The Invisible Chef, which produces baking mixes in small batches at its factory in Kentucky, said Jelly Belly was attracted by the boutique approach of its business.
Co-owners Jill McCauley and Terry Howard had been approached by several other potential licensing partners in the past but Jelly Belly’s request was the first time they had been truly interested.
“From there, we submitted samples and after a round of tasting and discussions were selected to move forward as the exclusive licensee for Jelly Belly baking mixes,” Howard told BakeryandSnacks.The new products are to launch at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York in June.
Perfect for decorating
Howard said Jelly Belly flavor profiles are a natural fit for baking mixes, adding their products are “perfect” for decorating baked items.
“During the brainstorming process, Jelly Belly suggested recipes featuring their own flavors, and the plan was born to incorporate those flavors into baking kits,” she said.
Among the products set to launch is a kit for making a chocolate-covered cherry cupcake that will include ingredients to make ‘Very Cherry frosting’. Other planned launches include cupcake kits, cookie kits, swirl cakes and donut kits.
Broadening consumer base
The Jelly Belly mixes are due to be distributed to specialty food retailers, gift retailers, grocery chains and club retailers, said Howard, who added he expected the launches to broaden the appeal of The Invisible Chef.
“This is also a natural extension for stores carrying Jelly Belly and will provide a line of products that can be merchandised within their current Jelly Belly displays.”
Although The Invisible Chef exports to countries including Canada, Germany and England, the Jelly Belly products will only be sold in the US and Canada.
Baking mix market in decline
Mintel reports total US sales of baking mixes declined last year by 3.4% and are expected to continue declining at this pace into 2020 as a result of consumers’ increasing concerns about artificial ingredients.
But The Invisible Chef, which uses no artificial ingredients in its products, believes specialty gourmet baking mixes will continue to grow as a category.
“Clean labels with premium, all-natural ingredients are becoming even more important to label savvy consumers,” explained Howard. “Consumers are looking for ease of use and baking mixes that are as close to homemade as possible that offer ways to save time.”