Bakery startup Foodstirs to benefit from Amazon-Whole Foods deal

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Foodstirs' baking mix products are currently available online through Amazon. Pic: Foodstirs
Foodstirs' baking mix products are currently available online through Amazon. Pic: Foodstirs
Greg Fleishman, co-founder and COO of Foodstirs, said Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods will allow organic ingredients to reach more audiences.

According to Fleishman, the merger will add impetus to the demand for organic products in the US, and organic foods will become more affordable.

Foodstirs is a baking mix brand, co-founded by Fleishman, CEO Galit Lailow, and chief brand officer and US actress Sarah Michelle Gellar. Its products were rolled out to brick-and-mortar retailers in January 2017, and are also currently available in Whole Foods and on Amazon.

"We started out as an online business by sending baking kits to our customers,”​ said Fleishman.

What drives baking mix category growth?

"Foodstirs' brownies are a hit: it’s pretty much a landslide of the center store.”

AWaldron
Amy Waldron, retail growth solutions manager at KeHe

Around 35% of Foodstirs' total revenues come from online, said Fleishman, but noted he expects e-commerce to represent close to 15% of the company's revenues by the end of the year.

The anticipated decline does not mean online business is decreasing, however, its just projected as the company will have more retailers stocking its products later this year, said Fleishman.

"We are building distribution right now and going into all classes of trades,"​he said. “Our objective is to enter into several thousand points of distribution with our portfolio as flawlessly as possible.

"We want to own the breakfast category."

"We have pancakes in our portfolio, so there is an opportunity to extend into muffins and scones"​ said Fleishman. “We also want to fill out the treat side of baking.

A KeHe winner

Foodstirs' organic chocolate brownie mix recently won the Best of Center Store at KeHe's 2017 Holiday Show held in June in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

KeHe is an organic food distributor in the US, supplying products to national chains such as Sprouts, as well as regional mom-and-pop and independent stores.

Amy Waldron, KeHe’s retail growth solutions manager, said: “Foodstirs' brownies are a hit: it's pretty much a landslide of the center store.”

She also noted that low-sugar and clean label are on trend in the baking mix market, and sampling and demos within the store is important to promote the category.

"Baking mixes can also be very seasonal, most retailers purchased them for their Q4 holiday sales"​ said Saldron.

No plan to enter wellness space

Foodstirs uses an “identity-preserved"​ heirloom wheat flour from Colorado that has the lowest protein content compared to other types of flour, Fleishman said.

"We're not trying to be a functional brand,"​ he said. "When you think about nut flour-based mixes, such as almond flour, which are [popular] gluten-free alternatives, they may have high-protein content but create products that are dense and flavorless.

"There's time to indulge and we want our customers to indulge responsibly,"​ Fleishman added.

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