Foodservice operators who are hungry for sales can always count on cookies. In fact, the beloved baked goods staple raises so much dough at limited service restaurants, cookies are the segment’s most menued dessert item.According to the market research firm Technomic, cookies are not only the leading sweet treat for LSR operators surveyed (47%), but also the fastest-growing dessert for full-service restaurant operators.1 Portable and perfect for on-the-go consumers who patronize LSRs, they travel well, making them an ideal option for boosting off-premise dessert sales for both limited and full-service restaurant operations.
For 45% of consumers surveyed (50% of millennials), chocolate chip cookies take the cake as their most preferred baked good to order as dessert. Other cookies rank high too, including chocolate (35%), cookie with candy pieces (28%), peanut butter cookie (27%) and sugar cookie (24%).1 Percentages for each are higher for millennial survey responders,1 underscoring the evergreen appeal of time-honored flavors.
Smart Cookies: Gourmet Cookie Businesses Satisfy Hunger for Trending Treats
Cookies are a big deal for small businesses that specialize in gourmet varieties. Google searches offer an index of the rapidly rising interest in these purveyors of cookie creativity. Recent top results for cookie searches show the remarkable upsurge in popularity over the course of 90 days, according to Google Trends.2 Among the delivery and takeout titans of gourmet cookies that Google searchers are going ga-ga for are Last Crumb (+300%), Chonky Cookies (+350%), Rush Hour Cookies n Crème Café (+550%) and Crumbl (+3,750%).2
In a category chock-full of tastemakers and trendsetters, Crumbl is crushing it as the fastest-growing gourmet cookie delivery and takeout company. The brand has expanded to over 264 locations across America,3 hitting a sweet spot in the market with its award-winning milk chocolate chip cookie, chilled pink sugar cookie, and rotating weekly menu of four creative flavor concepts.
In honor of the company’s four-year anniversary, Crumbl recently introduced a flavor-packed cookie concept developed in collaboration with Mondelēz International. Stuffed with white chocolate chips and pieces of Golden OREO® and topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting, Golden OREO® crumbs and a mini Golden OREO® cookie, the limited-time offer ran from September 27 through October 2.
“With the Golden OREO®, we wanted to take the successful flavor profile of our most popular LTO and flip it on its head,” said Chelsea Currier, Crumbl’s vice president of research and development.3 Other LTOs to come out of the partnership include the Chocolate featuring OREO®, which outsold classic chocolate chip, a Crumbl customer favorite.
Another up-and-comer in the gourmet cookie category is Sugar Shane’s, the 2021 Judge’s Choice Award Champion of Dessert Wars, America’s largest dessert festival.4 After a year of sweet success with his first shop, owner Shane Quillin is set to open his second shop in Atlanta. The brand ships nationwide. In addition to classics like Chocolate Chip and S’mores, Sugar Shane’s features best-selling flavors like Cookies and Cream, Dashing Delta.4
With National Cookie Day (December 4) and the holidays quick to arrive, now is the time to optimize your menu with specialty cookies and cookie-infused desserts at your foodservice operation. Our acclaimed chefs at Mondelēz International Foodservice have a long track record of tantalizing tastebuds and feeding the bottom line with creative cookie concepts made with our beloved brands. Get a taste of our cookie recipes in our Culinary Center. For original cookie concepts customized for your operation, leave a message below.
1 Technomic, “Dessert: Consumer Trend Reports,” 2021
2 Pire, Taryn, “Chonky, Crumbl, Last Crumb: Softball-Sized, Goo-Filled Cookie’s Are 2021’s Hottest Dessert,” PureWow, October 17, 2021
3 Mondelēz International and Crumbl Cookies, “Crumbl Cookie Introduces New Golden OREO® LTO During 4-Year Anniversary,” September 28, 2021
4 White, Danita, “Sugar Shane’s to Open 2nd Gourmet Luxury Cookie Shop in Sandy Springs,” What Now Atlanta, October 29, 2021