The FINANCIAL — No matter what industry you represent it’s always a cake that determines the sweetness of your business. Elit Electronics leading retail sales net in Georgia sent several dozens of cakes on St. Nicolas Day last week. As Marie-Antoinette said “let them eat cake” – not as abstract a phrase as you may think. Today companies and organizations not only compete on corporate levels but also by the cakes that they have at their corporate events.
According to 2008 figures the number of companies offering corporate cakes in Georgia is growing.
“This business is developing and we anticipate it will grow even further. In general it is profitable enough to prompt competition and particularly for company events. The most major competitors are Goodwill, Smile X and ITI-Ideali .We have a Quality Management System – ISO 9001:2000 with HACCP Conception in pace,” says Giorgi Turmanidze, Project Manager of MGroup, HoReCa management company.
“It’s profitable for us because we usually deliver not only corporate cake but we do a full-range catering service too. Goodwill does not consider others as competitors in this specific field. There are several companies who offer corporate cakes and catering services, but we are the only ones who use more than 80% imported ingredients from Europe (mostly from Italy and France) and thus we have the dominant position on the market,” Vano Kandelaki, Managing Director of Hypermarket Goodwill, told The FINANCIAL.
Goodwill has 20 orders per month on average for corporate cakes. The average price is GEL 800-1,000, so the potential average monthly revenues are GEL 16,000-20,000.
Confectionary shop ITI-Ideali has been on the market for 15 years. As Nana Shengelia, Executive Director of ITI, says, “The corporate cake business is becoming more and more profitable as the demand is increasing.”
“Cakes for corporate events have become highly demanded in the last 3 years. The visual side of our cakes may not be as attractive as of our competitors, but we have an advantage in taste, plus we use totally natural products. Our pricing strategy is offering the same but for a lower price. The average price for corporate cakes is from GEL 300 to 500,” adds Nana Shengelia.
“We don’t use much of advertising to promote our cakes. I think it’s the kind of business where word of mouth has more importance. Nearly 95% of our clients hear about ITI from other satisfied customers. Among our clients are such companies as Bank of Georgia, Airzena, PSP, ICI Paris, the Police Force and others. The strategy mentioned above seems to be working. The demand is rising and we are going to expand our bakery in 2009.”
The costs and prices are different. As M-Group representative stated, it costs GEL 150 on average and the price range is from GEL 100 to 200. At Goodwill the average price is GEL 800-1,000 or approx. GEL 3-5 per person.
“We have a group of pastry chefs who work together in the so called “creative department”; in this group we have a professional designer, painter, artist – and this combined knowledge and experience helps them to create beautiful corporate or wedding cakes. Our pastry is equipped with modern technologies .We have all the necessary equipment and ingredients to make marzipan, chocolate, caramel and fruit cakes,” states Vano Kandelaki.
Figures show that chocolate cakes are the most demanded on the Georgian market. For Goodwill it’s mostly chocolate vs. wedding cakes with fruit. For M-Group chocolate cakes account for 60 to 70% of all cakes ordered.
As experience shows companies use cakes with a company or product logo when launching a new brand or similar-such celebration. They try to create an impact, personalize and reaffirm the importance of their staff. The main thing here is that events can be thoughtfully commemorated in a distinguished and creative way.
According to experts, baking these kinds of cakes takes 3-4 hours on average. Cakes normally combine some kind of flour, a sweetening agent (commonly sugar), a binding agent (generally egg, though gluten or starch are often used by vegetarians), fats (usually butter, or margarine, although a fruit purée such as applesauce is sometimes substituted to avoid using fat), a liquid (milk, water or fruit juice), flavours and some form of leavening agent (such as yeast or baking powder), though many cakes lack these ingredients and instead rely on air bubbles in the dough to expand and cause the cake to rise. Cakes are often frosted with butter cream or marzipan, and completed with piped borders and crystallized fruit.
Goodwill says the most expensive cake was for the presentation of the Axis Towers Project, which cost GEL 2,000. The largest order was the U.S. Marine Department cake, which was for 600 persons.
“Among our clients on the Georgian market are: TBC Bank, Bank Republic, Geocell, Georgian Events, PSP, Axis, Prive Shop, Iberia Motors, orders from Governmental institutions, and others,” says the Managing Director of Goodwill.
For M-Group the most expensive corporate cake cost GEL 2,500. The largest cake baked was for Geocell.
“Also it should be mentioned that since we do not have a professional school for pastry chefs in the country, we invest in our personnel, each of them has the working experience of at least 8 years in this field. They regularly undergo several master classes; we invite pastry chefs from Europe. Also they attend different seminars abroad,” explains Vano Kandelaki.
“For Christmas and New Year we offer Gingerbread with Christmas decorations, Moonlight Sonata, Chocolate Rhapsody, Fruit Tarts, French Palena with chocolate and Christmas decorations, Italian Pan d’oro with chocolate, etc.”
Another use for a cake may be as a present. Deciding what to give your business clients for a holiday present can be a puzzling task. Your gift should be tasteful and unforgettable. Plus it should promote your company’s good name.
Written By Levan Lomtadze