People don’t want to buy vegan baked goods. Last month the Long Island Press described how BabyCakes NYC opened a shop in downtown Disney World only to have to remove the word “vegan” from the signage:
The shop’s teal signs touting their dairy- and egg-free treats proved too much for the mostly middle American, indulgent vacationers passing by.
“It was more of a repellant,” said owner Erin McKenna. “People were just walking away.”
After the “v” word was removed, sales improved.
Since the food allergies in my family have led me to bake vegan for over 14 years, I wondered if the “vegan” name was bad for business in our Maryland hometown. With cookies needed for school fundraisers at both our elementary and high schools, I found the answer.
Everyone who has ever eaten one of my cookies raves about the taste and quality. My sons constantly tell me I should open a restaurant or bakery. People have complimented my cookies at parties for years without knowing I baked them. All these goodies have been completely vegan without eggs or dairy.
Since people love chocolate, I created Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies from a few different recipes. Frankly, they tasted like thin brownies with chunks of rich chocolate scattered throughout. My other baking creations included Maple Cookies With Maple Frosting, traditional Chocolate Chips, and Sugar Cut Out Cookies.
For the high school event I provided a small sign which explained the Chocolate Chocolate Chips and Maple Cookies were vegan. One vegan friend told me she wandered over to the table thinking she wouldn’t find anything to eat and was delighted to find the cookies. However, most people didn’t agree. My cookies didn’t sell as well as all the other treats. At the same time, the Chocolate Chocolate Chips sold out at the elementary school event and people were coming to the table asking for them because of the recommendations of their friends.
The next week I removed the “vegan” sign at the high school and the Chocolate Chips disappeared. People love dairy-and-egg-free cakes and cookies when they don’t know about the missing ingredients.
At a party this week, a woman told me she had been on Lipitor since 2000 but went vegan this year and has lost a substantial amount of weight and gone off the medication. She stressed how healthy the move has been for her. My other vegan friend has met with harsh words for changing her diet and she believes people simply don’t want to understand the benefits.
With healthy ingredients and the knowledge of the science behind baking, vegan baked goods can taste much better and be much healthier for you. You might be eating a vegan baked good and not even know.
Shhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone, Oreos are vegan!