The Unique Story of John Altman Cookies “Spread the Love”

July 18, 2013 — Leave a comment

New brands are created every day around the world, but only a few succeed in finding a place in consumer’s hearts and minds. These successful brands have a story to tell, are innovative and authentic.

Today I am going to share the unique story of John Altman cookies. Omno Lixenberg and Hajo de Boer from Gummo, a Dutch Advertising Agency, wanted to introduce their own brand of cookies. They had previously worked for a Dutch cookie manufacturer. They felt that the cookie market could use some spice and innovation.

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Omno and Hajo were relaxing at Baker Beach in San Francisco when they ran into John Altman giving away free homemade cookies. They tried John’s cookies and felt that they were the best they had ever tasted. They were also struck by John’s positive and carefree attitude. John was a guy with an infectious grin strolling along the beach with a tray of cookies, wearing nothing but an apron and pair of dog-eared flip-flops.

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The cookies were so good, the guys asked John if they could take them home. “Sure dude” he said, “spread the love”. John invited them to spend a few days with him. He baked, and they ate the cookies. Just before they left, he gave them the recipe for his cookies along with his blessing to make them around the world. John asked them to “spread the love”.  They began working with one of the best Dutch bakeries to produce the product.

All the recipes are inspired by John’s attitude to life, balancing the sweet and the sour, and all the cookies are made with 100% Natural and Fair Trade ingredients. They currently come in three flavors; sour cherry and chocolate, green apple and almond and grapefruit and butterscotch.

The outside of the packaging is made of uncoated paper, creating a fresh look that resembles the bags that John himself used to use back in San Francisco. The bags are sent to retailers in a ready for display box that’s fully recyclable.” They have expanded into additional product categories including wine and books.

Expanding distribution especially in large supermarket chains is the biggest challenge that independent brands face. It will be interesting to see how far the John Altman Brand can expand. Personally, I hope that they are successful. 

Do you know of any other independent brands like John Altman that have great story to tell?

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