How Bro Dough’s fortunes are rising in grocery

From Shopper Marketing Report: The edible cookie dough has gained traction through its founder's TikTok posts.


It’s a brand on the rise, even if the product does not.

Bro Dough is a raw edible dough – not a cooking aide – that is coming to Fortinos this week and rolling out to select Sobeys locations across Ontario as part of the banner’s “buy local” program.

Bro Dough is the brainchild of Erica Rankin, who launched it as a passion project back in 2019. It’s a better-for-you treat typically merchandised in natural health in refrigerator.

In Fortinos, however, it is being showcased beside other cookie dough. According to Rankin, while cookie dough gets more foot traffic, Bro Dough consumers tend toward the natural set so it remains to be seen how this works out. The product will also be carried in approximately 35 Sobeys stores and Rankin says it’s aiming to get Bro Dough into all the banner’s Ontario locations.

“They really push local, which is really nice…and it’s a way to get your foot in the door if you want to launch nationally,” Rankin says. The brand is also in two Loblaw banners, where it is being assessed for performance.

Bro Dough comes in four SKUs: chocolate chip, cookies n’ cream, piñata party and tuxedo brownie.

Rankin tells strategy that when she started the brand, it grew to about 15 SKUs, but she scaled it back to focus on the best sellers. She is, however, also planning on seasonal flavour additions to drive trial.


For packaging, Rankin worked with Ottawa brand development agency Green Melon, a shop which recently worked on Farm Boy’s branding.

The packaging is childlike, and Rankin says she wanted the shelf visual appeal to have a lot of attitude to reflect the “bro” name, and to be colorful and playful. The functional benefit callout, particularly added protein, was key to differentiate the product.

Initially, Rankin says that she’d figured Bro Dough would best resonate with fitness aficionados, given the protein content, but she says it’s been a broader demo than she’d anticipated, which has affected how she markets. She has found incredible success leveraging TikTok, where the brand has around 200,000 followers.

According to Rankin, over the past few years, COVID has caused a shift to healthier snacking habits and while it’s a bit more expensive/premium, Bro Dough stands out by being protein infused, vegan, not having margarine or preservatives and for having less sugar content than regular cookie dough.

Rankin admits flavour testing is still ongoing, to get the right balance of not being too “proteiny” or sweet and informed by consumer feedback.

The biggest barriers to uptake have been attracting audiences who perhaps didn’t grow up in a culture of cookie dough eating, or older demos not understanding that it’s not like conventional dough, but rather a snack, hence the messaging “this ain’t your mama’s cookie dough.”

As a brand that both launched just prior to COVID, and requires refrigeration, sampling has been a bit of a challenge. However, with restrictions easing, Rankin says it’s going to be doing more trade shows, demos, and pop ups and hitting up events like VegFest.