Brands have been harnessing the power of limited-drops to build up exclusivity for decades, but for the Last Crumb it’s a practice that allows them to bring consumers cookies baked in small batches to perfection.
The small business, started by cofounders Alana Arnold and Derek Jaeger, was launched out of a mutual love for meaningful and luxurious dining experiences. Friends for more than a decade, Arnold told WWD that Jaeger’s “knack for baking some of the best cookies [she] had ever tasted” was also well documented.
“One night, both of us were at a dinner party when we started talking about our shared interest [and] how we could bring something new and unexpected to food-focused consumers like ourselves,” Arnold said. “We wanted to bring luxury, exclusivity and most importantly, a unique experience. After a year of developing our ideas and turning them into a brand, we landed on delectable, decadent cookies with an elevated experience that comes from our quality, packaging and exclusive ‘drop’ model.”
Each cookie from Last Crumb’s is baked over a three-day period, which the company says allows the flavors to truly come to life. The recipe uses a homemade European butter mixture, handpicked vanilla and French chocolate cut into bite-size pieces. Arnold and Jaeger created more than 1,000 potential flavors and went through rigorous taste testing to narrow down the top 84 (including classic chocolate chip as well as fan-favorite flavors like banana) and say that each bite is worth the price tag — which sits between $150 to $200 a box.
Before starting Last Crumb, Arnold came from a strong marketing background with more than a decade of experience in developing digital media strategies, managing brand partnerships, influencer programs and social media campaigns — something she brings into building out the experience for consumers at Last Crumb.
“Right before Last Crumb, I was working for an Esports company where I learned about the culture of merch drops and the brand affinity that drove people to purchase,” Arnold said. “The experience gave me an invaluable background in seeing what makes consumers tick and building strategies based on those insights.”
Since its launch in August 2020, Last Crumb has seen hundreds of thousands of people join the waitlist to order the next cookie drop. Since then, the company raised $3 million in funding with backers including Chetrit Ventures, hospitality veteran David Grutman and Andrew Rosen, chief executive officer of Theory.
Arnold describes Last Crumb’s consumer as the “in-the-know friend” who seeks experiences and over-the-top moments that they can share with friends and family in real life and on social media. “A large part of our consumer base is interested in and excited by the exclusivity and hype of our limited drops, which means they’re always seeking the best of the best and discovering new items through research, social media and word of mouth.”
Social media and email or SMS marketing are two of the most significant ways in which Last Crumb engages its consumers — consistently checking comments and messages for flavors that fans like or don’t like, collections they want to see and suggestions for a better experience.
In January 2023, Last Crumb’s Platinum Collection sold out in less than 30 minutes and was then brought back for the month of March to give those who missed it another chance. Consumers wanting to get an order are able to opt into texts that alert them to a drop or follow the brand on Instagram.
“We have an incredible community that really keeps their eyes on our weekly drops,” Arnold said on the quick-to-sell-out drops. “They regularly sell out within minutes of going live and the excitement our fans have for each launch never ceases to amaze me. We produce limited quantities of truly decadent cookies made with high-quality ingredients, and consumers know how good the cookies are through social media and word of mouth.”
Still, the exclusivity makes the cookies highly sought after.
“People are eager to get their hands on Last Crumb because they’ve likely seen their favorite celebrity or influencer rave about our cookies, and they just have to experience them for themselves,” Arnold said. “Everything from our packaging to the tasting notes we include for each cookie adds to that experience.”
As the company continues to grow as it finds more success, Arnold told WWD the team is growing and more launches are on the way. In April, Last Crumb launched its first gluten free collection that Arnold says still delivers on the decadence the brand is known for.
Coming soon to Last Crumb will be more thematic drops (including new launches and collaborations) and more user features that Arnold said are a direct result of hearing what the community wants and needs. “The fact that they want more and are asking for more says it all since we take feedback seriously,” Arnold said.
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