by Mike Berger/editor-Northeast
Bob Goodman was known as a premier bakery broker in New England until his retirement in 2014. But it was a short retirement. He soon traded in his broker’s hat for a baker’s hat, with the goal of developing better tasting gluten-free products.
Soon, Goodman Gluten Free, a line of gluten-free baked goods, was born.
Goodman Gluten Free recently was introduced at Ahold USA banners, including Stop & Shop, Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets. With this expansion, Goodman Gluten Free can now be found in more than 2,000 eastern U.S. supermarkets since the brand’s spring 2015 launch.
The Ahold USA distribution follows initial distribution at Big Y, Hannaford, IGA, Acme, Key Food, Best Market, The Fresh Market and Market Basket.
“We’re delighted with our new distribution to the Ahold USA brands,” said Goodman. “It builds on our East Coast presence and increases the number of leading supermarkets offering Goodman Gluten Free.”
The Goodman Gluten Free line includes cupcakes and mini-cupcakes in a variety of cake-and-frosting combinations; brownie cookie bites; chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies; muffins (blueberry, chocolate chip) and bread (white, whole grain, cinnamon raisin). The line is certified gluten free (GF), made with clean ingredients and Kosher Pareve. It also contains no bioengineered ingredients and is dairy free and peanut free.
To help meet growing demand, Goodman Gluten Free recently added a second gluten-, dairy-, peanut-free bakery.
“We receive many product requests via our website from people who live in the Midwest and West,” said Goodman. “We added a second bakery, located in Texas, to economically serve supermarkets west of the Mississippi.”
The original Goodman Gluten Free bakery is in Connecticut.
The company’s primary customer focus is the supermarket in-store bakery.
“Our extended shelf life enables the in-store bakery to offer delicious gluten-, dairy- and peanut-free products for the first time,” said Goodman. “However, because of our superior taste we’re also getting significant placements in the grocery aisle and in the frozen section.”
Goodman said his primary goal in developing his line of products is to bring a “breakthrough taste and texture” to gluten-free baked goods.
Goodman has 40 years in sales and marketing of food products, including fresh and grocery products, branded and private label, and 30 years as a food broker.
He owned his own food brokerage firm for 17 years before selling it to Acosta in 2004. Goodman stayed with Acosta for more than 10 years, serving as VP of bakery.
He retired in 2014 and then promptly unretired. He founded Goodman Food Solutions, a food product development, marketing and distribution consultancy. His clients include Zaro’s, a grab-and-go bakery chain with nine locations in New York and New Jersey, and Angel Bakeries, the largest commercial bakery in Israel.
For Zaro’s, Goodman developed a program to take the brand into supermarket in-store bakeries. For Angel Bakeries, he renamed, relaunched and rebranded its core pita bread product for sale in U.S. supermarkets.
Goodman founded and launched Goodman Gluten Free in May 2015 in response to two simple problems, one for the consumer and one for the bakery buyer. The consumer problem is “I like gluten free, but I don’t like the taste and texture.” The in-store bakery buyer problem is “nobody is providing a gluten-free line that’s right for my department—higher quality natural ingredients; better tasting; fresh, clean label; extended shelf life; packaged and labeled right for me; in-store support to drive more shoppers to my department, etc.”
Although the number of people who actually have celiac problems is low, it has become a lifestyle choice for many, attracting elderly people and Millennials. Goodman now is in the testing stage of some new products, including banana muffins, a six pack mini-muffin and a hamburger bun.
Goodman Gluten Free will exhibit its products at IDDBA in Anaheim, California, June 4-6, and at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland, Sept. 14-16.