Crumbl Cookies is a franchise chain of bakeries in the United States and Canada that specializes in baking a variety of cookies and serving ice cream.[2] Based in Utah, it was founded in 2017.[3] As of June 2023, the company has over 850 stores across the United States.[1] The chain maintains a strong presence in social media, to which the New York Times has attributed the business's growth.[4][5][6][7]

Crumbl Cookies
Founded2017; 6 years ago (2017)
Logan, Utah, U.S.
Number of locations
918 stores (as of September 2023)[1]
Area served
United States
Key people
Jason McGowan (CEO)
Crumbl's cookie packaging.
Several cookies from Crumbl in a box

History and operations edit

Crumbl was founded by cousins Sawyer Hemsley and Jason McGowan in 2017 while Hemsley attended Utah State University in Logan, Utah.[8][9][10][11] Hemsley and McGowan utilized A/B testing methods to come up with their final milk chocolate chip cookie recipe.[3][9][10]

In 2022, Crumbl sued Crave Cookies and Dirty Dough, two fellow cookie companies, in the United States District Court for the District of Utah, alleging that the defendants had "unique ties" to Crumbl and had a "confusingly similar ... marketing and business model".[12][13]

Reception edit

The company relies heavily on social media to promote its products; according to the New York Times, whether the products themselves are "the best or the worst" is immaterial to their popularity, as the online "debate is good for business".[7] noted in August 2021 that Crumbl had garnered unfavorable reviews from TikTok users for the quality of cookies customers were receiving through delivery. The article cited four videos of poor-quality cookies that did not arrive as advertised, with one such negative review receiving over 400,000 likes within 21 hours.[14]

Honolulu's Emily Smith tried six Crumbl cookies, writing in a 2022 review, "The price is reasonable considering that these are very large cookies packed with flavor. All the cookies looked delicious and visually pleasing. If you love sugar, I recommend trying Crumbl at least once."[15]

Growth edit

The company has experienced rapid franchising,[5] which has been attributed to its presence on social media.[3][16][17] The company's following on TikTok reached 1.6 million within six weeks in February 2021,[3][17] and as of 2022, they have over seven million combined followers between TikTok and Instagram.[18]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Crumbl Cookies expanded to 100 locations by August 2020 and 149 locations across the United States by July 2021.[19][5] By the end of 2021, the company had grown to over 300 stores in the country,[20] and by July 2022, grew to over 400 locations in 45 states.[2] In 2023, the franchise expanded to Canada with 4 locations: two in Alberta[21][22] and one each in Saskatoon[23] and Ontario.[24]

Labor law violations edit

In December 2022, the U. S. Department of Labor fined 11 Crumbl Cookie franchises across six U.S. states[a] for violations of child labor laws impacting 46 workers who were minors.[25] Violations included assigning underage employees to shifts that exceeded the permitted hours and to tasks involving "potentially dangerous ovens and machinery". The parent company issued a statement apologizing and affirming their commitment to "a safe and welcoming work environment". Crumbl was fined $57,854 in total for the violations.[26]

Notes edit

  1. ^ The six states were California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Crumbl Cookies". Retrieved 2023-06-25.
  2. ^ a b Encinas, L.R. (July 1, 2022). "How Crumbl won the great Utah cookie war and expanded an empire of sugar". Deseret News. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d McLellan, Shannon; Moore, Zoe (August 4, 2021). "Cookie company goes viral with 1.7M followers on TikTok". ABC News. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  4. ^ Maze, Jonathan (May 4, 2022). "The Story Behind Crumbl Cookies' Great Success". Restaurant Business. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Day, Andrea (July 7, 2021). "A cookie company is taking TikTok by storm - and business is booming". CNBC. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  6. ^ "Crumbl Cookies Gains TikTok Stardom". QSR Magazine. June 29, 2021. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Krishna, Priya (2023-04-17). "Are Crumbl Cookies the Best or the Worst? It Doesn't Matter". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-08-25.
  8. ^ "The Untold Truth Of Crumbl Cookies". Mashed. 2021-08-05. Retrieved 2023-06-25.
  9. ^ a b Michaels, Laura (October 27, 2021). "Inside the Craze at Fast-growing Franchise Crumbl Cookies". Franchise Times. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  10. ^ a b Zsiray, John (September 20, 2017). "Cookie bakery, delivery service to open in Logan". The Herald Journal. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  11. ^ Simmons, Necia (March 19, 2019). "Hemsley cooks up franchise". The Preston Citizen. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  12. ^ Asay, Ashtyn (2022-07-22). "Crumbl stands by decision to sue cookie competitors". Daily Herald. Archived from the original on 2022-07-24. Retrieved 2022-07-24.
  13. ^ Lavery, Tréa (2022-07-21). "Cookie wars: Crumbl Cookies claims whistleblower told them smaller cookie companies Crave and Dirty Dough stole their recipes". The Republican. Archived from the original on 2022-07-24. Retrieved 2022-07-24.
  14. ^ Duff, Owen (2021-08-10). "The Big Problem Customers Have With Crumbl Cookies". Archived from the original on 2022-07-24. Retrieved 2022-07-24.
  15. ^ Smith, Emily (2022-06-02). "Are Kapolei's New Crumbl Cookies Worth a 35-Minute Wait in Line?". Honolulu. Archived from the original on 2022-07-24. Retrieved 2022-07-24.
  16. ^ Nesse, Alissa (June 13, 2022). "Tasting the Crumbl Cookies craze". Axios. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  17. ^ a b Coley, Ben (September 21, 2021). "Crumbl Cookies Rises from Emerging Brand to Category Leader". QSR Magazine. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  18. ^ Hanson, Kait (April 22, 2022). "Crumbl is taking its pink sugar cookies off the menu — and fans are crushed". Today. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  19. ^ Dudley, Graham (August 13, 2020). "Utah-based Crumbl Cookies opens 100th store less than 3 years after founding". Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  20. ^ Oches, Sam (July 7, 2022). "The secret to Crumbl Cookies' explosive franchise growth". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  21. ^ "Famous cookie chain opening first-ever Calgary area store this month | Dished". Retrieved 2023-08-13.
  22. ^ Mulcahy, Karyn (2023-03-31). "'People are coming from far and wide': Hundreds line up for Crumbl Cookie opening in Edmonton". Edmonton. Retrieved 2023-06-10.
  23. ^ Woodward, Laura (2023-05-12). "'These are really big cookies': Crumbl Cookies draws crowd in Saskatoon". Saskatoon. Retrieved 2023-06-10.
  24. ^ "Gourmet cookie shop opening first Canadian location in Mississauga". Retrieved 2023-08-13.
  25. ^ Eyermann, Delaney (December 22, 2022). "11 Crumbl Cookies' franchises violate child labor regulations". WRAL News. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  26. ^ "Crumbl Cookies violated child labor laws in 6 states, feds say". FOX13 News Seattle & Western Washington. December 21, 2022. Retrieved December 21, 2022.