Cookie Dough Bites Aren’t Just For Movie Theaters Anymore

Cookie Dough Bites candies in three flavors: Birthday Cake, Chocolate Chip, Fudge Brownie

Photo: Marnie Shure

Who here got scolded as a kid for licking the bowl after making a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough? If so, you might remember how eye-opening it was to see a whole new confection, Cookie Dough Bites, emerge in theaters starting in 1997. I remember it well: we kids could suddenly get all the flavors out of a no-bake cookie. plus an extra layer of chocolate, without any of the risks/conferences associated with eating raw cookie dough (E.coli in raw flour, salmonella in raw eggs, etc.). For my young mind, it was exciting. And 25 years later, it still is.

A Brief History of Cookie Dough Bites

While Cookie Dough Bite is a beloved confectionery product with a fervent fan base, it is still owned by an independent company: Taste of Nature, Inc.which began as a bulk food provider focused on “healthy” snacks like yogurt pretzels and trail mix in the early 1990s. The idea was to enter a market where consumers might already be looking for a more affordable alternative. healthy: movie theaters.

“After going down that road for about five years, our company began to take some twists and turns, looking for opportunities for further growth,” said Scott Samet, president and co-founder of Taste of Nature. Food to go. “As we rotated, we began supplying candy in bulk, [which] it was becoming very popular in theaters.”

Bulk candy, popular in the mid-1990s at concessions counters, has mostly disappeared from U.S. theaters in the 21st century, but it was only thanks to this drive-through, per-ounce model. that Cookie Dough Bites were born.

“We came across a bulk chocolate covered cookie dough item where we really saw potential,” Samet said. “We weren’t manufacturing it at the time, we were buying it and putting it on our displays and dispensers in bulk. You basically have a cookie dough fudge, a ball of delicious cookie dough, and then you cover it in delicious, creamy milk chocolate, and suddenly you have a winner on your hands.”

Taste of Nature went to work formulating their own version of the product, changing the specifications from bulk candies to those sold pre-packaged in boxes. Cookie Dough Bites received its simple name and was first sold as a stand-alone product exclusively in theaters in 1997.

“It just took off,” Samet said. “It was immediately a sensation.”

Why Cookie Dough Bites Work

During the initial R&D process, Samet explains, there were a few things to consider. While it’s not hard to mimic the taste and texture of cookie dough without involving its riskier ingredients (raw flour and raw egg), the safety of cookie dough morsels has always been made abundantly clear in the packaging, just so no one thinks they’re ingesting anything they shouldn’t. “EGGLESS RECIPE” points to a burst of stars on each box.

Proper proportions were also an important part of product development, especially the ratio between the chocolate coating and the interior of the cookie dough. The first round of development resulted in a ball that was too big, with too much chocolate on the outside and not enough on the inside. (“The chocolate was overwhelming the cookie dough,” Samet said.)

In addition to reducing the size and improving the ratio of each candy, some adjustments were made to improve both the texture and shelf life before it was released. And once they were introduced, the presence of the candy was very specifically limited to movie theaters, not supermarkets.ets, sweet shops, convenience stores, or any other type of point of sale. It’s part of what has kept candy so intriguing for the past two and a half decades.

“They can’t buy it everywhere,” Samet says of consumer enthusiasm for the product. “It’s not in every 7-Eleven and Kroger. It’s just not as readily available as other sweets.”

In fact, cookie dough bites are among the most popular movie candies across the country, and the product competes with giants like M&M’s and Twizzlers, confections not only made by massive global conglomerates, but widely available at every corner drugstore.

Where to find Cookie Dough Bites

Eventually, Cookie Dough Bites expanded its sales to some grocery and convenience stores. The product line has also expanded to include eight flavors year-round and a few rotating seasonal specialties: Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Cookies and Cream, Fudge Brownie, Cinnamon Bun, Birthday Cake, Cupcake. red velvet and s’moresels, plus Strawberry for Valentine’s Day and Gingerbread for the winter holidays. You won’t see most of these in movie theaters though, they’ll mostly stick to the classic Chocolate Chip.

“Movie theaters are a low-SKU place,” Samet explains, referring to stock-keeping units or individual products sold by a particular outlet. Since there’s little space behind a concessions counter, movie theaters tend to stock a variety of each candy, so you’ll usually see the same key players represented: Twizzlers, Peanut M&M’s, Sour Patch Kids, Milk Duds. Meanwhile, in grocery stores where shelf space is less precious, a product like Cookie Dough Bites can stretch out with more flavors, and by extension, more appeal.”laps.”

But more flavors not only increase the number of coatings, but also keep the product top of mind, especially for non-movie consumers. And during COVID, that was most of us.

Cookie Dough Bites are now available not only in classic movie theater cardboard boxes, but also in resealable standup pouches. This adaptation lent itself well to the COVID quarantines, when we were all seeking the comfort of nostalgic flavors and buying items in larger quantities to limit our trips to the supermarket.

The Best Way to Eat Cookie Dough Bites

youThe new home pantry-friendly packaging also makes it easier to take the bagged serving suggestion: “Try them FROZEN!”

Taking a bite of frozen cookie dough was something of a revelation for me, someone who has only ever enjoyed them at room temperature in theaters. It offers a whole new snacking experience, making every bite something to work for, but with the same characteristically productive center. In fact, if you’re a fan of frozen cookie dough bites, Samet says you might as well enjoy them that way at the movies.

“A lot of the theaters have some kind of freezer and serve them as a cold snack,” he explained. “If you walk up to the concession stand and say, ‘Hey, do you have these frozen?’ most of the time, they have some chills for their customers.”

No matter what temperature you enjoy them at, wherever you buy them, and every time you open them, cookie dough bites are certainly something unique on the market.

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