With current food trends focusing on health-and-wellness, it may be tempting to dismiss the cookie category as out of touch or on its way out. And while most of the top companies operating in the cookie category have seen relatively flat sales activity—or, at best, modest gains—traditional cookies still account for a sizeable portion of this $8 billon category.
According to the January 2015 “Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition” report from Packaged Facts, Rockville, MD, from 2009–2014, sales of gluten-free products in grain-based categories posted a 34 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Enjoy Life Foods’ cookies, snack bars, chips, cereals, granolas and trail mixes are made in an allergen-free, gluten-free facility, and the company’s 40,050-sq.-ft. production plant is bulging at the seams to accommodate growing demand for its products. Enjoy Life is expanding at such a rapid pace, it may need to add a facility or relocate to a larger one.
It’s Celiac Awareness month, so we explore Enjoy Life Foods, the first bakery to gain gluten-free certification from the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). In business 12 years, Enjoy Life’s mission is to make great-tasting, allergy-free, gluten-free cookies, bars and grab-and-go foods that nearly everyone can ‘eat freely’ without worry.
Allergens were the number-one reason for food recalls in North America in 2011, and bakery products were one of the most frequent foods recalled. This was the first time that allergen recalls outpaced the number of food recalls due to microbiological contamination.
The emphasis on food safety has been constantly shifting and evolving. Traceability was an initial focus; then came the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) practices, which impacted manufacturing. More recently, the Global Food Initiative was created to improve food safety supply chain management.