Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to chat with Carla King, senior marketing manager, Mary's Gone Crackers, about its recent Kookies launch as well as what's next for the brand in 2022 and beyond.

Liz Parker: How did the new Kookies line come about?

Carla King: Mary’s Gone Crackers previously produced cookies and gluten-free graham crackers under our founder, Mary Walden. Under new ownership (Kameda Seika) and the move to the Reno, NV facility, the focus shifted solely to crackers. In looking to expand our portfolio and reach new consumers, we developed an innovation pipeline and saw that there were not a lot of Graham-like offerings in the Gluten Free space. With a new R&D team and exciting ingredients, Graham-style snacks are the first products from that pipeline. 

LP: What were some of the biggest challenges in developing these? 

CK: One of the bigger challenges was balancing the ingredients to our attribute promises of organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO, all while operating in a pandemic. Our R&D, Quality, and Procurement teams have done a fantastic job in securing the ingredients and creating delicious products that many consumer testers said they couldn’t believe were gluten free. 

LP: How do they meet an in-market need for gluten-free products? 

CK: The demand for better-for-you (BFY) products is growing as more people are home preparing their own snacks and meals. Gluten-free products have grown with that trend. However, consumers have a lower tolerance for products that do not deliver on taste. Mary’s Gone Kookies has delivered on both BFY and taste fronts. 

LP: Anything else new on the horizon for 2022 or 2023?

CK: Oh yes! Our pipeline has not slowed. We are looking to launch new items later this year, next year, and [in] 2024! Unfortunately, I am not yet allowed to share, but we look forward to sharing when we can.