With the departure of its Archway Cookies business, Ellison Bakery decided to try its hand at filling the gap in the high-end, soft cookie marketplace. With 50 years of experience, the company launched its own Ellison Bakery brand.
“Archway was a great product line,” said Todd Wallin, president, Ellison Bakery. “They had a strong following, so we decided to launch a similar product to get back into that marketplace.”
While the company’s experience baking such cookies paid off in product quality, the Ellison Bakery brand ended up being a tough sell. “We had phenomenal products that we came out with but no one knew who Ellison Bakery was,” Mr. Wallin explained.
Without that nationally marketed brand name or distribution system in place, the company discovered that launching its own brand would take more investment than it deemed profitable. When Lance, Inc. (now Snyder’s-Lance), bought the Archway brand and started relaunching the product, making an Ellison cookie an even tougher sell.
Ellison’s managers decided it more prudent to regroup and pursue opportunities in the private-label market. Here, Ellison could focus on what it did best — baking cookies in a flexible production setting — without managing distribution or developing a brand.“There are a lot of great people out there who are looking for private-label products, and they want good products to take to their customers,” Mr. Wallin said. “That’s where we excel.”