Baking Time Club
Founded in 2016, Baking Time Club sells high-quality baking supplies via a subscription service and direct to consumers online, via our website, Etsy, and Amazon. We sell tools like cookie cutters and patterned rolling pins, on trend food themed gifts, such as unicorn lapel pins, plus a range of cake sprinkles, in colour themed mixes, which are gluten and dairy free.
Founded by Lavinia Drake a keen baker and vegan, Lavinia discovered the “free-from” cake sprinkles she needed did not exist, so she created three initial colourful mixes to test the market. The first pack sold within 18 minutes of being shared on Instagram. This led way for the Sprinkle Subscription and the growth of Baking Time Club’s future.
Baking Time Club’s mission is to become a globally recognised baking brand through creating imaginative and fun baking supplies and gifts for the less traditional baker, while addressing “free from” dietary requirements.
We create unique mixes of cake sprinkles and on-trend baking supplies, offering customers products which we believe are unusual to find in supermarkets. We think that our cake sprinkle subscription is comfortably niche and fulfils a gap in the market for bakers who want new cake decorations which are suitable for Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Halal and Kosher diets.
We are offering a number of rewards for investors in this round:
£10 - £100 = 30% off x 1 code
£101 - £500 = 40% x 2 codes
£501 - £1000 = 50% x 2 codes
£1001 - £5000 = 60% x 3 codes
£5001 + = 70% off x 4 codes
Investors will receive personalised codes. Discount valid on any full price order or subscription. (Maximum order value £1000 before discount). Codes will be valid for 1 year from issue.
Substantial accomplishments to date
We believe our business model was proven from week one of our website going live. Since October 2016 we have been developing our own baking products. To test the market and establish price points we have sold some other brand products, through low volume orders at high cost price. We are now in a position to expand our range of own brand products, for which we have identified suitable factories to fulfil our production requirements. We expect that Baking Time Club will benefit from lower product costs yielding a higher profit margin, over reselling.
Sold over 1800 units.
Shipped to 25 countries.
Launched a Subscription Service without any paid advertising; we have 20 paying subscribers, which has just seen its 4th dispatch to subscribers in the UK, Denmark and USA.
Released 14 unique cake sprinkle mixes.
Received an average 5* customer review on Etsy from over 90 reviews.
Featured in over 20 blogs.
Started our “Sprinkle Ambassador” program, for influencers who use our products weekly and share with their social media followers.
Gained over 23,000 followers on social media.
Since August 2016 we’ve been part of Entrepreneurial Spark the business accelerator, based at the Milton Keynes Hub. Entrepreneurial Spark is powered by Natwest and RBS, which has provided us with business mentorship, accountability and free office space.
By 2018 we aim to:
- Increase subscriptions to 5,000 through increased marketing
- Be featured in National Publications via our PR strategy
- Be stocked in over 20 brick and mortar stores by exhibiting at shows
Currently selling online worldwide (25 countries so far), a range of 162 products B2C via our website, Amazon and Etsy. The average customer spend is over £16. In May 2017 we received 155 orders, a 14% increase on April 2017.
We offer 3 tiers of Sprinkle Subscription, from £7.49 to £13.99 inc UK postage, with flexibility when subscribing for a delivery every 1 to 4 months, to allow for differing levels of demand. Customers pay a recurring fee, so far we have 22 paying subscribers.
We believe selling direct to consumers at shows means we can engage with potential customers. We plan to exhibit at one - two shows a month targeting a variety of baking, gift, “free-from” and vegan shows.
We plan to exhibit at trade shows to launch our wholesale sales stream. We also plan to be adding the functionality for wholesale customers to order via the website. The minimum order value for wholesale will be £150.
Use of proceeds
We believe that our products are very visually appealing, so reaching customers through visual sources like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, magazines and in person, provides the best opportunity for sales conversion.
Branding and website optimisation, to enhance SEO
Create website and social media content
Carry out our PR strategy
Advertising and Samples £20k
Provide samples for relevant influencers, press and events.
Show Fees £10k
Exhibit at consumer and trade shows
We have opened up this Seedrs campaign to give a new audience the chance to become part of Baking Time Club's future. We plan to use the funds raised to accelerate our growth, our business model means that we don’t anticipate needing to raise further investment in the near future. We do plan to always innovate and achieve as aggressive growth as is possible, so should we need to raise additional investment to access future opportunities, we would consider this.
Based on a survey we conducted and customer feedback, our typical customer is: Female, aged between 19 - 54, lives in the UK, USA or Australia. She loves baking as a hobby, she is the kind of person whose friends and family ask to to bake cupcakes for a hen do or cake for a christening. She’ll get involved in charity bake sales and sometimes she makes cakes for part-time work. She usually bakes once a week, so uses a lot of baking ingredients, enjoys trying new baking tools. Friends often give her ‘cake themed gifts’. On social media she follows Foodies and Baking Influencers / Personalities for baking inspiration and the latest trends. She enjoys watching the Great British Bake Off.
Our target customer purchases most of her ingredients in the supermarket, but enjoys shopping online for those specific items like cake toppers and novelty cookie cutters, when planning a specific themed cake. She may have friends who are celiac and/or vegan, so has made “free-from” cakes.
Some of our customers love receiving ‘happy mail’, post which is not bills or junk. The subscription model is popular with this audience, who enjoy crafting and making something they have seen on Pinterest. We believe that the Sprinkle Subscription meets the desires of this audience, providing them with a flexible subscription (delivery every 1-4 months), starting at £7.49 for a box of surprise sprinkles, which will transform their next baking challenge. The Sprinkle Subscription makes a suitable gift for parents to buy for teenagers just getting into baking.
For those who don’t like surprise subscriptions, we offer direct checkout on all products via the website.
Not all our customers are women, there are plenty of male bakers out there. Two of the Great British Bake Off winners were male, breaking the taboo that baking was traditionally just for housewives!
Our customers shop online because we believe that they like the convenience of home or work deliveries. We frequently dispatch orders to work addresses.
Characteristics of target market
In our survey of 300+ bakers 70% of them bake 1 or more times a week with 54% spending between £11 - £30 each time they buy baking supplies.
We believe the trend for more baking at home has increased due to the Great British Bake Off TV show. 14.8M people watched the finale episode in Oct’16. Many of those viewers are now hobby bakers and participate in cake clubs like the Clandestine Cake Club which has 19k members. Supermarkets saw an increase in ingredients sales after each program aired with viewers trying the recipes featured in the show. The home-baking market is now worth £900 million a year and is growing at a rate of 17 per cent per annum.
Along with an increase in home baking, 75% of bakers we surveyed have baked free-from. According to Mintel: "March '15 - Sept '15, 33% of Brits have bought or eaten free-from foods, with 22% gluten-free products, 19% dairy substitutes, 16% wheat-free and 16% lactose-free."
We provide brand consistency to bakers looking for free-from cake decorating supplies and will continue to create inclusive products. Mintel forecast the free-from market to reach £673 million by 2020 which shows a growing demand. The Artisan cake sales market in the UK was predicted in 2014 to grow to £786M - £826M for 2014-19 according to Baked Goods Euromonitor International, Oct’14.
Consumers use smartphones to shop so our website is optimised for mobile, desktop and tablet use. 65% of website views are from mobile, 31% desktop and 4% from tablets.
We have a growing social media presence with over 15,000 followers on Instagram and 7,000 on Facebook to whom we will actively market. Social media generates the majority of traffic to our website. Our focus includes generating engaging blogs posts and content to improve the website SEO and increase organic find through Google and other search engines.
We work with social media influencers and are looking to build the number of Sprinkle Ambassadors, who use our products and promote us to their own followers. This generates inspiring cake creations and recipes, which we share with our audience. This has contributed to a 36% increase in website visitors from April 2017 to May 2017, as a result of being mentioned and linked on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. We are planning on growing the number of food and lifestyle influencers we collaborate with, which will increase reach and brand awareness in the lead up to Christmas, taking advantage of seasonal shopping patterns.
Our plans include providing an online referral program to incentivise influencers and baking bloggers to link back to Baking Time Club website.
The raise will enable us to implement our PR strategy, as well as increasing the number of product samples we can distribute to raise brand awareness. We provided 250 packs of ‘Blogger’s Delight’ sprinkles for Blogtacular’s goody bags this June, which is an annual blogging conference in London.
We have previously targeted potential customers through social media adverts and will allocate budget to re-market to this audience. We will also expand the reach of our messaging through increased digital channel advertising, especially via Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
Lastly, we will attend home and gift, cake baking and “free-from” trade and consumer shows, to meet customers in person and also launch our wholesale side of the business.
While supermarkets do sell cake sprinkles, our experience suggests that they are predominantly they are of the single colour and can contain a variety of allergens such as wheat, dairy, beeswax, fish oil and egg. Our cake sprinkles are all gluten-free and dairy-free, providing customers with allergen consistency.
Supermarkets also sell a range of baking supplies, the items available vary per store and can be subject to change at short notice.
Our research suggests that online there are a couple of large sprinkle companies which sell sprinkle mixes based in the USA, however they only offer a limited selection in dairy and gluten free sprinkles, and the postage rates to the UK can be high.
There are a variety of online cake decorating websites, which tend to resell the same brands: Wilton, PME and Rainbow Dust. We aim to differentiate by selling our own diverse range of quality baking supplies, sprinkles and giftware, less ‘traditional’ to those already available, perfect for the trendsetting baker.
To our knowledge we are the only sprinkle subscription based in the UK, however we are aware of a competitor based in Canada. We have plans to develop a variety of baking gift boxes and subscriptions in the future to appeal to different levels of bakers.