Shelf Life of cookies

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1
Joined Mar 24, 2021
We have been selling cookies wholesale to our local grocery stores. We are currently stocking weekly and picking up unsold cookies. We have tried sunflower lecithin at 1 percent of the flour weight - it doesn't seem to help but if we go higher it changes the texture of our cookies and with age ( more than 7 days) tastes gross.
I've looked at Tate's Bakeshop and KaKaKookies and their ingredients indicate they are not using chemical preservatives but their shelf life is several months. Can anyone tell me how to achieve this? Disclaimer: I did not go to culinary school, I am just an old lady that enjoys baking and needs a way to support herself...lol). I would rather not use chemicals as we ( my sister and I) really just want to make homemade cookies with natural ingredients.
Thanks!! 😊😊
 
1,317
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
Depending on the type of cookie, most have a fairly lengthy shelf life. Some can sit on a shelf for 2 weeks or more, although I wouldn't recommend relying on that feature as part of your sales model. :)

A healthy turnover is your best ingredient for assuring the quality and shelf life of your product. If you're running into a problem with turnover, perhaps less volume is the best choice?

Otherwise, simple adjustments can prolong a cookie's shelf life such as using salted butter, adding honey or raisins, vacuum packaging, freezing etc.

Here's an article that contains some relevant information: https://survivalfreedom.com/10-ways-to-prolong-the-shelf-life-of-cookies/

As a point of caution, if you're producing your cookies in a home kitchen, changing your ingredients could present problems with your state and local food laws. Although remote, its worth keeping in mind as you figure our the solutions to your problem. :)

Good luck! :)
 
11
1
Joined Mar 24, 2021
Depending on the type of cookie, most have a fairly lengthy shelf life. Some can sit on a shelf for 2 weeks or more, although I wouldn't recommend relying on that feature as part of your sales model. :)

A healthy turnover is your best ingredient for assuring the quality and shelf life of your product. If you're running into a problem with turnover, perhaps less volume is the best choice?

Otherwise, simple adjustments can prolong a cookie's shelf life such as using salted butter, adding honey or raisins, vacuum packaging, freezing etc.

Here's an article that contains some relevant information: https://survivalfreedom.com/10-ways-to-prolong-the-shelf-life-of-cookies/

As a point of caution, if you're producing your cookies in a home kitchen, changing your ingredients could present problems with your state and local food laws. Although remote, its worth keeping in mind as you figure our the solutions to your problem. :)

Good luck! :)
Depending on the type of cookie, most have a fairly lengthy shelf life. Some can sit on a shelf for 2 weeks or more, although I wouldn't recommend relying on that feature as part of your sales model. :)

A healthy turnover is your best ingredient for assuring the quality and shelf life of your product. If you're running into a problem with turnover, perhaps less volume is the best choice?

Otherwise, simple adjustments can prolong a cookie's shelf life such as using salted butter, adding honey or raisins, vacuum packaging, freezing etc.

Here's an article that contains some relevant information: https://survivalfreedom.com/10-ways-to-prolong-the-shelf-life-of-cookies/

As a point of caution, if you're producing your cookies in a home kitchen, changing your ingredients could present problems with your state and local food laws. Although remote, its worth keeping in mind as you figure our the solutions to your problem. :)

Good luck! :)
Thank you for your response. We do use salted butter and one of the cookies has raisins but they do get hard and unappetizing at 7 days. We use a commercial kitchen as our state requires it for wholesale, and yes we do notify the state when changing ingredients - all good points, thank you.

The problem is we might sell 60 cookies at one store one week so then we stock 60 more but then we only sell 30, so then we cut the amount and they sell out in 2 days... We cannot figure out rhyme or reason for what makes the difference and it's pretty discouraging...lol

I'm going to check out vacuum pack options and see if that helps. Thanks again. 😊
 

chefpeon

Kitchen Dork
808
221
Joined Jun 15, 2006
For the most part, cookies have a pretty good shelf life in regard to most bakery items, but I think you should only think in terms of days, not weeks if you care about selling a high-quality product. Personally, my cut-off would be 3 days at most no matter what kind of cookie it is.

Lots of people make cookies. The thing that's going to elevate your cookies above the rest is quality if nothing else. It's dangerous to lose control of quality and freshness because if you let that go it can backfire on you. For example, if you've got a cookie that's a week old sitting at a retail location and someone buys it and eats it and thinks, "wow, I'm not going to spend the money on one of these stale things again", you've just lost future business. And you know how people are, when they hate something, you know they're gonna tell their friends about it, so maybe you've lost more future business than you thought. So even if you have to buy back (if that's what you do), it's not really the kind of financial loss you think it is.

Stock up your locations in smaller batches and more often. Your quality will be better that way. It's not a terrible thing if a location sells out because it can create demand, as in, "wow, these cookies keep selling out.....they must be good".

Vacuum sealing them would definitely be a great option to extend that shelf-life, but I still think small batches delivered often is more appealing than "older cookie in vacuum packaging".

Even when you utilize tricks to keep cookies soft (like using some corn syrup or a higher percentage of brown sugar for example), those tricks still don't extend the quality beyond 3 days in my view. To me, a week-old cookie is too old no matter what. There are subtle but noticeable changes in texture....at least to me.

As an anecdote, I was gifted a tin of "gourmet cookies" from Milk Bar one time. Given Milk Bar's reputation, I really expected a gourmet cookie. It was so far from that it was unbelievable. Stale, flavorless, uninspired........I could believe Christina Tosi would stand behind them. If I were her, I'd be losing my proverbial sh*t.

One of the hardest parts of being in the baking business is absorbing the inevitable shrinkage because it's unavoidable. It's hard to predict people's buying habits sometimes, and when you think you're gonna have a gangbuster weekend it doesn't happen, and when you think it's gonna be slow you're slammed. You look at weather, events in town, time of year, what is trending, and you try to estimate. Sometimes it all works out, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes bakers re-package what doesn't sell to use as something else, like using stale bread loaves to cut up to sell for dressing cubes. In regard to cookies, you might be able to re-package what doesn't sell as crushed-up crumbs to use as ice-cream toppings or cheesecake crusts as an idea.
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
I would look more into why there is such a variable in sales over trying to extend shelf life to save costs. Maybe your price point needs looking at, it's better to sell out consistently at a lower profit than throw a bunch away each week.
 
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Joined Dec 29, 2019
Thank you for your response. We do use salted butter and one of the cookies has raisins but they do get hard and unappetizing at 7 days. We use a commercial kitchen as our state requires it for wholesale, and yes we do notify the state when changing ingredients - all good points, thank you.

The problem is we might sell 60 cookies at one store one week so then we stock 60 more but then we only sell 30, so then we cut the amount and they sell out in 2 days... We cannot figure out rhyme or reason for what makes the difference and it's pretty discouraging...lol

I'm going to check out vacuum pack options and see if that helps. Thanks again. 😊
Bad business model is making things difficult for you.
Sell them wholesale, do not accept anything back.
They will often ask, my response was "are you nuts".
if you let them write the rules, you will lose.
The point of wholesale is guarenteed sales volume, if you accept take backs you lose the guaranteed sale.
 
804
304
Joined Sep 17, 2018
Bad business model is making things difficult for you.
Sell them wholesale, do not accept anything back.
They will often ask, my response was "are you nuts".
if you let them write the rules, you will lose.
The point of wholesale is guarenteed sales volume, if you accept take backs you lose the guaranteed sale.
I don't think the business where they are selling the cookies are buying the cookies from them, just allowing them to sell the cookies there.
 
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Joined Dec 29, 2019
I don't think the business where they are selling the cookies are buying the cookies from them, just allowing them to sell the cookies there.
I had an arrangement with a university like that, I paid them $600 week.
Ludicrous sum but they gave me the full retail price and paid the sales staff from the 600.
We got full retail for everything, it was quite a lot , maybe 350+ peices daily. ($500).
It can be good .
 
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