Cookie Convergence: Mrs. Fields enters the cinema channel

Snack Corner

Film Journal International always tries to acquaint its readers with the latest trends in the industry. This month, we would like to introduce Mrs. Fields, the queen of cookies. This notable brand has been in the retail sector for quite some time. Now, through the efforts of Taste of Nature, this delicious concoction of morsels of chocolate chips and sugary batter will now be available in mass distribution to concessionaires across the United States.

I’ll eat one cookie, not a whole box of cookies. But I still eat the one cookie…sometimes two, or even three. But not the whole box.—Kate Winslet

Everyone loves cookies! While theatres have the core segments of soda, popcorn and candy, cookies are a universal delight when it comes to snacks while watching movies. Not only do cookies carry a sweet taste to the mouth, they offer the aroma of freshness and are warm to the touch. The secret is how to create that consistency in every cookie baked. Mrs. Fields Cookies have made that practice a part of their success story.

As theatres grapple with ways to reinvent the theatre experience, cookies warm and rich in flavor could become a delectable alternative to the common selections offered. Mrs. Fields offers those attributes. Regarded as shelf-stable, individually wrapped for guaranteed freshness, these can be prepared either at room temperature or warmed to 110 degrees for that “down home” impression.

PR Newswire first announced the partnership between Famous Brand International, the parent company of Mrs. Fields Cookies, and Taste of Nature, Inc., a cinema confection broker, in a press release dated August 28, 2017. Effective January 2018, Mrs. Fields Cookies are now available through Taste of Nature.

Taste of Nature takes on the responsibility for the manufacturing, sales and distribution of Mrs. Fields Cookies. The cookies are pre-packaged and are available in Everyday Chocolate Chip and seasonal varieties to all cinema circuits across the domestic markets. Through its partnership with Taste of Nature, Mrs. Fields is positioned to extend is growth in sales with the addition of the exhibition channel.

Dustin Lyman, chief executive officer of Famous Brands, states, “We are delighted to partner with Taste of Nature in this exciting phase in our company’s growth. We are confident this collaboration with Taste of Nature, Inc. will help Mrs. Fields reach an expanded retailer customer base and we look forward to working with a proven industry leader with a 25-year track record of success.”

So what does this mean for Taste of Nature? Scott Samet, co-president of Taste of Nature, states that Mrs. Fields extends the Taste of Nature portfolio with “true diversification.” While Taste of Nature is known for its Cookie Dough Bites brand, Mrs. Fields Cookies enhances the collection within the company. Samet adds, “This is absolutely a terrific fit with Cookie Dough Bites. This brand allows us to extend the items we sell within the cinema channel and creates more space for us in the retail outlets. Cookie Dough Bites lovers have been enjoying our products for over 20 years! Creating a baked cookie that helps tie the two together seems like a natural fit and next step for the company.” And combining Cookie Dough Bites and Mrs. Fields Cookies brings more visibility to the cookie concept at the counter point of sale.

Patrick Micalizzi, assistant VP, food and beverage, at National Amusements/Showcase Cinemas, offers his view on this new supplement to concession options. “The addition of Mrs. Fields Cookies to our 1-2-3 Go Box™ kids’ pack provides another great snacking option for our young guests. We are thrilled to partner with Taste of Nature as their first cinema concessions operator to offer this delicious treat as part of our everyday lineup.”

Samet notes that the rollout will continue through the year and expand to the international market as well, since Mrs. Fields already has multiple stores abroad. “Our initial intent is to market the cookies internally—within the theatre lobby spaces with digital content and P.O.S. materials,” reports Samet. “We will focus on lobby exposure first.”

Another means of extending the marketing of the product is through kids’ packs. Samet says that the 1-oz. size package will be offered to complement kids’ packs in theatres. “Hopefully, this prominence will precipitate adult awareness that Mrs. Fields are available in the larger sizes as well,” Samet observes.

Congratulations to Taste of Nature on bringing the best of the best in the cookie line to cinemas.

Larry Etter is senior VP at Malco Theatres and director of education at the National Association of Concessionaires.