NEW YORK — Among the many characteristics millennials demand from their snacks — clean label, authentic, portable — one has been noticeably missing: photogenic. According to Toronto-based consumer intelligence firm Maru/Matchbox, 69% of millennials take a picture of their food before they start eating. Taking notice of this new tradition, Belgian Boys, New York, created Mini Cookie Stash, mustache-shaped speculoos cookies.
Wanting to bring a twist to traditional speculoos while maintaining its popular flavor profile, the company developed the baked snack to target the younger audience. Molded into a quirky mustache shape, the spiced cookies provide consumers with the perfect reason to snap a lighthearted picture of them snacking and post it to Instagram, granting the product unlimited free advertising space.
The product’s launch is also backed by a social media and charitable initiative that encourages snackers to “rock that stash.” Through the campaign, consumers can post a selfie with the cookies accompanied by the hashtag #RockThatStash on social media and then nominate a charity to win a part of Mini Cookie Stash proceeds for that month. Each month, a winner is posted on Belgian Boys’ website and social media channels. Since the product launched in February, the business has partnered with organizations such as World Vision USA, Lullaby Project, Operation Smile and more.
“We tried to find the most appropriate way to give back that stands in line with our company values while keeping up with trends out there,” said Greg Galel, president, Belgian Boys. “We are passionate about our brand and products and love to interact with our consumer.”
Mini Cookie Stash is made without palm oil, artificial ingredients or G.M.O.s and contains 140 calories per 1-oz serving. Offered in on-the-go pouches, the cookies are available in 1-oz packages with a suggested retail price of 99c as well as a 5-count retail box of pouches for a suggested retail price of $4.99.
Anouck Gotlib, creative director, Belgian Boys, noted that the R.&D. behind the product was rigorous. The company invested in production of custom molds and partnered up with packaging experts to make sure it could bring the vision of the cookies to life in the most efficient way.
“We had to push our partners and suppliers very hard to make this new product come alive, and we faced many technical difficulties along the way, but we are proud to say we were able to develop and bring it to market in less than a year,” Ms. Gotlib said.
From Stroopwafels to Waffle Chips to Mini Pancakes and more, Belgian Boys offers a wide variety of snacks and believes Mini Cookie Stashes will take its business to the next level. Since the product’s release this year, the company has seen its revenue and net profit grow by more than 200% compared with 2016. The cookie recently won a 1-star Great Taste award from Guild of Fine Food and can be found in specialty retail stores and on-line at www.belgianboys.com.
“Ever since we started our company in 2014, we have never taken ourselves too seriously. We try to have fun with it,” Mr. Galel said. “As a young business, we are still able to focus our attention on details and make sure we run our brand the way we feel is best.”