Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to talk to Robyn Defina, vice president of sales and marketing, Sugar Bowl Bakery, Hayward, CA, about its new website and brand refresh, as well as its solar and sustainability impact.

Liz Parker: Why did Sugar Bowl Bakery decide to do a brand refresh?

Sugar Bowl Bakery was founded in 1984 and we thought it was a great opportunity to modernize and elevate the brand's uniqueness, points of difference and personality.  Our goal was to establish Sugar Bowl Bakery as the category leader of ready-to-eat baked goods, by amplifying the brand prominence and emotionally connect with consumers so they know exactly who’s responsible for the treats they know and love.

LP: What are its goals in renovating its website?

We wanted our website to reflect our new look and brand ethos. A few functionality upgrades to call out are:

  • Store locator feature to direct consumers to where to buy our products
  • More robust product pages including nutritional information, product and lifestyle imagery and full SBB portfolio, including seasonal items
  • ADA compliance – enables any viewers, regardless of circumstance and ability, to access and view our website
  • Recipe section to inspire creative and delicious use of our products

LP: What will the packaging redesign involve?

A key design challenge we wanted to solve for was improving our retail shelf presence and drive awareness and understanding of our unique product formats, since not everyone may be aware of what a palmier or madeleine is. We chose a fresh, more playful design in a bolder, more vibrant color palette while keeping our core value and brand ethos of simplicity and transparency at the forefront. 

We also elevated our brand and product storytelling opportunities by providing details like “family-owned” and a short quote from our founders, the five Ly Brothers. about why they started Sugar Bowl Bakery after immigrating to the US. 

We also help to define what makes our products uniquely different and delicious from other sweet baked goods with an illustrative icon and more detailed description of the product. These descriptions come straight from the mouths of our consumers, and we think they are representative explanations of what makes a madeleine or palmier special.

LP: What sort of sustainability efforts are the brand currently undertaking? 

As a large commercial bakery, Sugar Bowl Bakery understands how crucial it is to reduce our environmental impact. One of the key ways we do this is by powering our bakeries with solar power; using this renewable energy promotes a cleaner environment and helps offset about 50 percent of our electric use.

We also try to reduce plastic waste wherever possible. From working on re-engineered boxes made of paper, to donating funds to Plastic Bank to help combat the plastic waste we are creating (this year, Sugar Bowl donated enough to offset about 100k of its plastic clamshells), we take this issue seriously and will continue to look for ways to reduce our impact.

LP: Any new products on the horizon for late 2021/early 2022?

We recently launched our new Chocolate Baked Donuts. These perfectly portioned and baked, not fried versions of classic donuts, are sure to be a family favorite and enjoyed as a special treat any time of day.  We start with a light and moist chocolate cake donut, enrobe it with a decadent chocolatey dip and then top it with chocolate sprinkles. They are available in select Costco Bay Area warehouses and Andronico’s in the San Francisco-Bay Area. 

We also have some new seasonal flavors like our Peppermint Duet Bites, Gingerbread Bites, and Mango Cakes.

Peppermint Duet Bites are part brownie and part white cake with candy cane pieces mixed throughout. Our Gingerbread Bites are gingerbread cake bites with the right blend of ginger, molasses, cinnamon, and clove. After the winter holidays, our consumers can ring in the Lunar New Year with our Lunar New Year-themed Mango Cakes. These miniature cakes contain real mango pieces for a fresh mango flavor that will delight the entire family and bring "good fortune."

Aiming to keep the seasonal momentum going, Sugar Bowl Bakery will be front-lining its spring holiday lineup with its Lemon Madeleines and Tropical Pineapple Cake Bites, which have a bright, tart, refreshing taste and a fresh burst of pineapple flavor in every bite. And like our traditional French-style madeleines, our lemon madeleines are buttery soft and moist with a bright citrus flavor.