It has teamed with brand licensing agency Beanstalk to find partners interested in manufacturing Hummingbird branded products that will be sold in general retail.
Ice cream and confectionery partners
It is ideally looking for partners who can turn Hummingbird’s cake and cupcake flavors into ice cream or confectionery products, but hasn’t ruled out branded baked goods.
Tarek Malouf, the company founder and managing director, told this site: “Doing it ourselves would be a logistical nightmare. It’s not what the company is set up to do. We are set-up to make cakes fresh on site.”
American-style bakery Hummingbird was established in 2004 and has five stores in London and one in Dubai under a franchise agreement. It will soon open a sixth store in London and a second in Dubai.
Hummingbird has past experience in general retail in the UK after selling some branded goods such as T-shirts. It has also written three cookbooks which have collectively sold over 1 million copies in the UK.
What about branded baked goods?
Malouf said the company had previously been approached by supermarkets interested in stocking Hummingbird branded cakes, but it had spurned the offers.
“They’re not suitable to be sold in supermarkets. They go stale and you can’t refrigerate them.”
However, Malouf said that he and his company had not yet entirely dismissed issuing license for branded baked goods for general retail.
“It has to be stuff that is good quality or at least the shelf-life is suitable. If someone brings something to the table I like, I wouldn’t rule it out.”
Beyond the UK
Malouf added that Hummingbird Bakery had a following overseas, meaning licencing opportunities were not limited to the UK.
The majority of the firm’s 93,000 Facebook fans are UK based, but there is also a strong following in Italy and the US.
Malouf said that Hummingbird cookbooks sold particularly well in Germany and Scandinavia. He added that the brand was also gaining recognition in the Middle East through tourism to London and its franchise in Dubai.
Hummingbird was among the first to sell red velvet cake in the UK. Malouf said it was these kind of flavors that could be translated into different food products such as ice cream, biscuits and chocolate.
US firm Hammond’s Candies was the ‘Gourmet & Premium’ winner at the National Confectioner’s Most Innovative Product Awards at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago earlier this year for its Chocolate Red Velvet Cake bar.