August, 2014

Cookie Jars Runneth Over With Choices Friday, August 29th, 2014


Even the Cookie Monster must be overwhelmed.

The cookie industry is showing no signs of crumbling, in fact consumers are asking for more: more flavors, more nutrition and more allergy-free options. And, manufacturers are doing their best to produce products that cater to the masses.

According to Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery’s State of the Industry cookie report, taste still is one of the biggest sales drivers in the cookie category. However, consumers are no longer willing to sacrifice great taste for nutrition. They want the best of both worlds, now knowing that it’s possible.

Innovative sweeteners such as honey, clean labels and attractive packaging are driving recent cookie sales upward. Smaller and thinner cookies are on trend, along with gluten-free (which seems to be a trend in every possible food and beverage category) and convenience. With all of the demands in place, the State of the Industry report states that the opportunities are endless for cookies.

“Fighting for space in a relatively mature category dominated by large companies is a challenge,” the report says.

Back to Nature is fighting for a top spot with its Dark Chocolate & Oats Granola Cookies. They are baked with 100% whole grain, sweetened with honey and made with semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa beans. The cookies have no hydrogenated oils or artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.

Enjoy Life is a gluten-free bakery that produces Vanilla Honey Graham cookies. These cookies contain a rich, buttery flavor with honey. They are handcrafted and are gluten-, wheat-, dairy-, peanut-, tree nut-, egg- and soy-free.

A larger company integrating cookies further into the market is Kashi. Its Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Soft-Baked Cookies are kosher-certified and naturally-sweetened with wildflower honey. Each all-natural cookie contains 12 grams of whole grains and four grams of fiber.

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For consumers seeking protein, these new bars by Cascadian Farm are made with honey and organic pea protein. Each bar contains nine grams of protein and three grams of dietary fiber.

Cascadian Farm founder Gene Kahn was a grad school dropout from Chicago who wanted to make a difference in the world. Recognizing the balance between nature and humans, he farmed organically on a stretch of land in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. Today Cascadian Farm has grown into a pioneer in converting conventional farms to organic.

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Delicious Living Names Best Bite Award Winners

Winners included food and beverages that contain nutrient-dense, clean, and/or whole food ingredients. Five of the winners’ products contained honey.

Winning in the Best Low- or No-Calorie Drink category is Harmless Harvests’ 100% Raw Tea. Self-described at the world’s first raw tea, the Namacha Honey variety includes organic honey, raw 100% organic tea leaves, organic peppermint and organic lemon juice.

Best Gluten-Free Bread went to Rudi’s Gluten-Free Multigrain. Sweetened with honey, this bread is soy- and nut-free and replaces wheat with potato and rice, flaxseed, millet, sunflower seeds and cornmeal.

Love Grown Foods Power O’s Honey took the Best Cereal prize. Uniquely made from navy beans, garbanzos and lentils, this cereal sweetened with organic honey provides four grams of protein per serving.

The Best Mission Driven category went to This Bar Saves Lives. For every nut and flaxseed bar sold, this company funds a lifesaving food packet designed to combat childhood malnutrition. The Madagascar Vanilla Almond & Honey variety contains clover honey, Madagascar vanilla, roasted almonds, omega-3 rich flax seeds and a hint of sea salt.

Numi’s Organic Tea took the coveted Best Tea win, and its Honeybush variety is made from an organic flowering shrub that yields a rich, early brew with sweet honey overtones.

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