D? Cookie Dough Confections is one of several cookie dough bakeries making headlines in the U.S.
In early 2017, a new bakery popped up in New York City’s Greenwich Village. It has people talking, not for what it does, but what it doesn’t do. Chiefly, it doesn’t serve baked goods in a traditional format.

D? Cookie Dough Confections specializes in selling scoops of raw dough in a cup or a cone like ice cream. In January, it debuted to great fanfare, and has only grown in popularity since its opening. Kristen Tomlan, D? Cookie Dough Confections founder, tells the Toronto Sun she’s selling 1,500 pounds of cookie dough a day at her Greenwich Village storefront and hopes to expand both in New York and online.

“It’s really cookie dough gone wild,” she says.

What makes this idea so popular among customers, not just in New York City, but at cookie dough bakeries across the country?

Cookie dough has long been a guilty pleasure for many, but it is often consumed in the privacy of one’s home and done so with the not-insignificant risk of contracting an illness. At cookie dough bakeries, however, raw cookie dough is safe to eat because it is made with heat-treated flour and pasteurized eggs.

“Because it is a lot of people’s obsession and it’s been a secret obsession for a long time,” Tomlan answers when asked why cookie dough deserves a shop of its own.

Another factor at play is convenience. Slightly chilled, raw cookie dough is ready to serve in many different forms such as cups, cones, and sandwiches. They can be customized with gourmet flavors like salted caramel, peanut butter, birthday cake, Nutella, and so much more.

The rise of cookie dough bakeries coincides with other specialty sweet shops. Whether it is cupcakes, pies, cookies, bagels, or any other baked good, customers appreciate a business that focuses on doing one product well. Much like early shops dedicated themselves to this singularity, the idea is coming back around to businesses of today.

According to industry analyst Technomic’s MenuMonitor, cookie dough is seeing a 9% year-over-year growth as foodservice operations of all kinds are looking to ride the wave of its popularity. As more of these cookie dough establishments succeed, competitors will likely follow.