While McDonald's may be known for its Big Mac, and Starbucks for its Frappuccinos, few fast food chains are as closely focused around one product as Cinnabon
. Now in its 25th year of operation, the bakery has over 770 stores worldwide, all focused around a single confection: the gooey, sweet classic cinnamon roll.
But a quarter-century later, the company is expanding into new territory: cupcakes. Given their market presence, Cinnabon has, within the few weeks of their national rollout, become the largest cupcake seller in the country. Specialty cupcake stores have popped up over the last few years across the nation, from major cities down to rural Main Streets. However, though several local chains have started to expand aggressively, no cupcake shop has managed a true national presence.
After more than a year in product development, Cinnabon testers and Jerilyn Brusseau, the original Cinnabon baker, created four cupcakes: a chocolate, a vanilla, a carrot cake, and a "Cinnacake Classic" that recalls the traditional Cinnabon with eerie consistency, right down to the cream cheese frosting and swirl of cinnamon and sugar within. More flavors are currently under discussion.
It's a bold move for a company whose success has been so closely tied to one product; the smell of baking cupcakes may never quite match the unmistakable smell of baking cinnamon confections. Still, current cupcake fads aside, it's a logical fit for a chain built off impulse buys, off sweet appeal, off indulgence. Whether or not a national cupcake chain will take off remains to be seen--but of the players in the American market, Cinnabon might just be the best positioned to try.