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Baking mix market needs to capitalise on better-for-you ingredients, says COO of Foodstirs

COO Greg Fleishman said Foodstirs is the first baking mix brand to use direct sourcing. Pic: Foodstirs

According to co-founder and COO of Foodstirs, Greg Fleishman, the baking aisle has been stagnant for far too long with products that are filled with chemicals, are hard to make and taste artificial.

“Foodstirs’ organic and GMO-free baking mixes and kits are made with clean and ethically-sourced ingredients, and are free of artificial preservatives, colors and flavors, to help families create baked goods that never sacrifice ingredient integrity for taste," he told BakeryandSnacks.

The baking mix company has grown more than 10 times in less than two years and its distribution continues to gain traction, including availability in The Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market and Costco.

It also plans to launch a new line of organic vanilla frosting mix and organic pancake mix in March 2017.

“We also just released a special edition ‘sprinkled with love’ organic cupcake kit for Valentine’s Day,” Fleishman added.

More BFY ingredients

Fleishman started Foodstirs with actress Sarah Michelle Gellar and her friend, Galit Laibow, in October 2016, with a mission to “awaken the sleepy baking section.” He is also the CEO and co-founder of Purely Righteous Brand, a boutique consultancy dedicated to fostering the growth of “green space” companies, including Foodstirs, according to his LinkedIn account.

He was formerly CMO and VP of marketing at Coca-Cola and in business development at Kellogg.

The bakery market has seen a rise in using natural ingredients, as clean label is taking the industry by storm. Many baking mix startups, including Simple Mills, have been sweeping out artificial components to become more competitive.

Speaking to BakeryandSnacks a year ago, Simple Mills’ VP of marketing Michelle Lorge said Simple Mills was the number one brand in the natural organic baking mix category from a sales-per-point basis, according to SPINS data.

Other baking mix firms, such as The Invisible Chef, decided to take a different approach by incorporating consumer-loved candy flavors to up their sales.

At the Summer Fancy Food Show last year in New York City, The Invisible Chef launched a range of baking mix products under a licensing partnership with Jelly Belly for seasonal occasions.

However, regarding improvements, Fleishman argued the baking mix market still has a way to go before it matches other food and beverage categories that use better-for-you ingredients.

“As a pioneer in the baking mix market, fusing the convenience of a traditional mix with chemical-free ingredients, we see a big opportunity to fill the gap.

"Foodstirs is the first modern baking brand using ingredients directly from source including organic unbleached heirloom flour, equal exchange organic fair trade cocoa and biodynamic sugar from single origin plantations in Paraguay,” he added.

Driving purchasing decisions

Today, several of the larger bakery and snack companies are looking to acquire smaller firms rather than develop new product ranges, but Fleishman has no plans to follow that route with Foodstirs.

He said the company is currently focused on building its own space on the baking aisles with its solutions that makes it easy to bake homemade products.

“Taste, ingredients and convenience will continue to drive purchasing decisions in 2017 as clean labeling grows in importance to consumers.

“Manufacturers are continuing to phase out harmful ingredients like partially-hydrogenated oils and are focusing on producing user-friendly baking experiences for the masses,” he concluded.

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