Industry Update - Unavailable Products
As we slowly move out of lockdown, we realise that many products have been unavailable to order. The reasons for this are pretty obvious but we realise it’s still frustrating for cake makers to be unable to get their hands on products they rely on.
As a key stockist for most of the brands affected, it’s difficult for us to explain the situation in any detail without it sounding like we’re criticising the manufacturers involved. We’re not! It’s not their fault, but it’s hardly our fault either.
So what we would say is this: in general terms, if you see a brand on the Cake Stuff website where a lot of their products are out-of-stock, this almost certainly means the manufacturer in question has had problems. We’ve all faced enormous challenges over the past few months but some manufacturers have had to virtually cease production . . . raw ingredients have been unavailable and some have found it impossible to continue manufacturing while also respecting the additional health & safety requirements and social distancing measures.
It’s unfair to name any of these brands because, as we say, that feels like we’re somehow blaming them. But it’s obvious when you look at certain brands that some have yet to get fully back up and running. It will happen, so we’ll all have to be patient a little bit longer.
Among the shortages in raw materials and ingredients has been food-approved board. A pretty boring product we never pay much attention to but which we all rely on every day as it’s essential for cake boxes, cupcake boxes and many cake boards. This international shortage has been exacerbated by increased demand as many cake makers switched to making many more cupcakes than full-size cakes. To try and keep boxes available we’ve been ordering whatever stock we can get our hands on from a number of suppliers, often costing us a good bit more than normal - but we wanted to support our customers so haven’t increased our selling prices by a single penny.
We also have to remember that international shipping ground to a halt. We have several large shipments waiting to arrive in the UK (orders we placed at the start of the year) from Australia, the USA and elsewhere so you’ll appreciate why there seems to be so little stock of American brands, for example.
Everyone is slowly getting back to ‘normal’ but it will take time. Meantime we’re all doing our best - manufacturers and stockists alike. Our honest advice (without encouraging any form of panic buying) is this:
1. Share the love by sharing the responsibility - all of us are in this together so we can’t leave it totally to manufacturers to get us all back to normal.
2. Don’t allow yourself to run out of products you use all the time - stock up a little (a little!) on the specific sizes of boxes and boards you use all the time rather than ordering the exact number you need for next week’s cakes.
3. Be prepared to order an alternative size or product where your first choice is temporarily unavailable.
4. Allow just a little extra time for all deliveries - no serious delays are being reported, but couriers are handling massively increased parcel volumes.
You have our word that we’re working harder than ever to maintain a range of over 11,000 different cake products from brands all around the world; to have these products picked, packed and delivered to you as quickly as possible while also ensuring our own employees can work in a safe environment.
Thanks for your patience - the situation will keep improving with every week that passes. We promise.