Baking & Snack - October 2020 - 31

TRENDS
Cookies

Uncovering a few surprising secrets behind successful cookie
brands can help bakers achieve their sales goals.
by Nico Roesler

T

The rejuvenation of the Keebler brand by Ferrero Group
in 2020 represents a movement happening across the
cookie market. When the Parsippany, NJ-based company bought Keebler brand from Battle Creek, Mich.based Kellogg Company in 2019, Ferrero embarked on
a mission to update Keebler's recipes, branding and message. Even Ernie, the famous Keebler elf, got a makeover.
"We really started the minute we closed on the sale
of the business, taking this beloved, iconic 150-year-old
master brand Keebler and really reinvigorating it and
bringing it to life," Natalie Hagstrom, general manager of cookies at Ferraro, told Monica Watrous of Food
Business News. "We're enhancing our ingredients with
more 'made with real.' We know for the US consumer, it's
really table stakes, shorter ingredient statements, more
real ingredients. With Chips Deluxe Original, you'll see
'made with more real chocolate.' On Fudge Stripes you'll
see 'made with real Keebler fudge,' and on our Sandies
brand you'll see real Madagascar vanilla has been added
to our ingredients statement."
The new Keebler brand taps into certain premium
claims while still positioning itself as a classic indulgence.
Across the cookie category, brands are finding new ways
to do just this: injecting new life into classic cookies. Some
are even taking the better-for-you factor to the next level
by creating keto and other diet-friendly snacks.
While the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has
hurt many aspects of the economy, it has proven lucrative
for the cookie category. Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive vice
president and practice leader, client insights, IRI, said the
accelerated growth in cookie sales is not because people
have been stockpiling goods but because people are incorporating cookies into different parts of their day. From a
dessert to a reward to a healthy treat after a workout or
for celebrations, cookies are finding new eating occasions.
In 2019, the total cookie market accounted for $9.1
billion in sales and grew 3.7%, according to IRI. For the
52-weeks ending Sept. 16, that growth rate reached 6.6%.
"The cookie category has more than doubled in dollar sales in 2020 versus 2019," she said. "COVID has accelerated the adoption of online sales, and online sales
will continue to be a growth channel for this category.
This means there is an incredible opportunity for cookie

manufacturers to understand who their online buyer is,
deepen their connection with targeted messaging and
ensure availability across brick and mortar, click-andcollect retailers as well as pure plays."
According to ResearchandMarkets.com, the global
cookie market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.37%
from 2020-2025. It forecasts that the increasing number of consumers shifting toward healthier alternatives,
due to the growing concerns over obesity, poor diet and
other health issues, will support the growth of the cookie
market globally.
Product innovations, owing to health and wellness concerns, are changing the market dynamics, and
Innova Market Insights has noted several other driving factors in the market. Tom Vierhile, vice president
of strategic insights, North America, for Innova Market
Insights, said crossover flavors between categories, keto
products, collagen products, seasonal offerings and
grain-free varieties are defining the market heading into
the next decade.

Keto cookies with
alternative flours
offer a diet-friendly
cookie alternative
for consumers.
No-Bake Cookie Co.

Password: Indulgence
The cookie market can be broken down into two categories: indulgent and permissible indulgence. Permissible
indulgences, as defined by IRI, are indulgent products
that have been made to be a bit more diet-, label- and
health-friendly. By adding claims like high protein, low
sugar or grain-free, cookies don a healthier halo.
In 2019, both segments of cookies grew. Permissible
indulgent cookies grew in dollar sales by 3.8%, while indulgent cookies grew 3.4%, according to IRI. However,
COVID-19 has seen an overall decline in permissible indulgent products as they've dropped 7.4% since March.
Meanwhile, indulgent products have grown 12.4% over
the same period.
"There are many reasons for the surge," Ms. Lyons
Wyatt explained. "A few of the reasons are consumers' quest for nostalgia. Another reason is for rewarding themselves or family members. And an additional
reason is not wanting to go to specialty bakeries during COVID."
She added that the surprising decline of permissible
indulgent cookie sales is not universal. Some products

www.bakingbusiness.com / October 2020 Baking & Snack 31


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Baking & Snack - October 2020

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