Are you looking to add French macarons to your pastry case? If you’re here, you’ve probably discovered how difficult it is to produce macarons in-house or chosen to avoid the challenge altogether. The delicate (and naturally gluten-free) French meringue sandwich cookie is notoriously tricky to master, labor-intensive, and steep on ingredient costs.
Growing our natural macaron business, we learned not only production but how to build successful wholesale relationships. In this article, we’ll share the insider’s view on:
- What you need to think about when buying French macarons wholesale
- What ingredients big box macarons contain that your customers would be horrified by
- How a specialized bakery can produce consistent product more cheaply than you can without sacrificing flavor
With many technical variables to master in the process, macarons require dedicated horizontal real estate in your kitchen and their delicate shells need to be protected from humidity. Even if the shells are perfectly baked, improper storage or an accidental bump into a speed rack can ruin an entire batch.
The Benefits of Buying Wholesale vs. Making In-House
If you’d love to sell French macarons but don’t want to worry about hiring and training staff with this specialized skill, buying wholesale from a like-minded partner is tempting. With wholesale, you can get:
- Consistent quality with fewer production headaches. Buying wholesale allows you to have a stable and predictable cost since you only pay for finished product and don’t have to manage damages or hire for this specialized skill set on your kitchen team
- .Bigger flavor selection. Going wholesale allows you to offer a much wider variety of flavors to your customers. A specialized bakery utilizes economies of scale to produce multiple flavors for the same amount it would cost you to make a single kind.
- Better profit margin. Because of the small batch sizes, heavy labor requirement, and lost products due to slightly poor technique, outsourcing French macaron production to an expert prevents a lot of waste, headache, and lost margin.
If you’re still on the fence, you might be concerned about giving up control over ingredient quality if you’ve always made them in-house. Will the flavors be as pure or authentic?
Or you could be wondering about your profit margin and whether you’ll be able to justify the wholesale cost of good-quality French macarons.
With a macaron supplier that matches your values and quality standards, you don’t have to sacrifice profitability or quality—let’s explore how.
Also Read: Why Duverger Macarons Taste Exceptional
Types of French Macaron Products You Can Buy in Bulk
Bulk macarons are usually sold in sealed packages with plastic clamshells protecting each macaron from being damaged in transit. They are packaged this way (never loose) because they need to be airtight to maintain the macaron shell’s distinct texture.
- Bulk Packaging for Food Service — These are packaged in bulk to be sold by a café, coffee shop, or bakery, typically in a refrigerated display case. Bulk macarons are commonly sold in sets of 12, and each case contains 6 sets of either a single flavor or a variety of flavors.
- Pre-Pack for Retail Sales — Retail-ready pre-pack macarons are macaron sets in labeled packaging (usually window boxes) ready to sell to customers. Pre-pack offerings come in a variety of sizes, containing anywhere from 3 to 12 macarons.
7 Things to Consider When Buying Wholesale French Macarons
Vetting a wholesale partner can feel overwhelming. Let’s break down the most important points you need to ask them about as you evaluate suppliers.
1. Minimum Order Quantities
Work out your order volume before researching suppliers to avoid wasted time. Many suppliers have minimum order quantities that you may not have the budget (or cold storage space) for.
2. Ingredient Quality
What about the ingredients? Would you prefer organic? What about artificial flavors and colors? Many commercial macarons contain highly processed ingredients like neon artificial colors, while artisanal bakehouses may only use colors derived from fruits and vegetables.
A few key things to watch out for on the ingredients list:
- Additives and Preservatives: Macarons contain just a few ingredients, but they need to be prepared and combined meticulously for a good result. As insurance for the many things that can go wrong in the process, many bakeries use additives and preservatives like gelling agents or whipping agents (such as triethyl citrate).
- Artificial Colors and Flavors: Some mass-produced macarons are made with inferior ingredients, such as artificial lemon or vanilla flavoring. Others are made with natural flavors but tinted or decorated with artificial colors.
- Buying Flavor vs. Making Flavor: A macaron shop may pass the “nothing artificial” test, but rely on premade compounds for flavor or a mass-produced nut paste for filling
The ingredient list can tell you a lot about the product. It should be short and contain natural ingredients you recognize as food.
The best French macaron producers don’t rely on artificial color powders or premade flavor compounds, but process raw ingredients to make their own flavors from scratch. Some bakeries even grind their own organic pistachios to mix into a homemade buttercream and produce a perfect true-to-nature flavor.
3. Customer Service
- Online Ordering — Consider your favorite suppliers and how easy it is to place your orders. Is online ordering available? Or do you have to order by phone (consider the time difference) or trade emails back and forth?
- Location and Shipping Cost — Beware of too-good-to-be-true prices on wholesale macaron cases. Shipping is shockingly expensive because French macarons are highly perishable, especially if you’re out of state. For example, next-day air shipping on a $50 box of macarons shipped from the Midwest to California can easily cost over $100. A quality bulk macaron product should be shipped 2nd-day air — any longer and the product texture suffers.
4. Tempering Instructions: Cold vs. Warm Storage
When ordering French macarons from a supplier, keep in mind that quality macarons are still delicate and require tempering (planning ahead for shifting product temperature) and additional cold storage space. Good-quality macarons should never go from reach-in freezer to room temperature without being held in refrigeration in between.
Beware of bulk macarons that call for room temperature storage. Macarons made using traditional methods and fresh ingredients can only be held at room temperature for a few hours. If a bulk macaron can be held in warm storage according to the label instructions, it most likely contains preservatives or inferior ingredients — like shortening instead of real butter in the filling.
5. Gluten-Free and Organic Certifications
While a classic French macaron is made from a base of egg whites, sugar, and almond flour (and therefore, naturally gluten-free), not all wholesale macarons are produced in certified gluten-free commercial kitchens. Some mass-produced macarons are made with part wheat flour to save on ingredient costs (almond flour is expensive), but adding gluten to the mix eliminates one of the macaron’s key benefits in your assortment. Customers with celiac disease and wheat allergies (and those buying special treats for them) will pay a premium for a product guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination.
If organic ingredients are a priority for you (or a selling point for your customers) this will narrow the field considerably. Might sound crazy, but there is only ONE Certified Organic macaron wholesaler in the United States! Very few producers of wholesale macarons use organic ingredients, let alone go for the whole certification, which makes sense considering their high ingredient cost even when made with conventional ingredients.
6. Display Signage and Marketing Support
If you’re selling macarons as part of a wider assortment in a display case, consider what marketing support the macaron supplier will give you. Do they provide display trays or elegant gift packaging? Do they have signage available that will help your customers make their choice and help you move that product inventory?
Macarons often prompt a lot of customer questions because they come in so many flavor combinations. Menu and flavor cards with flavor cues and key ingredients can reduce customer confusion, making them likelier to buy.
How to Choose Wholesale Macaron Flavors
What flavors should you order? Every bakery has bestsellers their customers request over and over — look at media mentions and online reviews for their most-loved flavors. If they match your aesthetic and complement the rest of your sweet assortment, it’s likely to be a fit.
That said, there are a few flavors that macaron fans will typically expect to see.
- Classic Macaron Flavors — If you’re just starting out with macarons, these are the archetypal French macaron flavors, traditionally finished simply in subtle pastels:
- Pistachio (pale green) — The quintessential macaron filled with pistachio paste or buttercream
- Chocolate (pale brown) — The most popular flavor overall, usually filled with chocolate ganache
- Raspberry (soft pink) — Usually filled with raspberry jam
- Lemon (pale yellow) — Filled with lemon curd and, similar to jam-filled macarons
- Signature and Seasonal Flavors — Macaron shells and fillings are a blank canvas for many, many flavors, so you can experiment with selling less-traditional flavors with less risk than larger items (such as layer cakes).
Branching out from the traditional flavors, here are some other popular options:
- Tea & Coffee — Green Tea, Espresso, Earl Grey
- Spices — Cinnamon, Pumpkin Pie, Salted Caramel
- Flowers & Fruits — Lavender, Rose, Passion Fruit, Coconut
- Dessert-Inspired — Cookies & Cream, Orange Truffle, Red Velvet, Hazelnut Brittle
- Holiday — Birthday Cake, Chocomint
The Best Place to Buy Wholesale French Macarons
Coming from France, we were spoiled by the availability of good macarons, and one of the reasons we started our company in 2011 was because they were hard to find in LA. Now the macaron has become one of the most popular pastries in America, especially for weddings and gifts.
The skills required to properly execute French macarons means they command a premium price compared to other baked goods. This has driven many bakeries to offer macarons wholesale, which means you have plenty of options to choose from.
Local bakeries may offer macarons on their menu, but they may not be able to produce the quantity you need and often have cross-contamination issues. Start by asking if the bakery has experience working with wholesale accounts.
Many home-based bakers specialize in niche baked goods like macarons. If their cottage food license allows them to sell to wholesale customers, this may be a good option if you only need a small quantity or order occasionally for special events. But they’re unlikely to have the production or shipping capacity for more than a few local wholesale accounts.
Big Box Distributors
Bulk macarons at larger distributors are certainly the cheapest option and are usually offered in a wide variety of flavors. Ordering is usually easy and product fulfillment is reliable. The downside? They’re typically made in large quantities with highly processed ingredients like preservatives, flavor extracts, and artificial colors.
You and your customers will be able to taste the difference. While affordable, there is a reason for the price difference – factory macarons are often cut with wheat flour or filled with shortening. Real butter is more expensive and less stable than shortening, but flavor and mouthfeel is far superior.
Duverger’s Specialized Macaron Bakery
If you care about clean ingredients and bright flavors, as well as getting a consistent customer experience, a bakery like ours dedicated to wholesale French macaron production is your best bet.
You benefit from our investment in a streamlined operation that operates at scale, producing a wider range of shells and fillings that you could execute in-house, with the reliability and high-volume capacity you need in a wholesale partner.
But you won’t have to settle for inferior ingredients or poor quality. Absolutely everything that goes into our macarons is all-natural and organic whenever possible (we’re one of the only companies to offer Certified Organic French macarons).
We take the extra time to create flavor from fresh ingredients like seasonal fruit, whole spices and locally sourced nuts—we never use artificial colors or flavorings.
The best way to decide on bulk macarons is with your tastebuds. Don’t be shy about asking for a sample! Any wholesale bakery worth partnering with will be happy to let you sample their product.
Want to Taste the Best Wholesale Macarons?
If you’re interested in our handmade and all-natural French macarons, contact us for a free sample and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.
Fair warning though: most of our tasters have turned into customers.