Opportunity in COVID-19 times
The other day we had some candid conversations with our patrons, friends and followers – the home bakers from different cities. We feel very lucky when such creative minds spare time to share the experience during such topical times. It is an experience in itself to sail through COVID times and make it business as usual.
Interestingly the demand from home baking items saw little dip in the initial start of lockdown but then it worked in their favour. People do care. That was the common conclusion by home bakers as the demand for home baked cakes was steady.
Business as usual
One thing is very common among home bakers we spoke with is that they are always bubbling with every when it comes to cake and baking related topics. According to bakers cake making is not a job but a source of life for them. The amount of satisfaction they derive from the whole process of cake making is unmatched in work they were involved previously. They could deal with any challenges in life, an COVID-19 gave them another opportunity to learn and unlearn life in different ways.
The Opportunities near them
As per home bakers across India (small and big cities / towns), they feel baking is the best way to contribute goodness in society. We agree, and that is the reason for the existence of apnacake.
Across pincode the demand for quality cakes and bakery is only increasing by day. People look for quality cakes – quick and readymade as per their design and linkings. However more campaigns are needed as right knowledge of home bakers is a challenge and customers find it difficult to find bakers near them. Sometimes abundance of choice is also a challenge for customers and home bakers lose out on opportunity.
Home bakers wanted to create a strong brand presence in their cities. They agree that apart from being creative they look forward to creating a lasting relationship with customers at pin code levels.
Customers love innovations – artisanal cakes that are preservative free, margarine free, and have no artificial flavours. Home bakers are constantly learning and teaching fellow bakers different ways to make tasty and quality cakes. Innovation is not restricted to making cakes, it is extended how home bakers are creating the brand presence in their cities. How they are packaging the demand into beautiful looking cakes. Innovating the way to reach out to customers and repeat customers. The comes communication – very important in times when everything is not explanatory. Story telling works and so in the home baking market. Cake is a great way to create a story for customers.
In the digital world social selling is the way to go. Home bakers adopt themselves accordingly, however they feel it sometimes becomes too many things on the plate while baking cakes perfectly.
Overall home bakers emphasised on three main things – Networking, Influencer and Customer knowledge. We will break it down one by one.
Networking is one of the top priorities to connect the right customers. Networking happens via online and off-line events, group meet-ups, competitions such as “Cake Artist of the Year 2019” and “Young Rising Chef – All India 2019).
Influencer – Home bakers across cities believe influencers play a big part for them. They hire bloggers, content writers to do the job for them. Some take out time to do themselves while others find family members helping them. It is still an extra cost and time for them. But there is no escape :). In apnacake we encourage home bakers to get more comments and ratings in the listings – this will enhance their brand presence and influence customer decisions.
There are customers who don’t like going out much and during lockdown they were pushed further to stay at home. Food was one common connection that glued families together during the pandemic, many home bakers were busy during this period, add one home baker from Uttar Pradesh. Apnacake witnessed a surge in website visitors during the lockdown. Customers in the age group of 30 to 50 years are searching for home bakers, someone who understands the importance of quality and homemade products. Customers were happy getting customised cakes near home during this challenging time.
The ultimate goal of home bakers is to convert the demand into sales month on month. While they do it successfully being single handedly taking care from baking to marketing and making sure customers like every piece of cake! There are few concerns or challenges among the home bakers. Top three concerns according to home bakers we spoke to are Delivery, Getting the Bakery ingredients and Marketing their home bakery brand to customers. There are few more but those could be clubbed under these three major categories. It also depends on the location / city specific issues. Though Marketing got the least vote among the home bakers, it still a significant challenge to reach the right customer and make the brand presence.
The apnacake survey, in which founders and sugar crafters for different home bakery brands from different pin codes of India participated, was conducted via telephone and online. The home bakers collectively impact millions of lives, bringing happiness and added sweetness via awesome cakes.
Home baking is very passionate work where hard work is fun if you get the Fondant right :)))