“For Brooklyn Bites, I definitely want to become a brand to the world. I want to be in Starbucks, I want to be on every shelf,” Dayan told FoodNavigator-USA.
Since its early days, Brooklyn Bites has been a lean four-person show (including Dayan’s mother and father Sara and Ruby Bibi, and her husband Eddie).
The recipe for Brooklyn Bites cookie brittle originated from a healthy treat Sara and her mother Barbara made regularly that one day happened to flatten in the oven from accidentally adding too much almond milk.
When Brooklyn Bites launched, originally under the name ‘Baked By Bibis’, the company was selling its line of indulgent, gluten- and dairy-free cookie brittle for $16 per 7-ounce bag.
Even at the steep price point compared to other cookie thins products, demand for Brooklyn Bites products quickly exceeded supply, since the production was limited to what Barbara and Sara could bake in one day in their home kitchen.
“We couldn’t make enough a day,” Dayan said.
Growing out of their home, Brooklyn Bites gained a cult following in their community and grew brand awareness through Instagram.
The bites became very popular with health-conscious mothers who would share it with their families, according to Dayan.
“Eventually they started saying that their husbands really liked it and then that their kids liked it,” she said.
Barbara’s husband Eddie Dayan encouraged her to share the cookie brittle with local retailers in the New York City and New Jersey area. As it gained distribution in hundreds of retailers including Wegmans, Shop Right, 7-Eleven New York City locations, and Fairway, the brand was able to slash its price per bag half (now $7.99 per 6-ounce bag).
To lower its price point without sacrificing quality, Brooklyn Bites moved into a larger kitchen space in Coney Island, bought wholesale ingredients (before they were buying on Amazon), and purchased custom machinery to flatten the dough instead of tediously hand rolling it.
Better-for-you and indulgent
As US consumers continue to snack throughout the day, demand for products that are indulgent and better-for-you has grown.
According to Mintel, consumers are still interested in traditional snacking categories of cookies and crackers but the brands that will succeed are the ones that differentiate themselves in format and indulgent flavors.
“Elements of health may appeal to some consumers, but the majority of innovation should be focused on more indulgent flavors and formats that consumers want to see more of in order to continue to grow the category and compete against other sweet treats,” noted Mintel food and drink analyst, Michael Averbrook.
The rising “think thin” trend in the snacking category has been a popular format for many companies looking to capture consumers’ mindful eating habits (Mondelez introduced Oreo Thins and Wheat Thins Even Thinner in recent years, for example) by providing them a way to indulge with less calorie guilt.
However, Dayan sees Brooklyn Bites as a very different product to other brittle and thins cookie and crackers on the shelves today because of its high-quality ingredients (dairy-free white and dark chocolate, raw almonds, and organic brown rice crisps) that give its snack a crispier, lighter texture.
The Brooklyn Bites cookie brittle line comes in six flavors (coco crispy rice, cinnamon coffee cake, nutty chocolate sea salt, chocolate lovers delight, white chocolate brownie, and crunchy creamy pretzel), and contains 100 calories or fewer per serving.
While Brooklyn Bites has a health edge being vegan and gluten-free, Dayan added that its consumer base is responding to the taste and convenience of its products.
“They don’t just like it because it’s healthy, they like it because it’s just an easy and delicious snack,” she said.
Dayan shared that Brooklyn Bites is working on a savory line of brittle with flavors ranging from toasted sesame and everything spice, to a spiced cracker with the popular Middle Eastern spice za'atar, made with gluten free cassava and brown rice flours.