Comment: Baked Goods: The New Luxury Entry Product
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Once the luxury goods industry’s entry level products, today, consumers are balking at the price of perfumes and sunglasses with some premium brands even touching four figures. In the US, beauty retailer, Sephora has taken to locking up its fragrance section due to rampant shoplifting.
A luxury downturn and cost-of-living pressures has made many people rethink these purchases and some are looking for something less pricey, but still with that all important name and branded packaging, especially during gifting season.
Baked goods and other edible treats are now the entry products from the world’s biggest luxury brands. Brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Prada, through its Marchesi 1824 brand, are all pushing panettones, balsamic vinegars and chocolates through social media to a shopper hungry for anything with a name on. These products are quite literally a taste of luxury brands that consumers can afford with the designer tin or packaging as a souvenir. They look good under the tree.
A Bialetti Dolce & Gabbana Sicilian Carretto Perfetto Moka Irresistibile Ground Coffee Tin, available at John Lewis for £16, or the Gucci Osteria Special Raspberry and Chocolate Panettone for €50 are examples of something the aspirational shopper can afford, especially at Christmas time.
Luxury goods brands are expanding food ranges, filling the gap that continual price rises and inflation has created, putting previous entry products like sunglasses and perfume out of reach for many. It also explains the huge rise in the dupe market. Gucci Osteria’s classic 1kg panettone at €80 has already sold out.
Perfumer Lyn Harris has just opened a new store on Mayfair’s Clifford Street for her Perfumer H brand. Alongside the perfumes and scented candles expected, there is a ‘Pantry’ section selling conserves and kitchen staples. She has worked with Postcard Teas for many years and has expanded to create other culinary delights.
Selling tea, salt, jam and marmalade for £20 a jar, it compares to the £150 price tags for a perfume and £55 for a candle or £170 for a handblown one, and gives entry consumers something to buy into.
While these prices are a lot for what they are, in comparison to standard groceries, the mindset of gifting and aspiration for something ‘luxury’ puts baked goods and other treats in reach and we should expect the luxury brands to continue to expand this area with a particular focus on forthcoming Christmases.
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