The Sugar Shack Bakery in Sioux City, Iowa offers a variety of custom cookies.

If you want to offer a product at your bakery that commands a premium price, labeling it “Specialty” gives you a good reason to charge more. However, slapping a specialty tag on your basic chocolate chip cookie is not only morally ambiguous, but your customers will probably figure it out sooner rather than later and spread the word. You can still offer specialty products at premium price points with minimal effort as long as the said products are truly special in some way.

So what is special? Cookies give the retail bakery a great introduction to the specialty market. Most bakeries stock cookies daily and they sell. A “Specialty cookie” provides bakeries with a broad range of cookies to produce and sell at premium price points.”

Health Related Specialties

With the health and wellness movement in America continuing to gain strength among the mainstream, bakeries should label any cookies produced with a specific health attribute as specialty and price accordingly. This includes, but is not limited to whole grain, gluten-free, sugar-free, etc.

When making and labeling any gluten-free product, bakeries need to remember the strict regulations involved. Areas that produce truly gluten-free products for those that have celiac disease must be separate and sealed off from any areas that produce goods containing gluten as contamination is easy and not acceptable.

Gourmet Cookies

Offering certain gourmet cookies as specialty will catch your shoppers’ eyes’ with strategic signage and descriptions. Bakeries can produce gourmet cookies in a multitude of ways. Ingredients give bakeries the easiest avenue into the gourmet and specialty cookie business.

By simply baking out of the ordinary ingredients, cookies instantly become something special and the prices go up. Start by taking any of your basic cookie offerings and topping them with chunks of popular candy bars. Experiment with the size of the chunks and at what point in the baking process you add them. Offer customers samples of the experimental cookies to create buzz, get the product into their hands and ask for feedback.  

Custom Decorated Cookies

Offer your customers the service of custom decorating any of your regular cookie offerings for an upsell. Give customers a number of different toppings and icings to choose from. Royal icing, sprinkles, etc. If possible, take custom orders and have your decorator do them, and charge accordingly.

Ideas for making cookies specialty

• Take your standard cookies and dip them in chocolate.
• Top standard cookies with crushed peppermint sticks.
• Use exotic flavors like cardamom and lavender.
• Offer special holiday cookies only during the season.
• Offer ethnic specific flavors and cookies.