Baking & Snack - April 2021 - 34

COOKIES

consumers want, such as limitedtime offers, experience, fun flavor
combinations and co-branding creating a retro or exciting twist on
old favorites. "
Since the acquisition of Keebler
brand, Chicago-based Ferrara Candy
Co., a subsidiary of The Ferrero
Group, has revamped the iconic
cookies, creating new formulations,
packaging and marketing strategies.
The brand overhaul included new
recipes for Chips Deluxe, Fudge
Stripes and Sandies cookies, removing high fructose corn syrup and
adding ingredients like 'more real
chocolate' to the Chips Deluxe and
Several cookie brands 'real Madagascar vanilla' to the Sandies.
saw double-digit
" Prior to the pandemic, there were some consumers
growth in 2020. who would only buy fresh-baked, less-processed items,
Campbell Snacks
and they will continue to do so, " Ms. Lyons Wyatt said.
" However, packaged cookie producers can respond by
cleaning up ingredient labels, removing artificial preservatives, and using only wholesome, quality ingredients
for their cookie brands. "
In February, Product of the Year USA, a consumervoted award for product innovation, recognized 41
items as part of its 2021 Product of the Year Awards,
including Ferrara Candy Co.'s Keebler Chips Deluxe
Original in the cookie category.
" When we set out to revitalize the brand and improve
the quality and freshness of our cookies, like adding
more real chocolate to Chips Deluxe Original, we did it
for our customers, and we're so happy to see that they
are enjoying the changes to our cookie portfolio, " said
Daniel Vera, head of cookies R&D at Ferrara, responding to the Product of the Year recognition.

Proliferating eating occasions
While pantry stocking drove snack and cookie sales in
2020, it is not the primary driver this year. Eating occasions for cookies are creating opportunity.
" Traditionally, cookies were enjoyed in the afternoon
or evening, but today consumers are eating them during all day parts, and especially as people have been confined to their homes, " Ms. Lyons Wyatt said. " Producers
are responding with cookies that appeal to consumer
needs throughout the day, whether an indulgent pleasure or a BFY cookie with health benefits. "
Pepperidge Farm now offers more than 50 cookie
varieties, including sweet classics and decadent new flavors, like Pepperidge Farm Thin & Crispy Butter Pecan
cookies. The cookies claim a 'fresh-from-the-oven taste,'

34 Baking & Snack April 2021 / www.bakingbusiness.com

made with real butter, crunchy pecans, real eggs and vanilla extract. From virtual happy hours to watching television with the family, Pepperidge Farm is working to
create a cookie for every occasion.
Such a return to more " real " ingredients also dovetails
nicely into the trend toward a return to comfort foods,
like cookies, and this has continued into 2021. However,
many consumers want to lose weight and improve nutrition and fitness, so cookies with functional claims may
resonate.
While free from dairy, grain and gluten claims persist, emerging concerns about eating too much sugar is
driving interest in alternative sweeteners or sugar substitutes, according to Packaged Facts. However, those consumers who are trying to reduce sugar intake from treats
typically do not want sugar-free products. Most prefer
products with less sugar or those sweetened with natural, non-sugar ingredients.
" Consumers are realizing that sugar is the enemy, and
we're trying to make it easier to reduce sugar by making
amazing tasting products without sugar, " said Joe Ens,
co-chief executive officer, HighKey, Bellingham, Wash.

CONSUMERS ARE LOOKING
FOR DECADENT PRODUCTS
WITH DISTINCTIVE FLAVORS
AND COMBINATIONS,
AND IT SEEMS COOKIE
COMPANIES RECEIVED THAT
MESSAGE LOUD AND CLEAR.
Mr. Ens cited research reporting that 51% of
Americans are looking to reduce sugar from their diet,
more than fat, sodium and gluten. As a result, HighKey
launched the " Cancel Sugar. Not Cookies " campaign so
consumers can enjoy their favorites guilt-free.
The type of health claim preferred varies from person to person. While weight loss is important for many,
some may seek an energy boost from a sweet, high-protein snack or low-carb, gluten-free options. Still others
may be looking for a clean label.
Ms. Lyons Wyatt emphasized that most consumers
sought comfort foods and nostalgia to cope with the
pandemic and stress, but those who always eat glutenfree or low-carb did not stop that eating behavior but
merely paused it. Those innate food preferences will
continue going forward.
HighKey recently expanded its portfolio of low-carb


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Baking & Snack - April 2021 - 2
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Baking & Snack - April 2021 - 4
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