A cut above the rest: how Mrs. Fields Cookies is keeping up with consumer trends

By Sarah Stowe | 11 Nov 2016 View comments

Foodie blogs, healthy trends and fighting for franchisees. Here’s how Mrs. Fields  is tackling challenges and tapping into consumer demands. Elligett: consumers may not choose to take health trends. Image: www.andigestion.co.uk

Peter Elligett, CEO of Cookies Australia which includes Mrs. Fields in its portfolio, says that although lifestyle/cooking programmes, foodie blogs and Instagram are having a big impact on what consumers are purchasing, the brand has an edge.

“At Mrs. Fields, we are lucky to be an international business that can tap into trends well before they hit Australia,” he says.

And as for growing trends for healthy choices, Elligett says consumers may not choose to take it. In that instance, he says it’s about premium ingredients and quality products.

“We are finding that consumers are looking for the real chocolate, super indulgent products and cost is not a barrier if there is real value, taste and texture and quality,” he explains.

“A premium quality coffee offer is also important in this market. Most people don’t realise that we roast our own coffee to ensure the highest quality and freshness."

But Elligett recognises the competitiveness of the bakery cafe industry, especially as supermarkets have started improving their sweet treat offers together with cutting prices.

“We have the benefit of manufacturing our own product so we are always researching and developing new and innovative products to stay ahead of the competition,” he continues.

“All of our product is Australian made in our own factory so we can ensure that only the best ingredients are used to make the Mrs. Fields cookies, brownies and muffins.

“In recent time we have expanded our range to include high quality and cost competitive toasties, pies and savoury rolls which are all doing very well.”

So what about the franchisee?

Elligett says franchisors need to fight hard for the best possible terms for the franchisee and be prepared to walk away from a site if the economics do not stack up.

“We try and secure the best possible lease deal and contributions from the landlord. Further, as we are a vertically integrated franchisor, we always strive to provide products at the best possible price and quality,” he says.

He believes that the core products; cookies, brownies, muffins and coffee are the items that give franchisees the best return.

Interested in a Mrs. Fields franchise? Find out more about becoming a franchisee.