Home Baked Goods

Bakery businesses have grown tremendously over the last few years, though it has been around for awhile. Traditional bakers have been offering standard products like cakes, pastry, biscuits and locally baked specialties since the time of British era. Each state has its own specialty being recognised as routine products be it nan khatai, atta biscuits, marori etc.

A new genre of entrepreneurs - home bakers – growing at tremendous pace, has created ripples in the market offering their unique creations of cakes, cupcakes and cookies f r o m home. Today they have grown as a strong competition to regular retail bakeries and even franchises. Home bakers, mainly women, have gained sufficient skill and knowledge of making bakery products by educating themselves in major bakery academies in India and around the world. Today they are even entrepreneurs running successful bakery outlets in major cities of India. Above knowledge they have passion for creating innovative products and trying new techniques and ingredients for their creations.

According to Chef Rishabh Anand, Pastry Chef, The Leela Palace Delhi, “Home Bakers put their warmth & skill to bake bread and cakes. Home bakers choose appropriate ingredients for taste and health. Mostly they bake for regular clients thus don’t compromise on the quality. And there is completely different feel of the aroma of freshly baked breads and cakes. Home bakers take lot of care to produce a single dish”.

The bakery schools like, Academy of Pastry Arts (Delhi, Mumbai & Bengaluru), Levonne ()Bengaluru), Whitecaps (Bengaluru), School of European Pastry (Mumbai) and lots of regional players having affiliation to City Guild offering vocational & technical qualifications and apprenticeships are acting as catalyst in promoting baking as a profession.

Chef Balendra Singh, Founder, Institute of Bakery & Pastry Arts (IBPA) states, “Home bakers are more popular than standard bakeries because they have their unique products. Home baker use less chemicals, preservatives and artificial flavours than the commercial bakery. Home bakers are more reliable source and they give best quality item as per client’s requirements. They are closely known to the clients thus offer them a personal touch. One can order easily f r o m home baker as they have flexible menu and easy delivery system”. 

Traditionally high-end bakery & pastry products were either produced in big hotels by Pastry Chefs or select bakeries in large towns. But now with more avenues opening up there is a large number of home bakers who have started baking customised products. Women who are baking f r o m their homes are not just baking cakes but cupcakes and even cookies to meet the client’s needs and demands. They are also replacing traditional ‘mithai’ as gifts for festivals like Diwali by producing new baked items & even chocolate products. 

Hobby to Business

Home bakers, today have taken the bakery market by a storm for a number of reasons. Many home bakers started baking only as hobby and passion are now started developing business model to monetise their hobby. Especially during major seasons they are the busiest lot producing for festivals, weddings and corporate events. 

Home bakers constitute a small and unorganised part of the larger baking industry. The home bakers on an average take up around 4-6 orders per week, depending on design and size. There is no dearth of orders but the home bakers do like to limit how many bakes they do per week.

Being an unorganised sector, pricing is not an issue nor is standardised. The bakers have their own method of pricing based upon the ingredients they use, the design and the quantity. On an average, a cake of about 3-5 kgs takes somewhere between 6-12 hours of effort which is usually spread across days. The experts and experienced home bakers take lesser time than the ones who are new to baking. Starting f r o m discussion on the design, finalising the design, execution of the design till delivery, it is a process that requires hard work and attention to detail. The more intricate the design the more you pay for the craft. In fact you would be surprised to know that there are trained professionals who are known as cake artists. 

According to Prakash Sanghvi, Director, Delta Nutritives Pvt. Ltd., “Home bakers like to work with ingredients which have better shelf life, which are easier to store and not very costly in terms of pricing. As far as quality is concerned sometime they tend to compromise on ingredients. Since they are making products themselves they tend to maintain quality and creativity. Since they are home bakers their investment is very minimal thus they can offer competitive prices”.

“Home bakers are very experimental. They create very exotic products and always customise for clients, products like cakes in jars, sugar free, theme based cakes, gluten free, vegan free, keto diet products and apart f r o m this some special breads like brioche and may be different type of cakes, cookies etc. Home bakers don’t bake in bulk so their pricing are always a little higher than f r o m standard bakeries. Thus sometimes it is difficult to convince customers on the Pricing vs. Creativity, Designs and Presentation”, asserts Chef Balendra Singh.

Chef Rishabh Anand believes, “Home Bakers have pricing issue with clients because they are confronted on adding a ‘Value Tab’ on what they are offer”.

Home bakers are normally customer centric and try to offer personalised creations for special moments crafted to create an unforgettable experience. These special occasions can be birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, corporate events or major festivals. Though customised cakes are not new to India, over the past decade home bakers have been actively baking and crafting cakes.

According to Chef Balendra Singh, “Home bakers keep themselves updated by joining short courses at any Baking schools. They also keep themselves tuned to online videos and classes. They subscribe to many tutorials which are available online”.

Customising Preferences  

Most cakes are full of sugar, refined flours and preservatives. There was a need for a healthier take on the treats we all crave. Also the market for vegetarian and eggless cakes is increasing exponentially. With home bakers around they offer plenty of freshly baked brownies, cookies, cakes to suit the customer requirements. The market for high end cakes across the country is increasing at high pace. There is a need for customisation and personalisation of cakes and home bakers are perfect solution for the same. It thus, represents a product which is unique to taste and liking of individuals. Here are the top 5 reasons, why home bakers are changing the bakery market:

Quality - Home bakers choose to bake every bread, every piece of cake with appropriate ingredients to taste and health, just the way they bake it for family. Home bakers thus, have always assured their products to have a hundred per cent check on quality.

Pricing - As home bakery is run by individuals and not a part of any commercial setup every ingredient is handpicked, assuring the quality of the ingredients at affordable prices. Since home bakeries are run keeping a pocket friendly approach and it is thus available to a larger number of customers than any regular commercial bakery. 

Personalised – Each and every order prepared by a home baker begins only after the order has been placed and confirmed. This further ensures that every order is freshly made for every individual customer. Thus, each and every product produced by home bakers has an element of freshness, love as well as creativity. And what is better than the aroma of freshly baked breads and cakes?

Convenience - Home delivery has come as a magic wand for overseas customers as they can show their love by sending goodies to their home town. With the advent of technology in our hyperactive world, e-commerce is assuring ease and perfection in every field. Home bakers; today too have taken up e-commerce as a mode to reach out to maximum customers. It has been playing an important role in delivering every product with ease and in perfect condition. Many home bakers these days therefore provide on door availability of cake or other goodies at desired destination

Home bakers do prove to have an edge over the regular commercial bakers. The drool-worthy chocolate cookies, almond-glazed cake, honey-cake with walnut as well as lemon are just a few things we love and should not be missed upon. So, if you love decadent chocolate cakes, treat yourself to the finest f r o m some of the best home bakers in town.

Limitations & Challenges

“The market for high end cakes across the country is increasing at a seemingly high pace. Clients want customisation and personalisation of cakes and other baker’s delight. It thus, represents a product which is unique in taste and liking of individuals. Home bakers stand out and take the challenge to cater to customers’ needs by focussing and designing each order individually, whether it’s related to cake design, icing, pricing, hamper, packaging, cake table setup for their grand or small occasion or just giving in to their sweet tooth occasionally”, states Chef Rishabh Anand.

According to Chef Balindra Singh, “since home baking is a part time business, bakers have to strike a balance between their routine work and baking”. They normally face major limitations & challenges like:

Limited capital: They cannot compete with standard bakers as they have less capital and therefore less investments opportunities for machinery and tools.

Lack of space: Since they operate f r o m home, they cannot install big machines and equipments.

Lack of Promotions: They cannot market their product aggressively as standard bakers can. They mostly rely on personal contacts and word of mouth.

Limited range of products: Most home bakers specialise in few products and therefore do not offer full range of bakery items.

Low shelf life: Since all products are customised they cannot be sold to other customers, therefore unsold products are unsold. 

Pricing: Customer always compare their price with what is available in the bakery shops.

Time constraint: Since they work on limited time frame and resources, they cannot generate large quantities.

“Since they are working f r o m home they have space crunch. Most of them have limitations in growing the business as they are mostly homemakers also, alongside doing their small profession as bakers”, states Prakash Sanghvi.

Business Promotions

Internet has played a major role in the promotion of the home bakers which provides huge exposure to them. Social media has helped home bakers to reach out to a bigger niche of audiences. In the earlier times it was only the commercial bakeries which were widely available.  However, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms are adding to the popularity of home bakers. Home bakers have started surfacing on internet, being more available to one and all by displaying their products online.

Chef Rishabh Anand agrees, “Home bakers promote themselves through Social media like face book, instagram, twitter and other social sites. They regularly post and share their creations on these platforms. Home bakers also create their own website and post new creations”.

Residential target market forms a major consumer segment of bakeries. If Home Bakers establish their quality along with the pricing and availability, the word of mouth will do the rest. “

Chef Balendra Singh adds, “Major market that is targeted by home bakers is within friends, relatives and neighbours. It is important to create a share for your products among clients through word of mouth and special promotions during occasions and festivals”.

According to Prakash Sanghvi, “Home bakers follow social media; sometimes they attend workshops by renowned bakers and also visit all types of bakery expos”.

The market for high-end cakes is certainly growing in Delhi NCR and other metro cities. Indian customers are developing a taste for high-quality products, 

According to Technopak cakes and bakery products is one of the fastest growing food segments, growing at a rate of 20-25% annually. Industry players put the size of the market at Rs 850 crore in the organised HoReCa (hotels/ restaurants /catering) segment.  Indian consumers, especially millennials, are very comfortable with international cuisines and flavours and patronise established brands as much as new bakeries and home bakers. 

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