Cupcakes overtaking donuts as popular American snack

The growing popularity of cupcakes -- a frosted cake in the shape of a muffin -- is evidenced by several indicators and a prediction of a 20 percent rise in sales in the US over the next five years.

(Relaxnews) -

The growing popularity of cupcakes - a frosted cake in the shape of a muffin - is evidenced by several indicators and a prediction of a 20 percent rise in sales in the US over the next five years.

The cookbook, Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, spent 11 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, while among the more than a dozen cupcake blogs, "Cupcakes Take the Cake" (www.cupcakesstakethecake.com) receives 9,000 visitors each day. The Food Network commissioned a pilot for a Cupcake Wars bake-off competition show, and the Los Angeles-based Sprinkles Cupcakes shops, opening across the US, launched in London and Tokyo.

Though the cupcake craze may have started with the Magnolia Bakery in a Sex and the City television episode, the popularity has continued to grow. Owning a cupcake shop seems to be the newest entrepreneurial dream, with cupcakeries opening in Boston, Denver, Austin, Texas, and smaller towns.

Sales of cupcakes nationwide are expected to rise 20 percent in the next five years, according to the market research firm Mintel - at least 10 percent more than other baked goods, such as donuts.

Though the new big food item of 2009, outside of established cupcake shops like New York's Magnolia Bakery and the LA Sprinkles chain, most shops sell other foods and coffee to succeed.

Childhood nostalgia is regarded by some as one source of the snack's appeal. It can also be eaten with the hands.

RC

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