Crumbs Dials Back on Cupcakes to Play Up New Products
For a while, Crumbs Bake Shop was America's largest cupcake chain. Now, the brand is trying to prove that it is about more than just the frosted treat.
With a new owner at the helm, Crumbs is aggressively expanding its product offering as it works on its post-bankruptcy comeback strategy this holiday season.
"We're probably going to lower the size of our cupcake offering by 20 percent, and crank up cookies, muffins, bagels, Baissants and a lot of new products," says owner Marcus Lemonis, serial entrepreneur and the host of CNBC's show The Profit. "Cupcakes are fun right now, but in January, my fat ass doesn't need another cupcake."
Crumbs filed for bankruptcy in July, days after it abruptly closed its stores and laid off hundreds of employees. The chain was taken over by Lemonis and Fischer Enterprises, which also owns Dippin' Dots and Doc Popcorn.
Since reopening 26 of its original 65 shops in October, the company has brought several new items to its shelves. In addition to new cupcake flavors, customers can now buy the bagel-croissant hybrid Baissant, frozen dessert offerings and a new cookie line.
Lemonis says to look out for the launch of Crumbs ice cream in December. Plus, the company is cranking up production of new gluten-free products.
How does the chain bring in new items without overcrowding the menu and losing its identity? Lemonis says it's all about looking at cold, hard data on what customers want.
"It's been tough, but I let the numbers speak for themselves. The register has told me that people want more than cupcakes," says Lemonis. "And we're seeing that the bottom 10 to 20 percent of the cupcakes, they're still slow moving. But those ridiculously massive, huge cupcakes… we can't keep them in stock."