Coverage – a little glitter goes a long way!

By Moira Watson
Published on May 14th, 2015

We get a lot of questions about Edible Glitter™ and how it is used on product. The main thing that makes Edible Glitter™ so different is that it is a very thin flake compared to a sprinkle like a jimmy, which is an extruded shape. The amount of jimmies, nonpareils, and colored sugar needed to decorate an item, weighs a lot more than the amount of glitter needed to equally decorate that same item. These products are usually sold by the pound, which is why it gets confusing for people. It is hard to compare the coverage from a thin flake to the coverage from a heavier sprinkle. I prefer to look at it as ‘coverage’. For example, how many cupcakes or donuts or cakes can you cover with the product?

These are two circles that we use in a lot of presentations to explain Edible Glitter™ and how to determine the quantity you will need for a project or to replace Jimmies.

At first, when you look at the circles, you’ll notice that the particles are, of course, different. There may not be the same number of particles. But you can probably agree that the visual effect of coverage is the same. Both look pleasing. You can image these are two cupcakes and both have different toppings, but both look equally ‘decorated’.

The circle on the left has Carnival Edible Glitter™ and the one on the right Rainbow Jimmies.

When you weigh out the amount of sprinkles that is when you notice the big difference. The Edible Glitter™ in the circle on the left weighs 0.149 grams. The Jimmies in the right hand circle weigh 2.907 grams. Grams are small and most people are really not used to thinking in grams (there are about 454 grams in a pound), but the big point is that Jimmies weigh 20 times as much as glitter. You can easily figure out how much glitter you’ll need if you know how many pounds of Jimmies you’d like to replace. For example, if you use one pound of Jimmies and you replaced that with Edible Glitter™, you would only need 1/20 of a pound of Edible Glitter™, which is about 1/3 oz. If you use 20 pounds of Jimmies, you would need only one pound of Edible Glitter to create the same effect. For larger bakers who purchase 6,000 pounds of Jimmies, that means you would only need about 300 pounds of Edible Glitter™ to cover the same amount of finished product with the same visual appeal. Think of the freight costs and warehouse space you would save!

Whether you are a large scale baker or using Edible Glitter™ at home, you will find a very little goes a very long way. On a retail basis, Edible Glitter™ is sold in small jars, typically in 0.25 Oz or ¼ Oz jars. That seems small to many people. But that jar will cover as many cakes or cookies as 5 oz (or about 1/3 lb) of Jimmies.

Here is another way to think about it: Go back and look at the two circles again. They are about the size of a cup cake. Based on the weight of Edible Glitter™ used in the circle on the left, you could comparably decorate about 3,047 cup cakes using one pound of Edible Glitter™, while using the same quantity of Jimmies as used in the circle on the right, one pound would decorate only 156 cup cakes. Wow!

Overall, most commercial bakers see a substantial cost savings when switching to Edible Glitter™ from Jimmies.