Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama Optimism & Gluten-Free Book Sales Trend?

Call it coincidence, but no sooner did Barack Obama become President than sales of our Gluten-Free Cook Book suddenly surged. Since yesterday (inauguration day for President Obama), sales jumped to roughly 4 times (yes, FOUR TIMES) their average daily volume for the past few months!

I find that to be an encouraging sign for the economy, since our product, and our small business, is perhaps somewhat representative of what other small businesses and products / services sales will experience. I am certain there is no general correlation between Barack Obama and Gluten-Free / Wheat-Free, therefore I can only chalk the sales increase up to some post-election optimism. If that is not it, well, it surely is an interesting coincidence.

We watched sales of our recipe book slow down considerably during what I call the "financial meltdown" of banks, Wall Street, and the housing market the past couple months. That experience is in line with what many other small businesses experienced, regardless of their products or services, from what I gathered by talking to various business owners. Gluten-Free items may have a bit of an advantage in this market regardless, since people on a wheat-free and/or gluten-free / Celiac-safe diet need to consume items that are safe regardless of the economy. And, perhaps the cook book sales are up because people have discovered that they can save money by baking their own cakes, cookies, and other dessert recipes at home (vs. buying pre-made). I do not know for sure, but it is all intersting.

Well, here's hoping whatever optimism is behind our sales increase is a lasting optimism, and that the economy starts picking up for everyone! I am not going to kid myself and think that this recession or financial-crisis is "over" by any means, but the quickest way to lessen its impact is to remain optimistic. That's it for my quick observation of the day in Gluten-Free Blog land :)

On another note, I have some new Kettle Cuisine frozen gluten-free soups here that look fantastic. I plan to post pictures and review(s) as soon as I have time to cook them up and evaluate them. They already have my interest in a big way, given that they have some exciting varieties and focus on being a healthier approach to pre-made soups and use fresh vegetables and ingredients without artificial ingredients or nasty things. My first target will likely be the Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles variety... mmmm... sounds perfect for this sub-freezing Cleveland winter!

6 comments:

Jenny said...

I like Kettle Cuisine, although I've only tried the clam chowder. Also, really glad to read this post, my father and I were just discussing the future of our small business and it's encouraging to hear some optimism about the upcoming year after this financial crisis. I think we'll be fine!

GFE--gluten free easily said...

Wow, Mike, congrats on the quadrupling of sales--good news indeed! I've never heard of Kettle Cuisine soups, but I'll look forward to your review. (I certainly like their healthier approach!) I just made a huge pot of my "everything" soup (from tidbits here and there in the freezer) on Monday and after sharing some with family and friends just finished it up at lunch time. Soup and winter just go together so well. :-)

Best,
Shirley

Mike Eberhart said...

Jenny,
I am wishing you and your father the best with your business. I sure hope the country, and world, start to snap out of things. We hear all this talk about giant companies "too big to fail" - whether financial, or the car companies - and tend to forget that a full half of America is employed by *SMALL* companies. So, good luck, and here's hoping business picks up for all of us - small business and large - throughout 2009.

Thanks also for the Kettle Cuisine input... looking forward to it.

And, GFE, I hope to get to that review soon, since soup does go well with cold weather :)

Ali (Whole Life Nutrition) said...

Mike - Interesting, we have had a huge surge in book sales over the last few days also! I didn't put two and two together, but it has been since the 20th! Gotta love Obama.

-Ali :)

Sarah said...

The increase in book sales parallels the increase in gun sales. Guns sales have been on the rise because people are preparing to have bans/high taxes placed on guns and related accessories (big deal, here in Alaska!) Maybe people are also preparing for bans on cookbooks?? (hehe)

Mike Eberhart said...

Sarah,
Maybe the real correlation is that people think gluten-free will be in such demand that they will have to fight for it (due to such limited supply compared to "normal" foods)? :)

I am sure all sorts of interesting and bizarre correlations could be drawn, no matter what the subjects. I can almost *guarantee* there will not be any increase in gun-taxes though. Perhaps the Dems will push for more of those assault-rifle-bans (or renewing the one that expired under Bush), but I see no tax changes in that regard. And, though I hear what you are saying about gun sales in Alaska, I have also read that this is really a myth, and that gun sales are down, just like everything else being "down" with the economic slowdown.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, and enjoy the warm weather in AK. We are at 5F today ourselves - too cold for me!