Edible cookie dough was once a Trend in the food and beverage scene A few years ago. While few local brands seemed to be taking advantage of this, not many have maintained their presence.
Such scenarios indicate that the acceptance of edible cookie dough in Malaysia is still poor, but the online cookie activity, to the heart (To the heart) Do not discourage him.
Founder Michelle Ho believes that it is still a niche market and even a new market, and so she takes customer feedback to constantly improve her offering.
From biscuits to dough
Despite discovering her love of edible cookie dough during a trip to Australia, Michelle wasn’t sure about Malaysians’ preferences for dessert. So, when To The Heart first launched in 2019, the 20-year-old only sold baked cookies.
But the longing remained to sell biscuit dough. In 2020, Bakery decided to expand its product offerings with some flavors to test the market response.
Starting with edible cookie dough flavors of 3 different types of chocolate, it has received great support from customers. This was the market validation that Michel needed to further explore the sector.
It was a safer move to start with the familiar cookies first, as it helped her build an audience she could test the reception of her cookie dough. It can also get immediate and honest feedback, rather than relying on theories and analysis based on observing other similar businesses that were around at the time.
It’s not raw cookie dough
Being a college student, Michelle’s schedule is often full of lectures, assignments, extracurricular activities, and exams. Hence, she often works at To The Heart only on weekends.
When conducting research and development for new flavors, Michelle turns to online experiments and tutorials to evaluate each result. Customers are also inspired, as they can provide input about flavors they might be interested in.
While the process of making edible cookie dough is similar to baking cookies, there is one big difference in the ingredients used.
Raw cookie dough contains bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli due to the eggs and flour making it unsafe to eat raw.
Realizing this, Michelle explained, “The Edible Cookie Dough from To The Heart is made with instead pasteurized ingredients which means there are no raw ingredients in the edible cookie dough, [making] It is safe to eat as is.”
Pasteurization is a process in which foods are processed with moderate heat to get rid of pathogens that may be present within the ingredients. This food safety standard is also confirmed Our previous guest At Safe Food Corporation, a producer of pasteurized eggs in Malaysia.
Once the recipe is developed, Michelle will ask her friends and family to validate it before making it public. Today, To The Heart sells 9 different flavors of cookie dough at a cost of RM14.50 to RM16.60 for 270g, with free nationwide delivery.
The Heart’s is priced a bit lower than the UK-based brand, MyCookieDough Which can cost between RM18.06 to RM20.86 (upon grab minus delivery charges), although the weight of their products is unclear.
Looking forward to supermarket shelves as the next step
Michele’s main goal is to get To The Heart products on supermarket shelves. One way to do this is to approach smaller stores like Bilbella Mart, which stocks products of smaller Malaysian brands and provides them physical visibility for a chance.
But before Michelle could do that, she had to work on her product packaging to include nutritional and product information, because that’s the standard for any products that grocery stores carry.
With Lick A Spoon and Doh Malaysia in limbo for unknown reasons, it’s hard to say if the unresponsive market for cookie dough is to blame. If so, have things changed since 2020, which time MyCookieDough was officially launched in Malaysia and when To The Heart started selling cookie dough?
Limited data currently indicates that this is a possibility, but until more companies of this type emerge, it is difficult to say for sure. Currently, there is a large market share in Malaysia available to grab from To The Heart and MyCookieDough, although the latter has a better advantage as a larger global brand.
One Way Kintry . Homemade Snacks It managed to land on supermarket shelves by raising awareness through pop-up stores and bazaars. This is something Michelle could consider emulating once it becomes safer to do so, because selling products on the ground has many advantages.
She will be able to let potential customers try her product right away and respond to any concerns right away. This tangible experience usually helps build customers’ trust faster and better, leading them to make instant purchases.
Currently, the young entrepreneur has managed to build an online client base that has led to profitability at heart. Its current advantage as a small business is its ability to foster more personal relationships with its clients, through which Michelle can maintain and build a market fit for The Heart.
- You can learn more about To The Heart.Co over here.
- You can read about more articles we have written regarding F&B over here.
Featured image credit: Michelle Ho, founder of To The Heart.Co