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Frozen cookie dough. (Welcome to: breads & baked goods).

America loves cookies, and judging by most sales figures, they love them more than almost any other snack or dessert food. The trouble for most cookie-lovers, however, is that they are forced to sacrifice the great taste of home-baked cookies due to a lack of time and convenience. The same is often true for retailers who cannot devote the man-hours to making cookies from scratch and therefore, lose out on having the appealing scent of freshly baked cookies wafting through the store. Or worse, they buy cookie dough from huge foodservice manufacturers that are full of artificial ingredients and so lack the gourmet taste of homemade cookies. Fortunately, an alternative is in the form of frozen cookie dough that is all natural and is made in small batches from organic flour and superior Belgian chocolate and without preservatives. In other words, they are made from scratch just like you would make them at home. The added bonus is they are pre-shaped and pre-portioned on individual parchment cups on which they can be baked. Rendering delicious results, they are unbelievably easy to use and send the stimulating aroma of cookies baking in the oven to every nose within smelling distance.

COFFEE TEA, OR MILK?

One of the best ways to expose your customers to the fresh taste of cookies made from frozen gourmet dough is to serve them at your coffee bar or coffee kiosks. All you need is a small countertop oven to have fresh-baked cookies all day long. Be sure to advertise them as such in your signage, telling everyone they can purchase the dough in the frozen food case. They are also perfect for instore cafes, box lunches that you prepare for your clientele, and catering. You can add a private-label aspect to the cookies as well by having your logo or store name imprinted on the bottom of the parchment cup so that as one finishes his/her cookie, your store name appears, reminding them of the source for these delicious treats. You can also bake the cookies up for in-store demos at a moment's notice. A tour bus arrives? Pop in a couple dozen frozen cookies and amaze your guests. They can be purchased in 1-, 2-, 3-, or 4-ounce serving sizes so you can adjust the size to the event.

TAKING THEM HOME

Numerous ways exist to encourage home usage of frozen cookie dough. Design signage to display near the frozen cookie dough area in the freezer. An important point to emphasize about frozen cookie dough is that having some in the freezer spells convenience when unexpected guests arrive. Such a characteristic will appeal even to those who regularly bake their own cookies, as they won't sacrifice any of the homemade taste, and yet they can sit with their guests rather than being forced to hurriedly mix cookie dough in the kitchen.

Cookies made from frozen cookie dough are also great for college students who have a small oven in their dorm rooms or in a dormitory common area. They are also perfect for the office kitchen, retired seniors, bachelor pads, housewarming gifts, a treat for the new parents just home from the hospital, day care centers or for the babysitter at home, and as an easy snack for teenagers after school that they can cook themselves without Mom's help and without making a huge mess for Mom to clean up. To bake up a batch of yummy cookies from frozen cookie dough, all anyone needs besides an oven is a sheet pan, and of course, a glass of milk.

Another way to retail the cookies is to bake them, and then place them in clear cellophane bags and set them at the front checkout counter to encourage impulse sales. The beauty of these is that you can package just a few at a time and bake more when you need them so they are always fresh. They are also perfect for perishable gift baskets, along with fruit, cheese, and other snacks. Again, they can be prepared when you need them and deliver the fresh taste of cookies right out of the oven each time.

KIDS' CORNER

Take care of the kids in your store because besides the sales they generate now through Mom, they are also your future customers. Try setting up a Kids' Corner somewhere in the store--preferably in a corner--and put in some simple wooden steps about two or three steps high. Use colorful signage to explain that any child who climbs up the steps can have a free cookie. It's easy for you because you just pop the cookies in the oven throughout the day, and Mom can rest assured that you are giving the kids a healthful snack.

IN A HURRY? QUICK TIPS

Choose frozen cookie dough that is all natural and delivers homemade taste.

Serve the cookies at your coffee bar, in your in-store cafe, in box lunches, and during spur-of-the-moment demos.

Frozen cookie dough is perfect for singles, seniors, babysitters, and after-school snacks.

Cello bag the cookies for impulse items at the front counter.

Set up a Kids' Corner where you distribute cookies to your future customers.
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Publication:Gourmet Retailer
Date:Aug 1, 2003
Words:859
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