Collaboration: Renewal Mill, Miyoko creates vegan cookies

Modern competition has come a long way from its early Latin roots, competitor, meaning to strive for something simultaneously with the same goal. Fortunately, some brands take this original meaning to heart and recognize the importance of using each other’s resources to uplift each other toward a common goal.

This is especially true in the natural products industry, where competition also means collaboration, as well as an incentive to find partnerships that are well suited to a brand’s mission and goals. New Hope spoke to three brands, JUST Egg, ReGrained and Renewal Mill, to learn more about the impact of their recently co-created products with other brands. Find the story of ReGrained here and JUST Egg here. These brands demonstrate exciting innovation when they leverage each other’s specialties and resources to create new products. In the final of this three-part series, find out why Renewal Mill chooses to partner with others and examples of products that meet the spirit of competitor.

Recycling collaborations fight food waste and increase brand awareness

Renewal Mill, a producer of recycled ingredients, baking mixes and cookies, finds that recycling creates opportunities for brands to collaborate that otherwise would not have been considered. When Miyoko’s sustainability manager spoke to Renewal Mill about how they wanted to find a home for this end-of-production vegan butter they had in the machines and were unable to sell, Renewal Mill knew exactly. what to do with it. Renewal Mill has recycled leftover vegetable butter from Miyoko to use as a source of fat in its cookies. The end result of this partnership is a recycled peanut butter vegan cookie. With both brands being Northern California-based, plant-based, and women-owned, it was a perfect match. Having shared values ​​with a partner leads to a symbiotic collaborative process. Not only has the collaboration helped increase brand awareness for both brands, it also draws attention to the sustainability gains that upcycling can create.

Caroline Cotto, co-founder and COO of Renewal Mill, told New Hope how partnering with shared value brands to create new products has helped increase awareness of the Renewal Mill brand.

How does marketing work for your Miyoko collab? What strategy are you using and what audience are you trying to reach?

Caroline Cotto: Renewal Mill previously had two ready-to-eat cookie flavors. We had a chocolate chip and a salted peanut butter, but they weren’t gluten free. We had always planned to turn them into completely gluten-free products and phase them out using sustainable palm oil. It was a great opportunity to turn them into completely gluten-free products and no longer use sustainable palm oil. It’s a staple of Renewal Mill, but we co-market it with Miyoko’s online social media, and they’ve shared it with their network of influencers and others connected to their brand.

How has partnering with a well-established brand helped yours?

CC : Miyoko’s has built an extremely powerful brand. At Expo West, we didn’t have our own booth, but we were able to exhibit by doing a pop-up with the cookies on their booth. People are so excited about the Miyoko brand, and when they immediately see their logo on the front of our package, it sparks a lot of interest. We really saw the benefit of sharing each other’s audiences, just because we’re both plant-based, and so it’s a really similar group of people who care about better products for the planet.

What else has this increased awareness contributed to?

CC : We are a much smaller brand than Miyoko. It’s great to bring new people to our brand, and I think we’re also bringing new people to their brand who might not be familiar with plant-based butter foods and end up in the aisle of cookies. Additionally, Miyoko’s is primarily in the retail and restaurant business. We sell our cookies a lot in the snack shop, especially as the offices go back to being in person. It is therefore also to open this public to that of Miyoko.

Would you recommend getting into collaborations with smaller CPG brands that are just getting started?

CC : Honestly, I think partnerships and collaboration have been absolutely key in building our brand, because marketing is so expensive. A great thing partnerships do is get your product in front of more people’s eyes at a relatively low cost. We’ve tried a bunch of different things on our direct-to-consumer website with just new product launches and social media advertising. Yet the most successful thing by far is when we launch partnership products, and they spread it to their networkfor example, with their newsletterand we do the same. We are definitely seeing huge spikes in traffic that we can’t get any other way. I would say don’t be afraid to reach out and ask. We partnered with Fulton Street Ice Cream, and I literally emailed their team saying, “Hey, we’re a huge fan. That’s why I think this would be a good fit.” They were totally on board. Strategically choose who would be a good partner, then don’t be afraid to just ask.

What do you keep in mind when determining who to partner with?

CC : As a women-owned brand, we really appreciate partnering with other women-owned brands that focus on sustainability. We try to find a similar alignment, and then because we also sell ingredients, we also work with several recycled companies and do PR and marketing with them, like with Seconds Crackers. We operate in recycled space all the time, and it’s a pretty small community. I think partnering with people outside of this community is a great way to bring their audience into the world of upcycling and introduce it, as I think it’s still a fairly new concept for most American consumers.