Monday, September 10, 2007

Gluten-Free Desserts Book sales and Gas Prices

Over the past 6 months or so, I've had the opportunity to correlate sales of my Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes Book with the price of gasoline. And, of no surprise, my sales volume is indirectly proportionate to the current retail price of gasoline at the pump - i.e., when gas is up, my sales slow down, and when gas prices fall my sales increase. Every time average national price of gas falls under about $2.70 or so, my sales are much stronger and more consistent than when gas hits the $3.00 mark or more. Needless to say, I'm looking for the post-hurricane-season gas prices (assuming they fall), though anymore, it seems like high prices at the pump are here to stay.

I also wonder how the prices of gasoline affect sales of pre-made gluten-free desserts and foods in general? If the average household budgets is constrained from filling family vehicle(s) each week, it seems cutbacks would have to occur anywhere possible. The one thing that I find a bit hard to grasp is why, if budgets are so tight, people wouldn't be trying to bake more homemade gluten-free foods (since it can be done for a fraction of the price of pre-made /pre-packaged GF foods). I would have guessed time is the next big constraint, but if so, that wouldn't explain the coincidental correlation of gas prices to book sales : time available for baking presumably would remain nearly constant.

With all this in mind, I can't help already thinking about preparing promotions for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons to help Celiacs / Gluten-Free people create some wonderful holiday baked goods they and their families can enjoy equally. Maybe the best promo would be a free gallon of gasoline with every new gluten-free cookbook? :) But, logistically, that obviously won't work.

I'll take suggestions for a good holiday promo that does make sense and would be valuable to all the would-be gluten-free bakers out there. Anyone interested in gluten-free baking gift-baskets perhaps: e.g., a recipe book plus all the ingredients needed to make a particular favorite cake or pie or cookie? For such a promotion, I'd definitely have to start early to make sure I can acquire ample supplies of various ingredients. Maybe I'll put up a survey about all this too for wider feedback.

That's it for today's Gluten-Free Blog... just thinking as I type, and letting my analytical side contemplate thoughts that may or may not be relevant to selling cookbooks over the coming months. Hope you all have a good week, and I also hope the price of gasoline falls too!


Anonymous said...

I don't know about baking correlating with gasoline prices, but I haven't tried any GF baking yet because I only started eating GF in June, and it has simply been too hot to fire up the oven. When it cools off (around here, that might be as late as mid-October) I'll be experimenting with lots of baking.

Dianne said...

I'll be wanting the ingredients for the pizza crust and caramel brownies!