Fresh-baked cookie pioneer Otis Spunkmeyer will launch retail line in early 2016

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags High-fructose corn syrup Supermarket Corn syrup

Fresh-baked cookie pioneer Otis Spunkmeyer will launch retail line
Well-known fresh cookie-maker Otis Spunkmeyer is expanding its empire beyond food service and into the retail segment for the first time with the launch of a line of sweet baked goods that will hit store shelves nationwide in 2016. 

The new Otis Spunkmeyer grocery line will include “classic flavors” ​that “sweet-tooth consumers know and love,”​ including golden crème and cinnamon crumb cakes, muffins, cupcakes, brownies, donuts and, of course, the company’s famous chocolate chunk cookies, said Kristina Dermody, president of the manufacturer.

Most consumers are familiar with Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, which many have tried at least once at hotels when they check in, on airplanes when they take off or in school cafeterias when they were growing up.

But, “what they haven’t known is where to buy Otis Spunkmeyer, so we are really excited to re-launch to consumers at retailers,”​ including grocery, club and convenience stores nationwide early next year, Dermody said.

“Our goal is to make Otis Spunkmeyer available for everyone, everywhere they shop,” ​she said.

In a sense, the expansion will bring Otis Spunkmeyer back to its roots, in that it started as a chain of retail cookie stores in California, Dermody said. “We have been waiting for the optimal opportunity to expand our business back into the retail space. We have the capability and decided now was our time to have our sweet baked goods in grocery retail stores for everyone to enjoy!”

“No funky stuff”​ claim

Recognizing that grocery store shelves are crowded with well-established brands, Otis Spumkmeyer plans to “stand out”​ from the competition by promising the baked goods will have “no funky stuff,”​ Dermody said.

“This means our delicious foods are made without artificial flavors or colors, high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils” ​while still “delivering on a superior tasting treat that people love,”​ Dermody said.

These on trend qualifications could give the brand a leg up on other long-standing retail sweet baked goods manufacturers, some of which still use artificial flavors, colors and high-fructose corn syrup, which have come under fire in recent years by consumers who prefer natural ingredients.

However, manufacturers increasingly are reformulating their products to exclude undesirable “artificial”​ ingredients, so the “no funky stuff”​ claim may have limited long-term impact.

“Reasonably priced”

Because Americans also are “very cost conscious,”​ the company has “ensured that the new food line is reasonably priced with all consumers’ needs and wants in mind”​ at a suggested retail price of $3.99 to $6.99.

This also could be a point of distinction when combined with its “no funky stuff”​ claim given that many products with higher-quality, premium or natural ingredients charge higher prices than those made with artificial ingredients.

Finally, Otis Spunkmeyer is well-positioned to capture retail sales by drawing on its 35-years in food service to identify and move fast on emerging consumer trends.

“Food service trends are consistently used to develop new foods to launch in a retail setting. We have definitely taken the insights we’ve learned from our long standing successful presence in the food service industry to decide how, when and what to launch in the retail marketplace,”​ Dermody said. We believe given our expertise in this space, we are well equipped to develop tasty and delicious snacks and treats in this new way.”

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