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How To Price Baked Goods (Bakery Pricing Strategy)


Are you interested in diving into the delightful world of baking? Are you wondering how to price baked goods in a way that delights your customers and keeps your ledger in the green? 

Finding the right selling price is more art than science, balancing customer appeal with a healthy profit margin. As you expand your menu with these tempting treats, let’s explore the key strategies to price your baked goods smartly, ensuring your baking business thrives in a competitive market. 

how to price baked goods - poko bakery

Creating your bakery menu is a part of writing your bakery business plan. The real challenge begins with setting the right prices. 

Creating your restaurant menu pricing is a delicate balance for bakery owners: prices must be tempting enough to turn first-time visitors into regulars yet structured to ensure your business’s financial health. A bakery business owner needs to aim for affordability without compromising the bottom line.

The bakery industry is diverse, encompassing various types with unique profitability potentials. For instance, an Artisan Bakery focusing on high-quality, handcrafted goods often attracts a premium market willing to pay more for specialty products. 

how to price baked goods - bon ton bakery baked goods

On the other hand, a Wholesale Bakery, dealing in large volumes, leverages economies of scale for profitability. Similarly, a Mobile Bakery reduces overhead costs by being on the move, catering to different customer bases at events or busy locations, potentially increasing profit margins. 

Each bakery type has its own financial dynamics based on market demand, operational costs, and product pricing strategies.

Why does the appropriate baked goods pricing matter?

Correctly pricing your baked goods is crucial for the success of your bakery business. 

Inappropriate pricing can manifest in two ways:

  1. Setting prices too low for your bakery items, while it might attract more customers initially, can significantly threaten the profitability of your business. This approach undercuts the true value of your products, making it difficult to cover costs and invest in growth. 
  2. Overpricing, or setting cake pricing too high, can deter potential customers. This often leads to negative customer reviews and declining sales, as consumers may feel they’re not receiving value for money. 

Regularly adjust prices to reflect costs, market demand, and perceived value. Accurate pricing ensures you’re selling baked goods profitably while satisfying customer expectations and balancing affordability and quality. 

how to price baked goods - chocolate strawberry celebration cake

How much does it cost to make your baked goods? 

Calculating the cost of making baked goods in a bakery involves several key components, including the following:

  • Ingredients cost: This is the direct cost of raw materials used in baking, such as flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and specific ingredients like nuts, fruits, or specialty items. Prices can vary based on quality and sourcing (organic, local, etc.).
  • Labor cost: Include the wages paid to bakers, pastry chefs, and any assistants involved in the production process. This should also factor in the time spent on each product, from preparation to baking and finishing.
  • Overhead expenses: These are the indirect costs of running a bakery, such as rent or mortgage for the space, utilities (gas, electricity, water), and equipment maintenance and depreciation (ovens, mixers, refrigeration).
  • Packaging costs: If you’re selling products that need to be packaged, the cost of boxes, bags, labels, and other packaging materials should be included.

how to price baked goods -  decorating a cake

To calculate the cost per item, you would add all these expenses for a given period and divide them by the number of items produced. For example, if your total monthly costs are $10,000 and you produce 5,000 items that month, the cost per item would be $2.

Remember, this cost is just to produce the item and doesn’t include any markup for profit. The selling price of your baked goods will need to be higher than this cost to ensure profitability. 

At a minimum, your pricing should adequately cover the cost of goods sold (COGS).

how to price baked goods - decorating cupcakes

Defining a bakery pricing strategy

Determining prices for bakery items, ensuring they are attractive to customers while covering costs and generating profit, can be called a bakery pricing strategy. 

This strategy considers factors like 

  • ingredient costs,
  • labor costs,
  • market demand, 
  • competitor pricing 

Here are some different strategies for pricing baked goods. 

1. Food cost percentage pricing

One of the pricing methods for bakeries is based on food cost percentage. 

In short, you need to start with determining the cost of ingredients for each product. Having this done, you need to assign a price to a given product and calculate a food cost percentage using your price. Depending if it is too high or too low, you need to assign a new price and calculate it again. 

We wrote more about how to calculate food cost percentage in this article, but to sum it up, you need to use the following formula

Food Cost Percentage = (Cost of Food / Total Sales) * 100

Example of calculating food cost percentage for a croissant

Ingredients and costs:

  • Flour: $0.20
  • Butter: $0.30
  • Yeast: $0.05
  • Sugar: $0.10
  • Milk: $0.15
  • Eggs (for wash): $0.10

Total ingredient cost calculation = $0.20 + $0.30 + $0.05 + $0.10 + $0.15 + $0.10 = $0.90

Let’s assume the croissant is sold at $3.50.

Food cost percentage = (Cost of Food / Total Sales) * 100 = ($0.90/$3.50) * 100 = 25.71%

The resulting food cost percentage is approximately 25.71%. This calculation shows that the cost of ingredients represents about 25.71% of the croissant’s selling price. 

how to price baked goods - baking bread

According to Bakemag, successful bakeries and bakery cafes typically maintain their food costs under 35% to ensure profitability. While this figure is an estimate and may fluctuate based on the variety of products offered, it is a solid benchmark for effectively gauging financial performance.

2. Gross profit margin pricing

It focuses on the profit margin a bakery wants to achieve on each item sold. To use this method, a bakery determines its desired gross profit margin. 

Considering that the food cost percentage for a bakery should ideally be lower than 35%, the gross profit margin should be around 65%. 

Below is an example of calculation for the selling price for a croissant assuming the bakery wants to achieve a higher gross profit margin of 70%.

Let’s say that:

  • COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) is $0.90 (the cost of making one croissant).
  • The desired gross profit margin is 70%

Selling price = COGS / (1 – Gross profit margin) 

where COGS = Beginning Inventory + Purchases − Ending Inventory

You can also use the following formula for COGS calculation

COGS = Cost per serving + Labor cost per item + Variable Costs + Fixed costs + Startup costs

Using the provided COGS of $0.90 and a desired gross profit margin of 70%, the selling price calculation is as follows: 

Selling price = COGS / (1 – Gross profit margin) = $0.90 / (1 – 0.70) = $3

With a gross profit margin target of 70%, the selling price for a croissant, which has a cost of goods sold (COGS) of $0.90, should be approximately $3.00. This price ensures that the bakery covers the production costs and achieves the desired 70% profit margin on each croissant sold.

3. Competitive pricing

Competitive pricing in the bakery industry entails aligning your prices with similar items competitors offer. To effectively implement this strategy, conducting thorough market research is key to gauging the prevailing price range. 

Bakeries often mirror these prices or offer slightly lower prices to attract customers. Crucially, while adopting this approach, it’s vital to maintain a balance where the set prices attract customers, adequately cover operational costs, and achieve the targeted profit margins.

how to price baked goods - bakery

4. Markup pricing (factor pricing)

It is a straightforward and commonly used strategy in bakery businesses. It involves adding a set percentage markup to the cost of producing each bakery item. 

To calculate factor pricing, use this pricing factor formula

Pricing Factor = 1 / Ideal Food Cost Percentage


  • Ideal food cost percentage: This is the target percentage of the selling price that the cost of ingredients should represent.
  • Pricing factor: Once calculated, this factor is multiplied by the cost of ingredients to determine the selling price.


If your ideal food cost percentage is 30%, the pricing factor would be calculated as follows:

Pricing Factor = 1 / 30% = 3.33

If a sandwich costs $3 to make, you would then calculate the selling price by multiplying the cost by the pricing factor:

Selling Price = $3×3.33=$9.99 

What are other methods of setting up my home bakery pricing?

You can also use a pricing calculator to define your bakery products’ pricing, for example, one of the following: 

Once you define your bakery pricing, you can use a menu-making app to design, build, and manage your menu. 

Use menu management software to help you create a restaurant menu. If you plan to sell your products online, consider creating your bakery website with an online ordering system

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Key Takeaways

  • Pricing your baked goods appropriately is crucial for the success of your bakery business. 
  • Food cost percentage pricing is essential for aligning ingredient costs with overall profitability.
  • Gross profit margin pricing balances cost and profit to meet the bakery’s financial objectives.
  • Competitive pricing ensures market relevance and customer appeal, whilst markup pricing adds a set profit margin to production costs, reflecting both material and labor expenses.
  • Keep the price-quality balance, as it maintains customer satisfaction by aligning price with the perceived value of products.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

According to KORONA POS, most bakeries aim for a net profit margin goal of around 20%, with 10% being the average. Falling below this threshold typically indicates a dip into lower revenue territory. 

Learn more in our article on how much do bakeries make

Three fixed costs commonly associated with running a bakery include:

  1. Rent or mortgage: The monthly or yearly cost for the physical space where the bakery operates. This cost remains constant regardless of how much the bakery produces or sells.
  2. Insurance: Regular premiums for business insurance, such as liability and property insurance, are typically fixed over the policy period.
  3. Salaries for employees: Wages paid to staff on a salary basis, like managers or administrative personnel, are fixed costs as they do not vary with the level of production or sales.

Try to avoid the following common mistakes to ensure profitability and customer satisfaction:

  • Underpricing products
  • Overpricing
  • Ignoring ingredient cost fluctuations
  • Not accounting for the labor costs
  • Overlooking overheads
  • Ignoring Customer Perception
  • Not researching competitors’ prices and customer expectations
Agata Kubiak - Padkowska

Agata Kubiak - Padkowska

Digital content creator, passionate about helping restaurants to start selling online.

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