College - Author 1

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Department - Author 1

Agricultural Education and Communication Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Agricultural Communication



Primary Advisor

Megan Silcott, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Education and Communication Department


The trend of healthy and innovative products in a myriad of stores have spread like wildfire in the past decade, and the food industry is no exception. With words like “keto,” “paleo,” “vegan” and “gluten-free” being plastered onto several products in grocery stores, the demand has gone up exponentially. Social media has adopted these types of goods, and created aesthetic feeds to show users how healthy eating can be fun. Regardless of consumer knowledge on the matter, shoppers are gaining headway on the “healthy diet lifestyle” idea.

With the introduction of products that are cultivating a healthy and “trendy” future, it has become essential for small businesses to continue innovating to keep up with larger brand names. A privately-owned company must find new ways to reach target markets that differ from the standard. Making these new products prove a challenge due to the potential of cross contamination by using the same instruments as the traditional. Integrating gluten free and vegan products on shelves has been a highlight for some businesses to keep customers going into their company over the nearest grocery store.

This project examined the author’s family-owned company, Spaans Cookie Company, located in Galt, CA. Spaans Cookies is involved in private-labeling with major food suppliers nationwide, including Sprouts, Safeway, and Nugget. While sugar-free cookie products are sold, the author chose to look into the pastry sector in the company store in Galt. Growing up allergic to dairy and gluten products, the author became interested in creating an item she could enjoy without getting sick on holidays and special occasions. Through the project the author will analyze company sales on the new product while constructing a recipe to reach the gluten-free and vegan market.