KANSAS CITY — As a mid-sized co-manufacturer, Fantasy Cookie Co. differentiates itself with its speed to market. Because it has an in-house research and development lab, the Sylmar, Calif.-based cookie and bar producer takes only six to eight weeks to develop a line extension or limited time offer for an existing product line.
New items typically need a little longer — five to six months — to go from concept and formula development to full-scale production.
“That speed to market is what makes us different,” Matt Cobb, Fantasy Cookie’s director of sales told Baking & Snack for its April issue.
Coordinating product development requires a collaborative effort among Mr. Cobb on sales; Christina Lates, director of R&D and food technologist, on product formulation, and Joe Rivera, director of operations, who brings the concept from bench to full-scale production runs.
In some cases, Fantasy Cookie develops new products from scratch using a concept provided by qualified customers. In other instances, the bakery relies on the brand’s formulas, which are then refined by Ms. Lates, then commercialized by Mr. Rivera’s production team.
“We don’t charge for R&D work in our lab, and that sets us apart,” Mr. Rivera said. “For some companies’ brands, they’re going to pay $50,000 or $100,000 to create a recipe, but that’s the value we offer by having a food scientist with an ability to work with them.”Russ Case, the company’s chief executive officer, added that such collaboration has allowed Fantasy Cookie to dramatically expand its customer base over the past three years and made it a significant player in the premium co-manufacturing market.