Cup cakes are coming

Choose your cup size. For size DD try upstairs or next door.

The last time I saw an outlet opening that looked like it was in the wrong place, I was convinced by a fellow Brit that it served a growing need and would survive. Ok, I’m not into manicure and nail painting. But apparently it was all the rage at the time in London. So I chose not to write about it here, though I still had my doubts. How many nail studios does a city the size of Stuttgart really need?

Anyway, it shut down.

So what’s the latest trend in the trendy Swabian metropolis? Well according to “Kessel.tv”, who’re taking German superlatives like “Übermensch” to the mega level: “Über-Ober-Mega-Trend Cupcakes are conquering Stuttgart city centre”. Yes, just round the corner, cup cakes are coming. Now this exquisite (and expensive: €3) cake with yummy dressing is apparently “big in the States”. Although I’m told it peaked a few years ago.

So if it’s beyond the peak of the product life cycle, is the franchise now being rolled out in Europe to set a (new) international life cycle rolling, or is this an attempt by the franchise owners to extend the overall life cycle?

At some stage they’ll have to work out how much real MASS demand there is for cup cakes in Germany, but I guess if you don’t try, you’ll never know. Though I must warn them: Stuttgart is not Berlin. The Swabians may make fantastic cars, but other “major trends” fall flat on their face in this nick of the woods.

Anyway, the franchisee in Stuttgart is going full guns. The outlet (or is it a restaurant?) is open daily til 10pm.

People I know have their doubts about this new mega-global-hyper-whatever. Why: not just because of the product and the price, but the most crucial aspect for any property: place. Unfortunately the new outlet is located on a side street, away from the main shopping mall, under a red-light “cabaret”, next to Stuttgart’s famous Dreifarbenhaus (the “3 colour house”, euphemistically called the Haus Tricouleur – a major brothel).

We shall see – even though it feels out of place. Shame they couldn’t put it on Königstrasse. But I guess the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Alex Woodruff

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