recapping our first summer of pudge
We'll start with a quick recap of the Spring flavors actually. If you're new to our brand, we launched batch 22 bakery in May of 2020, and started doing seasonal releases that Fall. But we make the seasonals as we go, which means that sometimes they won't be as popular. Not every cookie can be a winner.
In Spring 2021, we released filled matcha pudge with a white chocolate ganache, and choco pb swirl. This matcha pudge had some leakage issues we didn't face in any of our immense amounts of testing (clearly didn't stress-test enough haha), so we're hesitant to try chocolate fillings again. However, we'd bring choco pb back when we have a larger customer base - our peanut butter cookies are always REALLY GOOD, but sadly less beloved than we think they should be.
And now for our summer 2021 recap -- after a dud of a Spring, I was a bit nervous so we made sure to ask our customers what they wanted to see, and many people said... fruity flavors. We were like ???? but why!
These were the 4 flavors we developed:
- cookies n cream, with browned butter, chopped & ground oreos
- strawberries ’n cream pudge, with strawberries and white chocolate
- campfire pudge, with dark chocolate, housemate graham crunch, and toasted marshmallows
- pink lemonade pudge, with a zingy lemon tartness and strawberries
We had some catering orders so maybe it skewed the data a bit? Not sure. Pink lemonade pudge was the highest in average sales, with strawberries 'n cream coming in second. Note that strawberries 'n cream had the biggest cult following -- week after week, we got SO many comments praising how delightful and tart yet lightly sweet it was. I was blown away. (btw, I tweaked the recipe mid-summer to improve the texture, although no one seemed to mind the previous version.)
If we were a bookstore, pink lemonade pudge would be our staff pick. It was THE most innovative cookie I've created to date (details here). Our first time taking something that's not a normal cookie flavor, and pudgefying it. It won't be our last.
When we started making campfire pudge, I was so excited about its potential. It's like an elevated s'more, marrying 3 disparate elements/textures into 1 homogenous cookie. We nearly kept it year-round, but the fruity flavors proved to be more beloved. Sadly, it was also insanely labor-intensive to make, from a non-standard amount of butter and egg, to the housemade graham crunch. I'm thinking twice about bringing it back.
For full disclosure, we priced it incorrectly given the labor-intensive nature and would update the price to $7 for next year if it returns. (That said, our pricing is pretty standardized and we would prefer to lower our pricing when we can buy and produce in more bulk. For now, our pricing will mostly remain the same as we're still a mighty baking army of... one!)
I'm really happy with the summer of pudge. I got to create fruit-based cookies that were well-received, and made pink lemonade truly lemony without a glaze. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can come up with next :)