LOS ANGELES, CA
Friday, August 14th, 2020
A twist of fate can come in the form of a simple observation. For Akiva Resnikoff, Founder and CEO of The Cookie Department, this simple observation would lead to the creation of a company.
“Back in 2009, I was sitting at a coffee shop and watched as patrons purchased a cookie or baked good alongside their cup of coffee and I pondered the potential of creating a caffeinated cookie,” he explained to me. “After 60-plus trial and error batches in my mother’s kitchen, what would become our signature cookie was born: the Awaken Baked double chocolate coffee cookie.”
Over the next few years, Akiva developed the passion project into a full-blown operation, developing new flavors with unique functional ingredients like superfoods and probiotics.
“I expanded from a few local retailers into foodservice and alternative distribution channels, including tech campuses, gyms, juice bars, movie theaters, college campuses, hotels, convenience stores, and even an airline,” he remarked. “I realized that for this company to thrive, I needed a drastic change. Armed with data on the exploding ketogenic market and inspired by the keto-friendly cookies I regularly baked for my wife, Elannah, whose doctors prescribed the ketogenic diet as part of her traumatic brain injury healing protocol, in late August 2019 I launched two ketogenic friendly, gluten-free certified cookies with only one gram of sugar and three to four net carbs. This was the shift that TCD needed.”
As keto continues to shape the way consumers think about food, The Cookie Department’s approach makes it a valuable buy-side partner. Within the next few months, the company is looking to launch its third keto cookie, as well as break into the frozen department with a keto breakfast muffin line.
“As a brand, we heavily utilize our social media channels to help promote the retailers that we partner with, from offering in-store redeemable coupons to announcing launches through our 50+ keto influencers who reach 585,000+ consumers nationwide,” Akiva explained. “Not all in-store promotions are universal. We create custom-tailored promotions for our retailers because face it, not all customers’ buying habits are the same.”
The company’s branding also dials into The Cookie Department’s sense of whimsy and fun—marrying puns, like Champion Chip—with authenticity and bright colors.
“We believe that it’s important for a consumer to know what they will be getting when they open the package. Thus, unlike many of our competitors, the cookie image on the front of our package is a non-photoshopped picture of the actual product,” Akiva noted. “We use fun, bright colors, and easy-to-read text so that the product feels approachable and clean. Our logo, a baking sheet covered in cookies, was designed to invoke feel-good familiarity. We want it to feel safe, enjoyable, and inviting.”
How will this cookie creator continue to disrupt the category? Deli Market News will continue to report.