Mmmuffins gets new image

They're not just about Mmmuffins anymore....

They’re not just about Mmmuffins anymore.

In a bid to broaden consumer perception of the brand and thereby attract a greater range of customers, Mmmarvellous Mmmuffins has changed its name to Mmm Specialty Bakery & Beverage Co.

The 21-year-old company, which also sells scones, streusels, coffee cakes, cookies and croissants – in addition to a range of specialty coffees – is hoping to expand its presence in a coffee and baked goods category that saw the top 100 retailers generate $2.9 billion in sales in 1999.

‘We wanted to make sure, from a brand perspective, we were communicating that we were more than just muffins,’ says Lorne Solway, vice-president of global marketing and operations for the chain’s parent, Mmmuffins Canada Corporation.

The Toronto-based franchisor, with sales of $4.3 billion last year, also plans to add 20 new stores in Ontario and Quebec, remodel its existing 120-plus outlets and launch a foray into the U.S. by opening up locations in border towns such as Detroit, Mich., and Rochester, N.Y.

Geoff Wilson, a food service analyst, says the changes are meant to offset market encroachment by specialty coffee retailers such as Second Cup and Starbucks on Mmm Specialty Bakery’s traditional breakfast food offerings.

‘They’ve had to reinvent themselves in order to try and recapture some revenue that they’ve probably lost over the years,’ says Wilson, president of Mississauga-based Geoff Wilson and Associates.

An advertising campaign to support the new positioning – Real, Fast, Fresh – will roll out in early 2001. Although details are not yet finalized, Solway says the campaign will likely use out-of-home, radio, and direct mail advertising.