Rutabaga Sweets

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Dessert Bakery Business Plan

Market Analysis Summary

Rutabaga Sweets focuses on local markets, with a special focus on restaurant and ice cream shop customers.  Washington DC provides an excellent climate for our dessert bar as households there spend more money dining out than anywhere else in the country. 

4.1 Market Segmentation

Our market is divided into four different psychographics: Comfort Creatures, Celebrators, Soccer Moms, and Gourmet Wanna-bes.  They represent groups of people sharing similar behavior patterns and reasons for patronizing Rutabaga Sweets.

Comfort Creatures are mainly white collar workers who are driven by success and prestige yet miss homemade comfort foods of their childhood.  They may stop in on their own or bring clients in for a gourmet dessert experience.

Celebrators are just that - people celebrating special occasions.  Birthday, anniversary, graduation, valentine's day, etc., families and loved ones will gather at Rutabaga Sweets over sumptuous desserts and a festive atmosphere.

Soccer Moms actually encompasses all family members.  Rutabaga Sweets is a gathering place where families are welcome and feel comfortable.  "Moms" can come in for after school milk and cookies with their children and relax while we pamper the little ones.  Or they can meet up with friends for our Tea Time - a little civilized time stolen in the midst of a busy day.

Gourmet Wanna-bes watch the Food Network and easily spend $50 for the latest cookbook.  They'll be the adventuresome diners at Rutabaga Sweets, as well as the first to sign up for our cooking classes.

Market Analysis
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Potential Customers Growth CAGR
Comfort Creatures 10% 5,000 5,500 6,050 6,655 7,321 10.00%
Celebrators 15% 5,000 5,750 6,613 7,605 8,746 15.00%
Gourmet Wanna-bes 15% 5,000 5,750 6,613 7,605 8,746 15.00%
Soccer Mom's 10% 5,000 5,500 6,050 6,655 7,321 10.00%
Total 12.59% 20,000 22,500 25,326 28,520 32,134 12.59%

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

We have specifically targeted segments of people with an appreciation for delicious desserts and a need for comfort and relaxation.  Rutabaga Sweets is a haven for the busy & successful who want to treat themselves to something soothing and a little sinful!  It doesn't take a lot of time, yet is so rewarding.  These people will value the high quality product presented without pretension.  Our customers will also appreciate the fun and fast service - whether celebrating a birthday or stopping in before a concert at the MCI Center.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

Although Rutabaga Sweets is creating a new niche in the food service industry, we do share similarities, and therefore compete with several kinds of quick-service dessert businesses:

  1. Restaurants: any restaurant offering dessert.
  2. Ice Cream Shops: Baskin & Robbins, Ben & Jerry's, etc.
  3. Donut and Coffee Shops: any place coffee and pastries are available for carry-out or dine-in consumption.
  4. Supermarket: in-store bakeries as well as frozen specialty desserts offer some competition.
  5. Bakeries: free-standing traditional bakeries.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

Although Rutabaga Sweets is opening up a new niche in the restaurant industry, there is no doubt that we are competing with a variety of similar businesses.  We need to compete against the ideas that dessert is something that only follows a special dinner and needn't be any better than a frozen cake.  We want every day to be a reason to celebrate.  And being able to watch your gourmet dessert be prepared by a chef is a treat that appeals to everyone.

While price may be a factor when competing against Ice Cream and Coffee Shops, these same consumers who are willing to pay five dollars for a latte or a scoop of ice cream are already conscious of a better quality product.  We believe they will be equally as willing to spend a little extra for an extraordinary dessert in a warm and friendly setting.

The comfort factor also plays an important role in consumer decisions about sweets.  Both the atmosphere and staff of Rutabaga Sweets excel at warm & friendly.  And the menu will reflect "comfort food" desserts as opposed to intimidating desserts that resemble architectural collosi.  We will use the highest quality products; sometimes paring the ordinary with the exotic, but we will always present our desserts in a unintimidating manner.