Snacks & Candy

Aryzta North America Changes Its Name

Maker of Otis Spunkmeyer cookies turns to employees to lead rebranding effort
Aspire Bakeries Brands

LOS ANGELES — Aryzta North America, the owner of Otis Spunkmeyer and other bakery brands, has changed its name to Aspire Bakeries, a name intended to reflect the direction in which the company aims to continue to move: upwards, the company said.

Following the sale to private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg earlier this year, the company set out to reintroduce itself with a new name while continuing to focus on growth across its three core brands: La Brea Bakery, Otis Spunkmeyer and Oakrun Farm Bakery.

“Our brands established our North American business as a leader in baked goods, as they all have strong, long-standing reputations of providing customers with delectable foods across the artisan bread and baked goods categories,” said Tyson Yu, CEO of Aspire Bakeries. “Aspire Bakeries will execute a business strategy that focuses on continued innovation and growth across our beloved brands.”

Despite the change in ownership, Aspire Bakeries’ strategies will remain the same, according to the company. The go-to-market approach will continue to focus on the company’s three core brands; its strategy, mission, vision, values and people will remain intact; and it will continue its business focus on quick-service restaurants (QSRs,) foodservice and retail in-store bakeries, building on more than 50 years of experience in the baking industry, it said.

When it came to creating a new name, Aspire Bakeries engaged its 4,500 employees, who were asked for their suggestions. With more than 150 ideas, Alex Gillis, a bakery supervisor at the bakery in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, recommended the name Aspire, saying, “as we aspire to be the best bakery in North America, what better name than 'Aspire' to represent our desire to not only achieve our goals but exceed them.”

“We’re lucky to have such hardworking, motivated and creative employees working for us across North America, some of whom have been with the company for decades,” said Christine Prociv, senior vice president of marketing, innovation and research and development. “We wanted a truly collaborative experience when it came time to create a new name, and what better way than to involve all of our associates.”

Innovation will continue to be a key focus area for Aspire Bakeries, as the company will invest in its three brands to drive growth in both retail and foodservice.

La Brea Bakery recently announced it has expanded its Take & Bake portfolio to include six new flavors, available nationwide in grocery stores and on Amazon Fresh.

Otis Spunkmeyer launched a hybrid version of its muffin loaves and introduced frozen edible cookie dough, available through its fundraising initiative.

Oakrun Farm Bakery, which until now has only served the Canadian markets, just introduced new flavors of Belgian Waffles (cinnamon and maple) at Walmart stores nationwide.

“Aspire means to ascend, to soar, and that’s what we are aiming to do for our customers and our business,” said Prociv. “We want to continue to grow so that we’re exceeding our potential to deliver high-quality baked goods to our retail and foodservice customers and to our loyal consumers who have played an integral part in our evolution.”

Los Angeles-based Aspire Bakeries is a North American baking company focused on specialty frozen baked goods.

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