A reader writes:
So. What do you think of the TU’s article on the latest Cupcake Craze? Is it a “flash in the pan” trend or do you think it will stick?
Shannon from Averill Park
Well, “Shannon” (if that’s your real name), it’s funny you should ask me this question about cupcakes. Well, to be brutally honest, it wasn’t funny when you ORIGINALLY sent the question (back in April – sorry), but it’s funny now.
This evening, whilst driving home from a picnic in Schenectady Central Park (Schenectady’s Crown Jewel), I was listening to a podcast of one of my favorite radio shows, “Good Food” from KCRW in Los Angeles. The host, Evan Kleiman, was interviewing the owner of a strange little website called Cupcake Fetish. It touts itself as “the most comprehensive cupcake directory and cupcake review website!” Hm.
Apparently, this woman decided to embark upon a cross-country journey (she called it the “Cupcake Crawl”), sampling the wares at every cupcake joint she and her traveling partner could find. Who knew there was even such a thing as a cupcake joint? I knew about the infamous Magnolia Bakery in NYC, and the Sprinkles Cupcakes franchise and mail-order shop, but I had no idea that this was an certified food movement.
This website actually has a mapping tool to help you locate THE CUPCAKE RETAILER CLOSEST TO YOUR LOCATION. Seriously. Just look at this ridiculous website’s stats:
690 stores in 17 countries
342 cupcake reviews
83,717 Unique Visitors
Do we really need this? Come on. It’s cake. Little cake. YOU CAN MAKE THEM AT HOME!
But based on those stats, the quest for the cupcake has become a food movement, my friends. I guess it just hasn’t moved to upstate NY yet. There’s not a pin on that map within 150 miles of here, in any direction.
So, to answer your question “Shannon”, I just don’t know. It seems kinda silly, doesn’t it? All this fuss over cupcakes? In my humble opinion, I think that there’s a limit to the effectiveness of niche marketing. There’s only so much you can do to a cupcake, and when people get tired of them and move on to the next trendy thing, POOF! That’s the end of your business.
I remain skeptical. It’s most likely because I DIDN’T THINK OF IT FIRST.
What’s next, you ask? My guess is this: cooking with soil (aka DIRT). Trust me on this one – it’s gonna happen.