The Bacon Chocolate Chunk Cookie hit shelves a few days before National Bacon Day on Dec. 30 and is made with traditional, brown sugar-based cookie dough mixed with chocolate chips, chocolate chunks and crumbled applewood-smoked bacon. “When the cookies come out of the oven, we will press them on the top because we want people to see right away that they don’t have to guess; they know they’re getting bacon in every bite,” said Lorri Alden, owner. After the cookie is baked, the bottom can be dipped in and drizzled with dark chocolate to give it a decadent taste and look, Genesee Candy Land’s specialty.
Genesee Candy Land started as a retail candy and fudge shop eight years ago in a tourist area and added a wholesale operation five years later. Today, the retail store acts as a type of laboratory with a creative staff brainstorming which foods might go well with chocolate. Employees at Genesee Candy Land are the first taste-testers, and then samples are set out for customers at the retail store. Popular demand will send the new product on to the wholesale operation to be distributed in the Denver area, across the country and internationally.
The Bacon Chocolate Chunk Cookie is available at Genesee Candy Land’s retail store, various retail outlets in the US, and online. With a suggested retail price of $2.49, the individually packaged jumbo cookie is 3 oz. and 4 in. in diameter.
Cookies aren’t the only product that Genesee Candy Land has tested with bacon. The retail store has a counter called the Bacon Bar, which includes cupcakes, pretzels, fudge and other treats. The company also recently received USDA certification to process full slices of extra thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon enrobed in chocolate – the only wholesale facility certified to sell full strips.
“We’re constantly thinking, ‘what else can we do with bacon?’” Alden said. “My ultimate goal is to become world famous for our chocolate bacon products.”
Although the enrobed bacon strips are Genesee Candy Land’s No. 1 seller, the wholesale business grew 300 percent in sales from 2016 to 2017 and the new cookies were a big part of the increase.
Not only are they an impulse purchase for retail customers, but Alden noted that distributors are more inclined to buy the bacon cookies than the full strips of bacon because they think it has a wider consumer appeal.
“We give out a lot of samples to our distributors because we know the minute someone tastes one of our cookies, that’s it. They’re sold.”