Fancy Flours Makes Foray into Catalogs

Oct 24, 2007 12:44 AM  By

Looking to see its sales rise, cake and cookie decorating supplies Web merchant Fancy Flours has launched a print catalog. The book mailed to 50,000 customers and prospects over two drops, says Fancy Flours president/founder Nancy Quist. She plans to distribute two catalogs a year, one in the fall and one in the spring.

The 52-page holiday catalog caters to home bakers, food stylists, and small bakery owners, and sells such products as cake toppers, cookie cutters, and a rainbow of colored sugars. The book also includes tips for holiday party planning, facts about baking history, and information on how to use the products.

Just a month after launching the catalog, Quist says the online average order size from existing customers has jumped from $40-$50 to about $200. And the prospects, rented from a Martha Stewart list, have also spent more than the existing average sale, she says. This may be due to the visual nature of her product line, she says, and that it lends itself to better presentation in a catalog than on a Web page.

“We never anticipated that degree of an average order increase,” says Quist, a retired marketing executive who decided to turn her hobby into a small business in 2002. “We knew very little about catalogs, we just jumped in and got our feet wet.”

Fancy Flours decided to launch a catalog rather than try to expand the business from its single store in Bozeman, MT. “We decided we have a very highly segmented product offer,” says Quist. “One of the beauties of having such a niche offering is you can go after your prospects with a rifle rather than a shot gun.”