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Whether it is an occasion or need, love is like a piece of cake. In the past, the demand and popularity of cakes as food were largely confined to urban culture. However, with the change of time and taste, this picture has changed. At the same time, due to the growing trend towards sweet national food at various festivals, the sale of cakes in the country is also increasing rapidly.

 

As Aminul Islam Rashed, Marketing Head of Coopers, a popular cake brand in Bangladesh, said, “The market for cakes and pastries in the country is expanding rapidly. In recent years, small, medium, and large companies have come forward to invest in this sector. Apart from this, the demand and sale of homemade cakes and cake products have also increased manifold.

 

The history of cake making in Bangladesh is at least equal to the age of this country. According to industry insiders, Ananda Confectionery has been making biscuits for over a century. Popular fruit cakes have been added to their list of food products for decades.

 

Yusuf Confectionery started making bread, biscuits, and cakes for the people of Dhaka from the beginning of the Second World War. Hotel Purbani dominated the cake and pastry market in the '60s and '70s of the last century.

 

But the modern concept of cakes and pastries was introduced by Douglas J. A. Cooper, a British soldier in World War II.

 

Cooper and his Bangladeshi wife Sufia Cooper started a cake and pastry business in Dhaka by setting up a small shop called Coopers Bakery. So that the city dwellers can get acquainted with the British food. In the following years, its branches spread throughout the city. Following this, with the expansion of Bangladesh's economy and increase in people's purchasing power, many more cake and pastry brands were launched.

 

Even the coronavirus epidemic has not stopped entrepreneurs in the sector who want to establish themselves in the business. Hundreds of such new shops have been set up in the last two years. This is because the popularity of cakes is increasing due to people spending a lot of time at home in lockdown. For example, Coopers Bakery has opened 15 new branches in the wake of the epidemic. In all, the number of branches now stands at 52. 6 of them are in Chittagong and the rest are in Dhaka.

 

With economic growth averaging 7 percent in the first decade before the epidemic, people's purchasing power has increased and the cake has become an integral part of any celebration. Now it is almost unimaginable to celebrate a wedding or a wedding anniversary, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, and Christmas without a cake-cutting episode. Corporates are also big buyers of cakes.

 

And the issue of cake selling is not limited to Dhaka now. Cake and pastry shops are on the rise across the country. At present, its number of shops is several thousand. Which is creating employment for at least 20,000 people. As per the sector stakeholders, the estimated size of the cake market in the country is now around 400 crore Taka.

 

On December 31, the last day of the year, most cakes are sold. Then there is the day of love. An employee of the Panthapath branch of the bakery brand Bread and Beyond said that 48 cakes were sold from this branch on December 31 alone. There were 2 to 3 cake and pastry shops in this busy area even 3 years ago. Now the number is about a dozen.

 

Kamruzzaman Kamal, marketing director of Pran RFL Group, told The Daily Star: “The cake market was previously unorganized. Now with the introduction of retail marketing by various brands, consumers are getting quality products. Pran entered the retail food market in 2014 through the cake and pastry brand Tasty Treat. It now has more than 230 branches.

 

Later in 2015, Pran launched a sweet product brand 'Mithai', which also sells cakes and pastries. Now it has more than 130 branches. In addition to cakes and pastries, almost every brand sells bakery products such as bread, biscuits, fast food, chocolate, and sweets.

 

An ordinary cake sells for between Rs 800 and Rs 2,000 per kg. Some customers prefer special or customized cakes. The price starts from two and a half thousand rupees. Syed Nurul Islam, chairman of Well Food, said that although his brand is specialized in bakery products, it has a strong position in cakes and pastries.

 

He said, “As the trend of people celebrating festivals is increasing, the rate of selling cakes and pastries is also increasing drastically. So we want to pay more attention to it to meet the growing demand. ' The Chittagong-based brand started its operations 18 years ago. It now has 60 branches in Chittagong, Dhaka, and Sylhet.

 

Meanwhile, the demand for homemade cakes is also increasing due to the Facebook-based trade. Many women have become entrepreneurs by using this medium of social communication. One such woman is housewife Hafiza Khatun Seema. He lives in Dhaka.A few months later, a Facebook-based food retailer requested the limit to send cakes to its customers through a courier service. At the initial stage, there was a bit of uncertainty about the boundary issue. He then delivered his first order in September 2020. The next day 5 more orders came from the same customer. Which boosts confidence in the range.  At the beginning of the epidemic, Seema used to upload pictures of different types of cakes made for her child. A few weeks later, Seema opened a Facebook page called 'Seemaj Kitchen'. In this case, his customers became the biggest promoters of his cake. Seema said, 'Because children like it so much, many people go to their relatives' house with cakes instead of sweets. Apart from this, people also want to be surprise with birthday gifts. ' 

 

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