producing.
And speaking of just that here’s everything you need to consider:
1. The Market
Data from 2020 shows promising prospects for aspiring bakery owners. Sales of small cakes grew by 12%, thanks to the rise of smaller celebrations. Sales of muffins and snack cakes also increased.
According to David Roach, president of the snacking/specialty business unit for Flowers Foods, the high demands have kept even the nimblest of bakers busy. So if you’re just about to start a baked goods business, you’d either see steep sales fast or struggle in the tough competition.
Either way forecasts still look bright. Andy Jacobs, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hostess Brands, believes that there would be many fundamental shifts in consumer behavior that will help sell packaged baked goods over the next few years. So as long as there’s a market, your goal of mass-producing your baked goods remains feasible.
Mass-producing requires you to lease a manufacturing plant. You can lease one that comes with equipment or buy your own equipment separately. Some equipment suppliers may allow you to lease instead of buying.
The equipment you’ll need is industrial-grade ones. Your mixers and ovens at home will no longer suffice. Below is the most important equipment:
- Industrial cooling racks: whatever goods you’re baking, cooling racks are essential tools.
- Dredger: if you’d rather manually sprinkle powdered sugar or any other powdered ingredient to your baked goods, you need dredgers, probably at least a dozen of them.
- Icing smoother: again, you’d probably need at least a dozen unless you’d customize cake orders yourself.
- Industrial mixers: there are three main types of mixers for commercial baking. The horizontal mixer is for producing the largest amount of dough in the shortest time; the spiral mixer is a more flexible type, used for mixing dough for less friction; and lastly, the planetary mixer is more common in home kitchens, but it can be useful in the industrial setting too. It can mix other substances besides dough.
- Industrial single-head piston fillers: these are for depositing viscous ingredients to your baked goods. It can be custard, cream cheese, jams, and the like.
- Conveyor belts: for transporting the baked goods to another equipment or the delivery vans.
This equipment, coupled with the manufacturing plant, can hurt your pockets, so research carefully before putting your money on anything.
Finally, consider what quality changes your products may adopt after mass production. Generally speaking, people prefer homemade baked goods over commercial ones. Ingredients in homemade baked goods are often better in quality and lower in calories, sugars, and fats. However, mass-produced ones are cheaper and more readily available.
Determine if your market prioritizes cost more than quality and nutrient content. That’s not to say that mass-producing your baked goods will automatically degrade its quality, but it’s possible if you’d tamp down its costs too much. Otherwise, you can keep making the same products your loyal customers have known and loved. But then again, mass-producing will really change the quality because you have to use preservatives. If your customers don’t have issues with that, then you’re likely ready to take the leap as soon as the opportunity comes.