DOUGHNUTS, ECLAIRS, TRUFFLE, POPCORN: ALL AROUND THE WORLD, CONCEPT STORES SELLING JUST ONE KIND OF MERCHANDISE ARE SUDDENLY ALL THE RAGE. "SINGLE-PRODUCT" STORES PROMISING "MULTIPLE TASTE SENSATIONS". WE TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT A PHENOMENON GUARANTEED TO T
We're in the Public Market district of Boston, where crowds have gathered outside a tiny shop, one of the most popular in the city. People flock from far and wide just to get their hands on its doughnuts. But these aren't your average doughnut – they're Union Square Donuts. What makes them so special, you may ask? They come in 1001 different varieties. This concept store has given the humble doughnut a resolutely gourmet spin, coming up with some pretty astonishing flavours: hibiscus-cherry, chocolatechipotle and even a savoury creation: maple-bacon. In the USA, specialist doughnut stores are a runaway success. They go by the name of Blackbird Doughnuts or Kane's Donuts, each more enticing than the next. Yet this Americanborn phenomenon, known as a “single-product strategy” in
speak, is by no means restricted to Boston – it has spread its wings and gone global.
The basic principle is simple: concentrate on just one type of product, but roll-out endless versions. It is a trend that captures the imaginations of fearless entrepreneurs, who invest everything they have in a single niche market, then proceed to adopt a differentiation and segmentation strategy to make their businesses more competitive. In today's hyper-connected world, where the choice can at times be overwhelming, consumers who yearn for a unique experience and a certain level of expertise find exactly that.
AN AMERICAN-BORN PHENOMENON
But for this new kind of consumer, every last detail counts. Take, for example, Georgetown Cupcakes based in Washington, DC. There, the mini-patisseries that have recently become so fashionable are dressed up to the nines. The stunning selection of colours and flavours is truly a sight to behold, delighting sweet-toothed foodies who were previously convinced they'd already seen and tasted everything… The single-product concept knows no limits, no bounds.
In the Brazilian metropolis of Sao Paulo, it's the “brigadeiro” that's currently flavour of the month. This luscious little ball made from chocolate and condensed milk, Brazil's best-loved delicacy, even boasts its very own store, “A Brigaderia”, where no fewer than 30 different flavours line the shelves tempting discerning taste buds: cheesecake, orange, macadamia, cachaça liqueur, cinnamon... Demand has, in fact, become so great that additional outlets have been opened in other parts of Sao Paulo.
Another style, another continent – Europe, where the cereals of our youth are tempting taste buds a second time around in the world's first ever cereal bar, the Cereal Killer, based in London. The venue stocks no less than 120 types of cereal, including American, French and Spanish brands and even some Australian breakfast classics.