Spotlight On: BKD

We spoke to Adelle, Founder of BKD, to get tips on how she started her business and how she created such eye catching packaging…

What were your influences around concept development?

My little boy Cai was a very fussy eater and I wanted to get him introduced to the kitchen and learning more about food and cooking in the hope it would make him a better eater. Baking was the perfect introduction, but as a creative mum myself, I was bored of the standard ‘fairy cake’ style baking that was aimed at me and my boy. Kids love colour and pirates, fairies, dinosaurs…so we started making 3D dinosaur cookies and pirate cupcakes. My business started off as an events business inspired by my baking at home with my son. I ran fun baking workshops (and still do) for kids and their parents, who were looking for a fun activity to share together and an opportunity for some quality time. I started getting enquiries from friends of people who had attended one of my workshops, asking if I would be holding any classes in their cities as they would love to join in with their kids. It’s then that I realised I could package up a BKD workshop in the form of a baking kit and mail it out to people, I spotted a bit of a gap in the market. Most baking mixes are very simplistic and don’t grab the attention of kids. BKD baking kits, mix baking with creativity, for a really engaging activity and also help teach kids kitchen basics such as washing your hands before you begin and how to roll out your dough using a rolling pin, to encouraging sharing of their baked goodies with friends and family. I guess my main influence were my customers and also my son, being my main target market – they gave me the opportunity to do a bit of market research before I finalised my concept. Once I’d given it more thought, I realised I could not only just mail out the baking kits, I could get them stocked by shops too!

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How did you develop the design of your packaging and how long did this take?

This part wasn’t too tricky, I studied Graphic Design years back and my husband owns a branding agency. Both our skills came in very handy, and we quickly came up with the designs of the packaging. I knew from day one, that I didn’t want to be a baby blue or baby pink, kitsch brand with a cupcake for a logo. I wanted to be design-led, black and white and graphic. I knew I wanted tubes for larger baking kits, I didn’t want to conform to the standard baking kit you might see in a supermarket. The stripes were my husband’s idea, at first we had all types of patterns and he said stick with the stripes, and we’re now instantly recognisable for our b&w stripped design. I also wanted to ensure that I used quality ingredients, such as freeze-dried raspberries and sourced sprinkles with no artificial flavourings and colourings. I wanted whatever the kids made, to actually taste homemade and they do. We now also have a collection of baking mixes, that again stick to the same ethos and quality. I often use them at home with my son, they’re perfect for time starved parents or grandparents, you literally just add egg and butter. I think packaging is very important, but so are a brands philosophies and it’s important to also try stay true to that identity.

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What is your favourite product?

It has to be our Little Monster Cupcakes Baking Kit. It was the first I designed and was inspired by one of my first events I ever ran. It comes with yummy Vanilla Bean cupcake mix, icing sugar to make yellow buttercream and a piping bag with a furry effect nozzle. You also get coloured fondant you can mould into eyes and marshmallows to make teeth. They’re super cute and so much fun!

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Which other companies do you admire or take influence from?

That’s a tuff one, as they’re zillions of brands out there that are setting the benchmark very very high. I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, but I think from a business perspective Joe & Seph’s Popcorn springs to mind, they’re literally everywhere I look and have grown massively in such as short space of time, and how many Great Taste Awards do they have?!

What advice would you give to anyone looking to change a products design & packaging?

You have to be very careful with that one, especially if you are an established brand. Customers may already love what you’re doing and not like change. You also don’t want to change and completely lose your identity, that might make customers mis-trust you and your brand. I think subtle tweaks are ok, but anything bigger I would speak to a branding specialist.

What is unique about your establishment?

We break the mould, we do things differently to others in our field. We understand kids and what makes a fun activity, googly edible eyes at the ready! We know that parents like kids to do fun activities but it’s always an added bonus if they are educational, and yummy, well that’s just an added bonus. We know that kids and parents like to make stuff at home that tastes homemade and doesn’t taste artificial. We realise that there are people out there who like baking but aren’t necessarily into vintage or kitsch. We understand that people like pretty things and to give pretty things as gifts, I told you I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, who isn’t!

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What are the future plans for your company?

We’re currently working with retailers such as John Lewis and Lakeland and hope to continue working with bigger retailers in the Gift Food category like these. We also want to attract more food markets and supermarkets, we’d love to see our baking mixes, on the home baking aisles. In addition to that we’re working with a few key distributors but are looking to work with more and would love to start exporting to Europe and eventually the US. Our first cookbook came out in July, but we’d love to bring out another and we have lots of other yummy ideas up our sleeves.

You can visit BKD at The International Food & Drink Event at ExceL, London, 19th – 22nd March on stand N2380. Find out more.

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