CASE STUDY: Gezellig Cookies

Dutch Cookies Stay Cozy in Pouches

Cassandra Plas started Gezellig Cookies because of her fondness for the Dutch cookies her Oma would make for her while growing up. As an adult, she missed the cookies so must she started making them, giving them away to family and friends, and then in 2015 founded Gezellig Cookies. Located in Central Florida, Gezellig Cookies, which is a Dutch word which roughly means “cozy,” sells its cookies to specialty retailers. The company is best known for its stroopwafels, a waffle-like cookie with caramel in the center.

Prior to working with ePac, Plas was packing her popular cookies in a plain pouch with hand-applied labels that included the company logo on the front, and nutrition and flavor information on the back. The front labels were the same for each cookie, regardless of flavor, so consumers didn’t know which was which without turning the package over. The stroopwafels come in many flavors, including a vegan option, so clearly displaying this information was an important selling point.

Gezellig LLC’s original packaging, with a hand-applied sticker.

“When we started selling the cookies at farmers’ markets, it was easy to tell each customer which flavor was which, but when we started selling them in stores, we knew we needed a better package to differentiate the cookies by flavor,” says Cassandra Plas.

That’s when Plas started to look for a solution. After contacting different suppliers that quoted her high minimum orders and long lead times, someone recommended ePac. She quickly realized that ePac was the right partner for her and in 2018, the two companies started working toward that solution.

Stroopwafel Packaging & the ePac Difference

Right away Plas was pleased with ePac’s capabilities. ePac Flexible Packaging delivers a quick turnaround, with no set-up, or plate fees, which is helpful for a small company that has many SKUs. Other suppliers quoted her high minimum orders for each flavor, which would result in a huge amount of inventory that a small business like Gezellig Cookies couldn’t afford, due to space and more importantly, money constraints.

“If we dropped a flavor, or changed a recipe, we would potentially have thousands of packages in inventory that we wouldn’t use,” says Plas.

ePac leverages digital printing technology, and focuses solely on short to medium run, quick turnaround business. ePac allowed Plas to order a small volume of each variety, based on the company’s sales volume and delivered them quickly so that the company could start packaging and selling cookies right away. Plas received her first order in mid-October, just in time for the Christmas season, the company’s busiest time of the year.

“ePac understands the challenges that small businesses face,” says Plas.

The flexibility of digital printing is a huge plus for Gezellig Cookies as the company can change and add to orders easily. Digital enables “print on demand,” thus eliminates costly over-runs and inventory.

Today, the cookies are packaged in a lay-flat pouch with high-quality graphics and soft-touch laminate, with a premium matte finish. The pouches feature a large, clear window to see the cookie inside, have plenty of space for the company logo, flavor, nutrition facts, and marketing language (since the company is not limited to two stickers, but rather the entire package). What’s more is that each flavor is represented by a different color so that consumers can easily tell which stroopwafel is key lime, vanilla, chocolate, vegan, etc. They look more professional and more premium too, and really stand out on the shelf.

“Our sales have definitely increased since adopting the new package. One customer of ours is experiencing double the sales,” says Plas.

The new package also saves Plas and her team a lot of time because they are no longer printing and applying labels. Also, the new pouch ensures better freshness for the cookies than the previous pouch, as well as better brand recognition, something that is so important for a small company like Gezellig Cookies.

“Since the switch, I have had nothing but positive feedback! Our customers like the colors, and they’ve commented to me that the packaging is easy to read, and differentiate between flavors. It’s made a big difference in stores and our customers are thrilled by the switch! The new packaging has even allowed us to bring on some new (and big) customers!” says Plas.

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