Retailers continue to rely on cookies to help differentiate their instore bakery departments, and commissaries, central kitchens and other offsite facilities are lending a big hand in an era of labor-related headaches.

Much of the demand for instore cookies is driven by the category’s unique value proposition, said Jennifer Halliburton, senior manager of market insights for Lenexa, Kan.-based Corbion.

“Instore bakery cookies are sought out over commercial aisle cookies for the freshness, quality, and fresh-baked eating experience,” she said. “Consumers want a ‘fresh from the oven’ taste and are drawn to baked goods with bright colors, interesting inclusions, and new and exciting flavors.” 

When creating or improving their instore cookie programs, it’s beneficial for retailers to use commissaries, central kitchens and other off-site facilities, Halliburton said.

Commissaries and central kitchens can make products at a quicker speed and can be better equipped to manage the complexities that come with creating a variety of products at once.

“Bakers can also benefit from more centralized manufacturing, higher speed throughput and lower cost to manufacture, increased training for bakers and economy of scale,” she said.

To help its commissary and retailer partners, Corbion offers a variety of texturing/stabilizing products to help extend freshness and a full portfolio of mixes and bases to create on-trend flavors and consumer sought-after styles.

In recent years, the company has seen a shift in ingredient technology for gluten-free formulation. As a result, Corbion offers a full portfolio of gluten-free mixes and bases to make it easier for customers to deliver gluten-free baked goods that meet consumer expectations without requiring additional technology. 


Celebration time

In 2022, consumers are looking to celebrate, Halliburton said. They want to gather with friends and family safely, and baked goods are an integral part of any celebration.

“We’re seeing an increase in demand for nostalgic flavors, baked goods with unique textures and inclusions and permission to indulge ingredients,” she said. “Consumers want a decadent experience, but they are also mindful of their health, meaning they make decision tradeoffs.”

When they choose to indulge, in other words, it better be worth it. Consumers are reading labels more closely and are drawn to natural ingredients and sustainable packaging. That said, they will also look to optimize their overall diet choices, balancing indulgence with better-for-you foods.

“The key is to deliver on expectations,” Halliburton said. “Our portfolio of stabilizers, emulsifiers and other fortification ingredients can help commissaries and central kitchens in their efforts to meet these demands.”