Hard as it may be to believe, the popular fad of paying dearly for a fancy cupcake might be fading at last, reports the Wall Street Journal. The paper sees all kinds of signs of trouble for the once-booming gourmet cupcake market, starting with the fact that shares of industry bigwig Crumbs Bake Shop are down from $13 in 2011 to $1.70. The chain, whose cupcakes can fetch $4.50 apiece, forecasts $57 million in sales this year, down from a previous estimate of $73 million.
"The novelty has worn off," says a restaurant industry analyst for Trinity Capital. The Journal traces the craze back a decade, when Sex and the City featured New York's Magnolia chain. Since then, the market has steadily grown, with both big chains and mom-and-pop stores saturating the market. As a result, "demand is flat," says another analyst. "And quite frankly, people can bake cupcakes." Click for the full story.