The door to innovation is wide open. Bakeries across the country are expanding their new product announcements in rapid fashion in response to a brave new world.

Founded in New York City’s East Village in 2008, Milk Bar has long been known for their familiar-yet-unexpected cookies, from wildly textural and flavorful Compost Cookies to almost savory Corn Cookies, and more at their bakeries and online through Milk Bar entered into the grocery category in 2020 and, in just three years, is available in over 10,000 grocery stores with bakery-inspired offerings, accessibly reimagined for consumer’s pantries.

Now, Milk Bar, the celebrated dessert company founded by award-winning chef Christina Tosi announces the launch of two new cookie types in grocery stores: bite-sized crunchy cookies (“crunchies”) and ready-to-bake cookie dough.

Milk Bar will be adding two new cookie types to their grocery lineup: crunchies and ready-to-bake dough. debuting in grocery stores this spring, crunchies are poppable, flavor-loaded cookies made uniquely crispy and airy from puffed rice cereal inside (a nod to the brand’s signature use of cereal starting with Tosi’s creation of Cereal Milk Soft Serve, credited with starting the cereal milk craze).

Ready-to-bake cookie dough will be a limited time offering powered by General Mills, encouraging people to roll up their sleeves and fire up the oven. Tosi and her team joined forces with General Mills to create a dough that bakes perfectly golden brown on the outside, while staying gooey on the inside. A Tosi approved pro-tip? Bake two dough pieces on top of each other for an extra delicious, Milk Bar bakery-sized cookie.

“Cookies are where it all started for me - my first invitation into the kitchen as a kid and a mainstay on the Milk Bar menu ever since. After all, cookies are the most versatile treat in the dessert world: there is a perfect one for every moment, every taste, every craving,” says Tosi, chef, founder and chief executive officer of Milk Bar, “I can’t wait to share what we’ve dreamed up with these two treats: an epic snack in your daily routine with our crunchy cookies and an invitation into the kitchen to own the title of baker yourself with our ready-to-bake dough.”

Crunchies will launch in 4 flavors: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Toast, Pretzel-y Chocolate Chip and Vanilla Butter Crunch, and will be found in retailers like Whole Foods, Giant, Stop and Shop and more.

The ready-to-bake cookie dough will launch in 2 flavors: Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow and Fruity Cereal, and will be found in retailers like Target, Kroger and more.

Cookie expansion continues to dominate Milk Bar’s innovation pipeline for 2024 and beyond: from sandwich cookies to cookie-inspired snack cakes and more. Ice cream pints, many of which are flavors inspired by Milk Bar cookies, will also continue to complement the cookie offerings.

Twisted by Wetzel’s

Wetzel’s Pretzels is putting the perfect twist on pretzels with the introduction of Twisted by Wetzel’s, a never-before-seen street concept that takes Wetzel’s fun-loving brand and timeless menu and elevates it to a whole new level. 

Amplifying the iconic brand’s crave-worthy, classic pretzels, Twisted by Wetzel’s satisfies today’s millennial and Gen Z generations through an expansive, innovative menu curated to provide an array of imaginative and elevated options. From savory to sweet, it features new creations that are stuffed, topped and drizzled to ultimate pretzel perfection. Some of Twisted’s amplified pretzel creations include: 

  • Twistz – An ode to everyone’s favorite piece of the pretzel – the twist. Twisted and braided pretzel dough is stuffed with cheese and sprinkled with flavorful toppings. Select from the Pizza Bomb, Wetz Coast Club or Triple Grilled Cheese.
  • Dogz – The all-beef Wetzel hot dog guests know and love, now elevated. Options include the Baja Boardwalk, complete with jalapeños, green onion, slaw and Cilantro Baja Sauce atop a spiral bun, as well as Wetz Coast Classic, Sriracha Soul and Everything Bacon.
  • Loaded Bitz – Wetzel’s riff on loaded fries. Sweet and savory pretzel bites drizzled and finished with inventive toppings. Try crowd pleaser S’mores Bitz – classic Bitz, smothered in rich chocolate fudge, mini marshmallows, graham cracker crunch and chocolate chips. Other options include Bacon Ranch and Baja Elote.
  • Topped Pretz – A truly tempting treat, Wetzel’s traditional full-sized pretzels are topped with surprising flavors. Options include the Nashville Heat, covered in Wetz Cheese Sauce and dusted with Nashville spice, and the Maple Bacon, with a maple glaze and crispy bacon bits, among others. 
  • Pretzel Chimney Cakes – The average ice cream cone pales in comparison to these twisted chimney cones. Our famous pretzel dough, rolled in sugar crystals and filled with creamy soft serve. Available in Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Brownie and more.

House-Made Drinks include refreshing lemonades, floats and more, like the sweet and tangy Mangonada, made with real mango frozen lemonade, chili lime seasoning and enjoyed through a tamarind straw.

“Twisted by Wetzel’s embraces the magic or our core brand and elevates it to a whole new level, providing a bigger, bolder, more imaginative expression of Wetzel’s,” said Kim Freer, chief marketing officer. “Building upon our legacy, we’re reimagining how and where these twisty treats are enjoyed. By bringing an innovative menu and engaging in-store experience to neighborhood locations, we’re making pretzels more fun and more accessible than ever before. We’re proud to debut this new concept in our home state of California, bringing our vision of a Wetz Coast Wonderland to life.”

Bringing Wetzel’s whimsical nature to fans in convenient neighborhood locations, the store design provides guests with a vibrant, immersive, 360-degree experience. It’s bright, energetic interior matches the brand’s fun, playful persona and its open kitchen highlights its heritage of artisan craftsmanship. Twisted by Wetzel’s activates the brand’s mantra to “bring pretzels to the people” through a prototype that is suited for power shopping centers in densely populated urban, suburban and college town settings. Targeting optimal sites at 1,200 square feet with strong street visibility and the potential for outdoor seating, its locations will be optimized for both dine-in and online ordering occasions.

“We’re always looking for growth opportunities for new and existing franchisees to evolve with Wetzel’s,” said Jon Fischer, chief development officer at Wetzel’s. “We’ve shown our ability to adapt to a variety of flexible formats, and the addition of Twisted by Wetzel’s helps us to unlock a powerful new pathway for expansion. Adding storefront locations to our portfolio allows us to bring pretzels to the people, wherever they are.” 

Serving up the ultimate California vibe, the first Twisted by Wetzel’s location will debut this spring in Orange County at 1331 W Imperial Hwy. in the La Habra Marketplace. 

Providing a fun, fresh take on soft pretzels, Wetzel’s Pretzels was founded in 1994 by Bill Phelps and Rick Wetzel in Pasadena, California. Drawing fans to its mouthwatering, portable snacks that are hand-rolled, baked fresh and served hot from the oven, word quickly spread about the delicious West Coast brand. Today, Wetzel's Pretzels has grown to more than 370 bakeries, including premier locations like Disney Springs® at Walt Disney World® Resort.