Royal Wedding Boosts U.S. Sales of ... Fruitcakes?

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Royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton’s choice of wedding cake has sparked a boom in off-season sales of an often maligned confection: The fruitcake.

Traditional fruitcake makers across the United States say they’re seeing a surge in business as households prepare to celebrate Friday’s royal nuptials with English breakfasts, tea parties and other events.

While many details of the wedding remain shrouded in secrecy, the official wedding cake – a floral-themed fruitcake with cream and white icing frosting — was leaked earlier this month to the British press.

That’s sparked a mini-boom in fruitcake sales in the U.S., where the booze-soaked dessert is variously described as a doorstopper or a bar-room sponge, with sales rarely gaining traction outside of the Christmas holidays.

“We’ve had some pretty good sales over the weekend— it’s definitely picked up,” says Ken Bain, the owner of Mary of Puddin Hill, a Greenville, Texas, bakery that’s been making fruitcakes since before the Civil War.

Mr. Bain’s 25-employee bakery typically sells several hundred fruitcakes every month at $49.95 a piece, apart from December when sales swell to well over a thousand. But sales this April are up about 20%, a gain he attributes to the royal wedding.

Click here for more on this story from The Wall Street Journal blog In Charge.