Ingredients Cost


I am at the very initial stages of starting my own cookie business. I tried to do it on my own using an oven at home but didn't do very well. So I ventured out to get hold of someone who might be doing it on a commercial scale and could make the biscuits as per my specifications. Eventually I found such a guy who was making biscuits on contract for others.

I am a little surprised at the asking price for the biscuits. I am told that the quantity of butter used is twice that of the flour. Obviously this jacks up the prices. I am talking about plain butter biscuits with flour, butter, baking powder, vanilla essence and sugar as ingredients. 

Is this correct? From what I learnt by trying to do it on my own was butter quantity was 3/4th of flour or lower. Or was I completely way off the mark (that could be a reason for my failure at making good biscuits)? It'll be great if someone could throw a bit more light on this. 


Original Post

Butter certainly costs A LOT more than flour on a per unit (ounce or gram) basis. And, by weight, it probably accounts for a very large proportion of the weight of a recipe (maybe not the most, but it's up there).  But you can easily check this yourself by costing out the recipe you gave to the guy. Just convert all quantities to weight (not volume) measures, and then figure out the cost of each per ounce or per gram. (His unit costs should be lower than your retail cost estimates since he should be purchasing wholesale, but using retail costs - if you don't have wholesale costs - will give you an upper bound.) Lastly, multiply the two together for each ingredient and add all for total costs. 

Thank you for your replies. I did not give a very specific recipe since I myself was not sure about the proportions. I just said I wanted butter biscuits. So my basic doubt is regarding the weight of the ingredients. What will be the quantity of flour and butter required to make one kg or one ounce of biscuits? If I could get an estimate of that then I can figure out the costs. I used to think that butter by weight would be less than the weight of the flour. The maker said its twice the weight of the flour. 

Maybe he meant that butter is twice the cost of the flour in the recipe. The weight of the flour in my recipe is about 690 g and the butter is the second most weighty ingredient at about 200 g. But if I were to apply the unit costs to those figures, butter would likely be the most expensive element. Again, you can test this by pulling any number of sugar cookie recipes off the internet and just running the numbers.

Hi Vikram now I am not a professional Baker but I have had my own companies in the past. I must ask you do you have a  written contract with this individual to producing your product... (biscuits). Your contract should and must spell out exactly what recipe to be used the fee to produce this recipe plus the cost for this individual to produce that recipe for you  any variation from  the written contract must be discussed with you and you are the only one that can okay any increases or changes in the recipe. Now I would demand  this contractor to give you his recipe I would take it home and try it out if he refuses I would find another contractor I hope this helps you

Agree with Anne. I also think you should go through the exercise of costing their recipe (or one you know you like); perhaps they are not priced as high as you think. And if they are, then you have negotiating leverage. Best of luck.

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