To get your monsters fed most efficiently, it is important to understand that the cost for making food is always 10 coins per "treat", regardless of the kind of food you make, unless a special promotion is in effect. Thus, the true factor to consider is the rate at which Food can be baked. Also, the amount of Experience earned, in XP, is always half the number of coins paid. That is, at regular baking costs, you earn 25 for each 5 units of treats at a cost of 50 coins. A special promotion may affect the amount of food you get from a given number of coins, but not the number of XP.
Here is a time and Experience analysis of food production:
Cake Wins -- or does it?
With 173.61 units of food being produced per minute, it would appear baking a cake is the best way to go (if you can hold off and save 5,000,000 coins!).
However this assumes you already have the cash at hand and only a single bakery.
Note a few things:
- Multiple bakeries can achieve the same or greater rate of production with "lower" treats compared to a single bakery, with the possible "cost" of higher maintenance. The limit to the number of bakeries per island also limits the potential of rate gain (so no 100,000 cupcakes).
- At early stages of the game, the biggest limiting factor is the rate at which money is earned. Waiting to save 5 million coins is not worth the time saved in rate of food production, because you could have been making food the entire time. It also ignores the increased coin production that could be gained by intermittently leveling up monsters during this period.
- The most effective rate of food production is achieved by minimizing the amount of time that any bakery sits idle. Of course, at "lower" levels of food production, this would require maintaining the bakeries around the clock, which is hard to sustain. But at later stages of the game, this strategy tends to become quite effective and allows for an easier maintenance schedule. For example, if you are going to spend 5 million coins on treats, and have 10 large bakeries available, you could spend all your coins on one bakery to make a cake. You would have to wait 48 hours (two whole days), and this would leave the other 9 bakeries sitting idle. Instead, you could cook 10 pies, and the cooking time would be reduced to 12 hours. The total amount of treats produced is the same either way, and so is the cost, but you save 36 hours by cooking pies. Even with just 5 bakeries, you could start 5 pies baking, wait 12 hours, collect the pies, and start another batch of 5 pies... total cooking time: 24 hours.
- Balancing the factors, the most efficient strategy is roughly as follows:
At any time, decide how much money you have to spend on treats. Divide that money among all bakeries available and bake the "highest" (no jokes intended) treat you can in each of them. As each bakery finishes, continue to cycle the highest level treats you can, considering any bakeries that may finish in the next hour or so. The last bakery run before going to bed, however, should probably be an item that runs "overnight", such as a pizza.
- During the American Thanksgiving week in 2013 and 2014, the food output from the Turkey rose from 100,000 to 200,000, thus affecting Food Production for a limited time.