Social media has also impacted what consumers expect from their cookies, said Sheila Howell, vice-president of marketing for Cheryl’s Cookies. Globalization has introduced Americans to new flavors. Consumers are more adventurous. Sharing recipes and food on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook has helped people reimagine ways to use cookies.

“People are taking pictures of their food and sharing different recipes through social media,” Ms. Howell said. “It becomes a community.”

Cheryl’s Cookies has tapped into that community among its own customers by building a presence on social media. Through its Facebook page, the bakery talks about the brand. Through this conversation, Cheryl’s Cookies shares deals, prizes, new products and recipes, and consumers are able to give the bakery feedback.

Pepperidge Farm also has tapped into the social media community of its fans. Facebook and other social media not only act as platforms for shameless promotion but also allow the company to directly answer consumer questions and build a community around its products, such as the iconic Milano.