Crumbl tries something different to boost sales: Smaller cookies

The fast-growing cookie franchise, which lost sales and profits last year, is introducing “Mini Mondays,” making available its smaller cookies for sale every Monday.
Crumbl has long had smaller cookies for catering events. | Photo courtesy of Crumbl.

Can smaller cookies generate bigger sales for Crumbl?

The Lindon, Utah-based cookie franchise will soon find out. The fast-growing franchise this week introduced “Mini Mondays,” making available a miniature-sized version of its famously large treats every Monday.

Customers will be able to purchase Mini Cookies in packs of three, six or 12 in the company’s signature pink box.

Jason McGowan, cofounder and CEO of the 1,000-unit chain, said the smaller-sized cookies were the response to “overwhelming demand.”

“This initiative is our response to the overwhelming demand for the Mini Cookies, which have been a customer favorite exclusive to the catering menu up to now,” he said in a statement.

The effort also comes as Crumbl’s sales and profitability took a hit last year, generating questions about whether its aggressive growth is cannibalizing existing locations and creating financial issues. The chain closed seven locations this year, a first for the company.

Unit count last year grew 41%, enabling the chain to open its 1,000th location in February. But average unit volumes declined 37% to $1.2 million—still high for a treat-focused concept.

Per-store net profit, however, fell 58% to $122,955, according to data from the company’s Franchise Disclosure Document. Crumbl nevertheless topped $1 billion in system sales last year, according to Restaurant Business sister company Technomic.

Crumbl’s cookies are massive and designed to be shared. Customers can even buy a special cutter to divide them into four pieces.

That’s different from many of the chain’s rivals, such as the Krispy Kreme-owned Insomnia, which sell a smaller cookie. In theory, at least, selling smaller cookies could enable Crumbl to get customers intimidated by its cookies’ massive size.

Crumbl is known for offering a limited menu of six cookie flavors that changes every week, though the company has recently experimented with cake. That limited menu makes it difficult for the company to build sales because it's already offering a weekly stream of new menu news. That makes the smaller cookie a potentially key move for the chain. 

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