The grocery store perimeter is generally associated with healthier, fresher products. However, Kaitlin Smith, founder and CEO of Simple Mills, Chicago, is seeking to bring that same healthy focus back to the cracker aisle.
“Conventional grocers and national grocers in general are becoming more and more open to natural food products because more consumers are looking for brands they can trust to provide simple, wholesome ingredients,” Ms. Smith said. “I started the company because I had cleaned up my diet, taken out a lot of stuff like processed food and sugar and realized what a huge difference it made.”
Ms. Smith began her baking career by selling muffin and baking mixes to local Whole Foods stores in North Carolina. Within three months, they became the best-selling muffin mixes on Amazon.com and rocketed Simple Mills to the No. 3 largest natural baking mix company by total sales.
Riding that success, Simple Mills introduced a line of Almond Flower Crackers available in Farmhouse Cheddar, Fine Ground Sea Salt, Rosemary and Sea Salt, and Sun-dried Tomato and Basil varieties.
“They have been a stellar launch,” Ms. Smith said. “They, like the baking mixes, are made of very simple, wholesome ingredients, things like almonds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds.”
Simple Mills products are sold center-store with other crackers in both health food stores and larger grocery chains. Ms. Smith said that the company is still targeting health-conscious consumers that generally shop the periphery. It’s just doing it her way.
“Part of what we spend tapping into as a brand is bringing those consumers back to the center aisle through simpler ingredient lists and things that have more nutrients, more vitamins and minerals,” she said.