We recently received word that Otis Spunkmeyer will soon launch a new selection of snack cakes, muffins and cookies at retail. In order to gain some insight into this strategic move, we reached out to Kristina Dermody, brand president, ARYZTA, the parent company of Otis Spunkmeyer.
Douglas J. Peckenpaugh: What prompted Otis Spunkmeyer to enter the retail market with its cookies and snack cakes?
Kristina Dermody: Otis Spunkmeyer has been a pioneer in the fresh-baked cookie business and a leader in the sweet baked goods industry for more than 35 years. While our business has focused on foodservice operations, our company actually originated as a chain of retail cookie stores in California. Given the positive reaction and loyalty from consumers to our baked goods and cookies, we have been waiting for the right opportunity to expand our business back into retail.
DJP: Will the company offer the same types of cookies and snack cakes at retail that it currently bakes for foodservice customers?
KD: Otis Spunkmeyer is known for our delicious cookies. With the new line for retail, we are expanding with the introduction of 20 foods that blanket the cake, cookie, muffin and cupcake space. Most of the recipes incorporate traditional favorites that people look for at retail, but with an updated twist.
DJP: What competitive advantage does Otis Spunkmeyer bring to the cookie and snack cake categories?
KD: Our biggest differentiator is being able to offer “No Funky Stuff,” while not wavering on the great taste in our sweets and treats. That means our delicious food are made without artificial flavors or colors, high-fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils. And “No Funky Stuff” ensures that the Otis Spunkmeyer line of sweets is also delivering on a superior tasting treat that people love.
DJP: What types of packaging will the products use?
KD: Our packaging is bold, retro and fun—just like us. The boxes will be marked with a “No Funky Stuff” seal and many showcase the premier ingredient in the recipe, be it chocolate, blueberry, lemon, etc. Inside the box, our food is individually wrapped so it’s a great snack to throw into lunchboxes or take to work, when on the go.
DJP: Did expansion into retail require the creation of any new bakery facilities or lines?
KD: Expansion into retail did not require any new bakeries or lines. We had the capability and decided it was our time to expand into the retail channel. We are so excited and proud that now consumers will have the opportunity to find Otis Spunkmeyer at grocery chains nationwide.
DJP: Are you targeting any specific retail channels for this launch (traditional grocery, specialty grocery, mass merchandise, convenience stores, warehouse/club stores, etc.)?
KD: We are targeting everywhere food is sold—grocery, club and convenience stores across the country.