2022 flavor development recap
Here's our year in pudge flavors --
- # of new flavors: 6
- # of updated flavors: 7
- total flavors: 20
Here's the ranking based on average sales --
- Although cornflake pudge is not for everyone, it fared quite decently (read: it didn't flop). If you missed it, it's a very modern sweet-salty cookie with tons of complexity. We'll absolutely bring it back.
- Batchero Deucer (our take on Ferrero Rocher) never got the time of day. We released it for Valentine's day, but it should've been a Fall release. We tried to see if we could launch it in the fall, but there was too much going on. Either way, we're going to tuck it away for a while. This flavor's crux is the wafer texture. While I was able to nail the milk chocolate & hazelnut-forward flavor, it was nearly impossible to achieve that delicate yet crisp wafer mouthfeel.
- Didn't expect pumpkin spice to be so unloved this year. I tested the recipe before launching it, and it was DELIGHTFUL as usual, needing no changes. Perhaps just a lack of marketing on my part.
- Last year, the top requests were for fruity flavors, and you guys received it well! Pink lemonade, key lime, strawberries 'n cream all ranked decently.
- SO much love for gingy pudge. While it doesn't show up in rankings, it seems to be the cult favorite this year - thanks for rallying for the newest flavor in the lineup!
Most Difficult Flavors:
- Gingy pudge: spiced cookies are not to be taken lightly. Here’s what was critical: spice selection, spice ratios, and sourcing.
- Red velvet: updated again for the 3rd time - a notoriously tricky cookie due to its high moisture content (buttermilk & vinegar are responsible for that “red velvet tang”).
- Cornflake: composing a sweet-salty cookie that’s not too over-the-top was incredibly tricky. It took a long time to find the right mix of ingredients. Still, I’d like to update the cornflake crunch next in 2.0 so it stays crunchier for longer.
- Ube dulcey: finding the right match for ube in dulcey chocolate took a long time. I had tried dulcey chocolate (caramelized white chocolate), but it wasn’t until later that I put the two flavors together.
Failed pudges, in no particular order:
- black sesame w/ pb center (will continue testing in Q1 2023)
- apple (will continue again later - we’ve tried & failed 2-3x already)
- peanut butter w/ black sesame filling (will pursue black sesame w/ pb center instead)
- peach cobbler (peach flavor doesn’t come through well in cookie format)
- orange cream (flavor was over the top; might consider in the future)
- reverse pb&j (grape outer, pb center - would only consider pb&j in the future)
- milo java chip (didn’t like this combo)
- chocolate & vanilla malt milkshake (milo outer; horlicks center - beautiful cookie, but sadly the flavors weren’t a perfect match)
- hojicha brown sugar (would try again, but maybe as hojicha latte)
Looking forward to 2023:
- We spent a lot of time updating flavors this year. Updates are typically optimizations rather than deal-breaking features. I’d like to spend less time making updates, and more time on new flavors.
- In particular, I’d like to work on new types of fillings - jam, cream fillings, etc.
- As the menu is skewed towards the fall, we’re looking to change the cadence of the menu changes so that we have a completely different menu every two months. We're (tentatively) planning for chocolate chip pudge to be the only year-round flavor, and keep everything else as a seasonal item - and have most flavors get on the menu twice a year (except, of course, for things like coal pudge, which is designed for the fall).
- My fear is that we'll only be putting out a few new flavors a year as I'll commit to more difficult flavors, but thankfully we have a solid lineup of flavors to fall back on.
Thank you as always for reading and supporting us! We really love tinkering with the pudges :) We've sent out a survey over email & Instagram stories to get your input on flavors, menu cadence, etc - we look forward to your feedback!