Supermarket Perimeter - June 2022 - 23

Renewed focus
Over the past two years, Los Angeles-based Aspire Bakeries, like many
other companies, has taken a hard look at its product portfolio, said
Christine Prociv, the company's senior vice president of marketing,
innovation and R&D.
Aspire culled its product roster down to its core baked goods, plus a
few additional offerings for innovation and of interest to its customers
and consumers.
Otis Spunkmeyer is Aspire's designated Sweet Baked Goods brand.
In addition to cookies, Aspire sells muffins, bars, and squares under the
Spunkmeyer brand.
In the cookie category, Aspire sells frozen cookie dough (FCD) and
baked cookies, while its muffins are fully baked for convenient thaw and
sell (T&S) opportunities, Prociv said.
Labor savings, convenience and smaller serving
sizes are among the industry trends Aspire is
keeping a close eye on and developing new
sweet goods products to stay on top of.
" In today's constrained labor market,
our customers continue to look for
more convenient labor-saving options, "
Prociv said. " Specifically, our individually
wrapped (IW) muffins and cookies have
grown significantly over the last two years,
which is a testament to the strength of our
brand, product quality, and agility to meet
consumer needs. "
When it comes to flavors, chocolate chip and chocolate chunk
continue to be the company's most popular varieties, Prociv said.
Consolidation of demand at the top continues to strong: Aspire's top
six flavors make up 80% of category sales.
" While the Otis team develops new flavors and seasonal varieties
to meet consumer needs and drive excitement in the baked goods
category, the mainstays continue to thrive, " Prociv said.
In muffins, Otis blueberry, chocolate chip, and banana nut round out
the top varieties, given that muffins tend to skew toward morning and
daytime snacks, she said. Bars and squares - which provide consumers
with a sweet treat for dessert or any time of day - tend to follow
cookies' lead: " anything chocolate, " she said, reigns supreme.
Aspire has expanded its individually wrapped offerings in all
categories, including its baked bars. The company's customers and
A key shift in the sweet baked
goods category within instore that
Corbion has tracked in recent years
has been the surge in demand
for individually crafted desserts,
which have grown 26% in dollar
sales and 23% in units moved.
consumers are seeking grab-and-go
options that are sealed, portable, and
fresh, Prociv said.
" We deliver on all those benefits,
and sales are strong. For example,
during the pandemic many hotels
switched from a full breakfast
buffet to more grab-and-go options
that included Otis Spunkmeyer
muffins. "
Now, they're here to stay, she added,
since they deliver the customer experience
with no labor required.
" Overall, our IW portfolio - core plus new flavors - is being wellreceived
in the marketplace. "
Another recent Otis innovation is the " pizza cookie, " an extralarge
cookie to share among family and friends, Prociv said. Aspire
introduced it at the Las Vegas International Pizza Expo in March, which
generated " a terrific response " from conference attendees, she said.
Demand for Otis Spunkmeyer products continues to be strong, Prociv
said. The pandemic led to a return to comfort foods as consumers were
seeking a bit of indulgence or a touch of sweet, and Aspire's sweet
baked goods have clean ingredient lines that allow consumers to enjoy
baked goods and feel good about what they're eating at the same time.
Aspire has trademarked the tagline " No Funky Stuff " for the Otis
Spunkmeyer brand. What that means to the company's consumers,
Prociv said, is that while maintaining the indulgent and enjoyable
experience of an Otis cookie or muffin, they have a guarantee that there
will never be artificial flavors or colors, partially hydrogenated oils, or
high-fructose corn syrup in any Otis item.
Balancing indulgence and claims
Depending on the sweet goods segment, consumers may have
different levels of concern for ingredient labels, Halliburton said.
In the morning goods category, for instance, consumers may be
looking for a cleaner label on items like muffins or sliced breakfast cakes
but will have less concern about indulgences like donuts and sweet
pastries.
" For these indulgent items, there's a higher demand for quality and
freshness, and premium taste, " Halliburton said.
To achieve great taste and quality in indulgent products like instore
sweet baked goods while also meeting clean label standards, bakers can
replace chemicals with enzyme-based natural solutions, said Yanling
Yin, R&D director for Corbion.
Corbion's Pristine portfolio, which includes clean-label bases, mixes,
dough conditioners and icing stabilizers, gives bakers the flexibility
to deliver greater transparency and simpler ingredient labels without
sacrificing quality or consistency, she said.
Corbion has other solutions to help instore bakers ensure the quality,
taste, texture, appearance and functionality of their products, while
meeting the latest consumer demands and trends, Yin added. And the
company's on-site tech service support team works directly customers
to optimize their applications and ensure they achieve the right eating
qualities and processing feasibility.
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Supermarket Perimeter - June 2022

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Supermarket Perimeter - June 2022 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2022 - 1
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