Celebrate National Soft Serve Day August 19

Celebrate National Soft Serve Day August 19

The dreaded drip n’ slip, broken ice cream scoops, arm and wrist scoopers’ pain, tension from ice cream balls falling off of the cone, deep dip hip discomfort from leaning into the freezer, and the awful cross contamination of ice cream scoops being dipped in different flavors. The dangers of hard-packed ice cream are evident. We say “Put Down the Scoop” and save people from ice cream related accidents! This is why we are working with “People Against Ice Cream Related Accidents (PAICRA) to promote soft serve ice cream – the safer frozen treat!

Soft Serve is the safer choice! Put Down The Scoop!

Soft Serve is the safer choice! Put Down The Scoop!

In all seriousness, Frostline® Frozen Treats, is celebrating National Soft Serve Day, August 19. We invite operators to join us in a little fun centered on the benefits of serving soft serve ice cream over traditional hard packed ice cream.  We created PAICRA, a fictional organization, to shine a light on scoop-related injuries and misfortunes. Utilizing social media, we plan to showcase humorous mishaps that often occur when scooping hard packed ice cream as well as encourage soft serve vendors to share stories or images with us and their followers. Other fun ways to celebrate National Soft Serve Day include hosting tallest swirl contests, offering discounts on soft serve, or highlighting  new, unique flavor varieties.

Restaurants, frozen yogurt shops and other businesses who offer soft serve ice cream are encouraged by Frostline® to participate in the August 19 national holiday. We have limited supplies of t-shirts, posters, and product samples to support your efforts.  Please leave us a comment on this blog and we will be in touch!

Picture yourself as the customer…It’s summer, you’ve been outside enjoying the day and now you are hungry for a snack. You want a healthy snack, something that will refresh you but not make you feel guilty, after all, it will be dinnertime in just a few hours. What sounds perfect? A fruit smoothie! If the customer is lucky, your establishment is nearby and they will check out your menu!

Combine ingredients and blend!

Just add lemonade, base mix, frozen strawberries and ice for a refreshing smoothie!

Pina Colada, Kiwi Kicker, Bananarama, Pineapple Upside Down, Summer BerryAde, Mango Madness, Beach Berry, Sunkissed Raspberry…what will it be? Sounds tempting, right?

According to Mintel Menu Monitor, February 2014, the top 10 smoothie flavors are:

  1. Strawberry
  2. Banana and Strawberry
  3. Mango
  4. Berry
  5. Peach
  6. Raspberry
  7. Chocolate
  8. Vanilla
  9. Orange
  10. Banana
Add Fruit, Ice and Water to Make a Smoothie

Fruit Smoothies Add Choices to Your Beverage Menu

Achieving these flavor varieties is simple and only requires fresh or frozen fruit. No risk of milk or yogurt spoiling when using a base mix like Simply Smoothies™. As an operator, there are many benefits to offering smoothies:

  1. Have blender? Make smoothies!
  2. Effortless. Simply measure 2 scoops of smoothie base mix, ¾ cup fresh or frozen fruit, ¾ cup ice, ½ cup cold water and BLEND! 16fl ounces of smoothie in under 60 seconds.
  3. Profitable. We estimate it will cost operators $1.30 to make a smoothie if using fruit with the Simply Smoothies™ base mix. The average sales price for a smoothie is $3.99. This is a gross profit of $2.69 per smoothie, translating to a yearly gross profit of over $15,000 if 16 smoothies are sold a day.
  4. Year-round demand. Consumers order smoothies as snacks round the clock, especially fruit smoothies! They are viewed as healthy snacks!
  5. No waste. Simply Smoothies™ base mix comes in a 4.8lb canister which yields 39 smoothies. The canister is resealable and comes with a premeasured scoop. Single-serve packets are available for operators who would rather take it one smoothie at a time.
Take smoothies to the next level!

Over 30 smoothie recipes to blend!

Want to step outside of the single flavor box? We have great flavor ideas for your beverage menu in our FREE Simply Smoothies™ Idea Book. Also, our seasonal recipe flyers allow you to just plug and play or should we say purchase, blend and serve! Our summer flyer has four delicious flavors: Watermelon Basil, Fruit Pizza, Key Lime Pie, and Raspberry Pink Lemonade.

What are you waiting for? DIVE IN to SMOOTHIES!

In 2014, is it still relevant to offer milkshakes on your beverage menu? That depends on your target market, current menu and business location. If you sell hamburgers, we will give you a firm answer YES! If you have a drive-thru and you currently offer soft-serve, we say YES! If your establishment draws a family crowd, we say YES! Not identifying with any of the situations we described? Consider equally profitable iced beverages or smoothies.

The key to increasing sales for both milkshakes and other frozen beverages is offering a product that the consumer perceives as too difficult or not as good if prepared at home. Denny’s, coined as America’s Diner™, experienced firsthand how adding new coffee and milkshake flavors could increase the bottom line. They attributed their increase in guest check averages to their expanded beverage menu selections.

Milkshakes are profitable additions to your beverage menu.

What’s Your Favorite Flavor?

Make Room for Milkshakes
First, if you already serve soft serve – milkshakes are an easy addition. According to MINTEL’s “Trends in Snacking and Value Menus in Foodservice-U.S. June 2012” , 19% of consumers typically order shakes as a snack. The most popular age group who order shakes is ages 18-24, which translates to 1/3 of the beverage market. The profitability margin is outstanding with shakes. We estimate your cost to a couple pennies per ounce for an 8 ounce serving. Each bag of shake mix yields approximately 59 milkshakes or 472 ounces.

With shake mix…if you can imagine it, you can make it. Premium milkshakes attract consumers craving something outside of the traditional chocolate, strawberry and vanilla milkshake flavors. Mixing in candy, cookies, flavored syrups, fresh or frozen fruit, peanut butter, or protein powders add more variety to your milkshake menu. A spindle blender will marry anything with vanilla soft serve and mix it to the perfect thick and creamy consistency that milkshake lovers crave. The cost of the added ingredients ups your food costs a bit, but with a higher menu price, your profitability is still looking great. Another idea for milkshakes that is trending in foodservice is offering alcoholic shakes. According to a recent USA Today article, Red Robin is offering Wine Shakes made with wine, vodka, mango puree and vanilla soft serve. The price tag for these doubles or triples that of the non-alcoholic kind.

Move over Starbucks

Mocha Iced Cappuccino

Add whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate or caramel sauce for a craveable snack.

What about the lure of coffee-flavored beverages? If your business attracts customers throughout the day looking for a filling snack, you should consider offering Iced Cappuccinos. An added bonus; people like iced coffee beverages year-round. Our dry mixes, Mocha or French Vanilla flavored, are blended with water or milk to produce a rich and creamy coffee flavored frozen treat. The only equipment you need is a good blender or a granita machine. According to Coffee Talk magazine, the average margin for a frozen beverage ranges between 65% and 70%.

If you want more affirming facts on increasing sales, look no further than your nearest convenience store. According to NPD research, iced and slushy coffees have been growing by double digits for the last five years. Convenience Store Decisions reported that in 12 months, iced coffee alone grew 7% and frozen slushy sales increased by 14%. Think of the growth that McDonald’s saw when they began offering flavored iced coffees. Add a little whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate or caramel sauce and you have yourself a craveable snack.

When to Add Smoothies – A Sign of the Times
Anytime! We think adding smoothies to beverage menus is smart. Messages bombard us everyday about healthful eating, disease prevention and obesity. Smoothies, especially fruit smoothies, exude the perception of “healthy”. Frostline Simply Smoothies™ base mix is low in fat (2 grams), sodium and carbs and has zero grams of cholesterol. A trend that we don’t see diminishing is the one focused on kids eating healthier. With the new governmental regulations coming down on school lunch and the awareness of the new food guide, “My Plate”, parents are paying closer attention to what their kids eat and buying healthier foods. Fruit smoothies fit that bill. Packaged Facts, a leading source in food and beverage market research, expects sales of kids’ food and beverage to grow to a $30 billion by 2018.

Just add frozen fruit and ice to make a delicious, healthy smoothie.

Frostline Simply Smoothies™ base mix is low in fat (2 grams), sodium and carbs and has zero grams of cholesterol.

Regardless of how you choose to expand your beverage menu, we encourage you to do just that…EXPAND! A little extra goes along way when grabbing the attention of new customers or retaining old ones. In this world of hustle and bustle, fast casual and convenience, chill customers out with refreshing, cold beverages.

The market for lactose free and gluten-free foods and beverages is hot! With estimates that 70 –75% of the world’s population may be lactose intolerant¹ and 1 in 133 people in the U.S. are affected by Celiac Disease², operators are paying attention! Foodservice directors are adding lactose and gluten free (GF) products to their menus daily. In fact, with the rise in these two gastrointestinal conditions, all aspects of foodservice (healthcare, hotels/casinos, C&U, K-12 cafeterias, and restaurants) should take it very seriously.

Colleges & Universities (C&U) are responding to the trend. For example, Oregon State University has a gluten-free webpage that directs students to food stations that offer GF menu items including frozen yogurt and smoothies. Looking to the near future, University of Nevada – Reno is adding a vegan/gluten free eatery and a self-serve frozen yogurt station to their food court this fall.

Frostline is Gluten Free

Lactose and Gluten Free Soft Serve

Why the connection between lactose free and gluten-free? The physical symptoms someone experiences who is sensitive to either two are very similar: abdominal pain, excessive gas, cramping, bloating and nausea. A large portion of people who avoid gluten or lactose, do so primarily because of symptoms and not because of diagnosis. All they know is cause and effect; if they eat it, they suffer. For people with Celiac or gluten-sensitivity, an elimination diet is the only treatment². For lactose, there are medications that can help prevent symptoms¹.

So what can you do as an operator to make the most of this rising health concern? Offer gluten free and lactose free options! In 2011, U.S. and Europe hit a combined $900 million in retail sales for lactose free products³. Gluten free was listed #2 in Time magazine’s Top 10 Food Trends of 2012. The gluten free category is expected to become worth $6.6 billion by 2017 according to Packaged Facts.

Frostline® Frozen Treats can help you in the dessert portion of your gluten free or lactose free menu. Offering soft serve that is free from these two gastrointestinal targets will not only give you peace of mind but it will enhance your menu’s image. It’s hard to find a person that doesn’t like ice cream, but some people have given it up because of their special dietary concerns. In healthcare, a bowl of soft serve is a welcome treat for patients who crave something cold and sweet but have dietary restrictions that limit their selections. C&U students have meal plans to use and self-service soft serve is a nice draw. Lastly, soft serve is a family favorite at restaurants! Restaurants can entice larger groups and families to dine-in just by offering complimentary soft serve.

If you are interested in talking to someone about offering a GF or lactose free dessert, let us know! Frostline® offers soft serve mixes, frozen yogurt mixes, frozen beverage mixes (including smoothie base mix) and flavor packets. We are here to help!

Resources

¹ Cleveland Clinic http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/lactose_intolerence/hic_lactose_intolerance.aspx

² National Foundation of Celiac Awareness http://www.celiaccentral.org/celiac-disease/facts-and-figures/

³ FoodBev.com http://www.foodbev.com/news/lactose-free-dairy-market-is-booming-say#.U0buv8JOWM8

 

Add Fruit, Ice and Water to Make a Smoothie

Fruit Smoothies Add Choices to Your Beverage Menu

Paying attention to food and beverage trends is important to foodservice professionals. If trends aren’t monitored, menus turn stale resulting in decreased new and return customer traffic. With the world paying closer attention to eating healthier, it seems conceivable that menu options should be mindful of this evolution. Ten years ago, consumers were used to seeing milkshakes on beverage menus. Today, menus are beginning to offer healthier alternatives for consumers’ steering away from high-fat, high-calorie foods. According to a recent Mintel® survey, 68% of people would like to see more restaurants offer smoothies.

Simply Smoothies Satisfies Health-Conscience Consumers

4.8 lb. Container Yields Approximately 39 Servings

Fruits and vegetables are the pillars of healthful eating. An easy way to accommodate the healthier-eating food trend is to offer smoothies. Frostline® Simply Smoothies base mix offers a low cost of entry into the blended beverage category. The mix is a dry base mix that easily blends with water or juice, ice and your choice of additional ingredients like fresh, frozen or canned fruit in a traditional blender. This versatile mix can be used with a wide array of ingredients to create delicious, profitable smoothies. We suggest starting small and offering the top two smoothie flavors – Strawberry and Strawberry/Banana. When you are ready, branch out to Mango, Peach, or Pineapple flavors. Once you feel comfortable this blended beverage is working for you, create a smoothie menu and offer seasonal flavors or specialty flavors. With the neutral base mix, you can add anything from peanut butter to Girl Scout Cookies to carrots or kale. The possibilities and combinations are endless!

Simply Smoothies Mix Comes in Single Serve Packets

Single Serve Packets Too!

There isn’t a worry of waste because smoothies, like milkshakes, are made to order – one 16 oz. serving at a time. Operators can see more than 50% gross margin on one smoothie. The reason being, in each case of bulk mix, there are four – 4.8 lb. containers of the base mix and each container yields approximately 39 smoothies – over 150 smoothies per case! Our base mix is also available in convenient, individual serving packets. There are 50 packets in one case. Simply Smoothies® can help you make use of ingredients you already have on hand in order to avoid spoilage concerns.

If you decide to try smoothies, you have Simply Smoothies® support! Operators can choose from a variety of complimentary, high-quality, point-of-purchase materials including posters, stickers and clings. Each piece was professionally designed to keep your smoothies top of mind with customers for increased sales. Although free merchandising materials are available for order, you can download and print the files anytime from our website. We host a wealth of product information on our website: unique flavor combinations, promotion ideas and seasonal recipes.

We’re happy to send you a sample. Visit us at FrostlineSimplySmoothies.com and complete the Contact Form.

Simply Smoothies Spring Recipes

Simply Smoothies Spring Recipes

Simply Smoothies Spring Recipes Page 2

 

KPFG Awarded 2013 Dot Foods Quality & Service Honor

KPFG Awarded 2013 Dot Foods Quality & Service Honor

Our manufacturer, Kent Precision Foods Group (KPFG), was recognized by Dot Foods for exemplary quality and service in 2013. This is the third consecutive year that Dot Foods bestowed the Quality and Service Award honor on KPFG. Fifteen manufacturers out of 650+ manufacturers were recipients of the award. Those companies included: ACH Food Companies, Bosco’s Pizza Co., Butterball, Cargill Foodservice, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Handi-Foil of America, Inc., Kent Precision Foods Group, Lawrence Foods, Inc., Living Essentials, Rotella’s Italian Bakery, Signature Breads, Simplot, Sunny Delight, Tyson, and Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc.

The award was given to manufacturers who achieved excellence in several areas of distinction including profitability, returns, inbound service levels, electronic data interchange implementation and loading efficiency, amongst other areas. Dot Foods is the nation’s largest redistributor. The company distributes food products to distributors in all 50 states and they have eight distribution centers in the U.S.

Dot Foods will travel to our headquarters in Creve Coeur, MO to present the 2013 Quality and Service Award later this month. Congratulations KPFG!

Problem: Product is too soft.  Symptoms: Cones won’t stand up. The soft serve looks wet. The product starts melting almost immediately.

Treatment: First, check your machine’s temperature settings. We recommend setting the temperature between 18 and 21 degrees and the temperature inside the hopper be at 41 degrees. Since your soft serve seems too soft, try setting it more towards 18 degrees. If this checks out, move on to examining your scraper blades. Plastic blades should be replaced every three months and stainless blades every six. If your blades are in good shape, reexamine the mixing instructions on the bag and on the bucket. The amount of liquid you add will directly affect your soft serve texture. (Our complimentary mixing bucket has premeasured lines to help you get the mixture perfect!) If all of that is okay, we suggest contacting your soft serve machine representative for a service call. There are other mechanical issues that can cause soft serve machines to malfunction or work less efficiently.

Problem: Product is too firm. Symptoms: Soft Serve texture is icy and firm.

Treatment: First, check that the machine’s temperature dial is set properly. We recommend setting the temperature between 18 and 21 degrees and the temperature in the hopper be at 41 degrees. Since your soft serve seems too firm, try adjusting the temperature more towards 21 degrees. Next, confirm that your machine’s air holes and lines are clean and open. If they seem blocked, please refer to your machine’s owner’s manual for cleaning instructions. If you are still reading this, we assume you are still troubleshooting. Check the sharpness and life of your scraper blades.  It is recommended that plastic blades be replaced every three months and stainless blades every six. Lastly, review the steps and measurements in our product instructions. If you think that you didn’t add enough liquid or didn’t whisk the mixture long enough, try the mixing steps again and add the new mixture to the other side of the hopper. Lastly, if you still have icy soft serve, please contact your soft serve machine representative to schedule a service call. There are other mechanical issues that can cause soft serve machines to malfunction.

Troubleshooting The Perfect Swirl Frostline®

Troubleshooting The Perfect Swirl

Frostline® Soft Serve mixes are stable for up to one year when stored unopened in a cool dry place.

Once the soft serve product has been mixed with water, the mixture should be immediately poured into your soft serve machine or refrigerated in the complimentary mixing bucket with affixed lid. The recommended shelf life of the refrigerated mixture is a maximum of 48 hours. The FDA requires the reconstituted product temperature to be reduced to 41°F within four hours inside the hopper or within the refrigerator and remain at or below 41°F.

When you’re in the soft serve business, soft serve is always on the brain. Of course this isn’t a bad thing, however, it does lend itself to constantly thinking about the benefits of soft serve. One benefit that always comes to mind is how soft serve can instantly enhance a casual restaurant’s image as a family-friendly dining establishment. Adults and children alike seem to “save room for dessert” when they see that familiar, shiny, metal soft serve machine. That one machine has the power to turn a first-timer into a loyal customer. It has the ability to label a restaurant as “kid-friendly” faster than filling up a waffle cone. Some restaurants offer complimentary soft serve because they believe it is the key to building repeat business. Others know that offering soft serve, along with toppings or possibly chocolate sauce to make dipped cones, creates rapport among patrons.

Family Friendly Soft Serve

Family Friendly Soft Serve

Sometimes eating out gets a bad rap by critics who feel home-cooked meals are better for family conversation. Although we agree gathering around the dining room table is definitely special; eating together at a restaurant is also a wonderful way to bond and share conversation. The key is “together”. In fact, a restaurant meal forces children to sit rather than quickly finishing their vegetables and retreating to their rooms. And if the customer is lucky enough to eat at a restaurant that offers complimentary soft serve like Sweet Tomatoes, their dining time (aka family bonding) lengthens because there is simply no way anyone can pass up FREE, all-you-can-eat soft serve!

Statistics suggest that eating together as a family has many mental and physical benefits. Recently the CASA (The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University) published a study that supported family dining. The study showed a decreased risk of children smoking, drinking or using other drugs when families came together for meals. It also showed that children classified their relationship with their mom or dad more highly than those who did not eat together. Source: http://www.casacolumbia.org/addiction-research/reports/importance-of-family-dinners-2012

Eating together gives parents a chance to take some time to connect with their kids, model good table manners, practice gratitude, incorporate everyday consumer math into the conversation (resolving the question “why do I have to learn math”), dig a little deeper (school, work, peers, weekend plans, hopes, dreams, aspirations), and most importantly  – HAVE FUN!

Family Friendly Soft Serve

Kids LOVE soft serve for dessert

Speaking of FUN, did we mention how much FUN eating soft serve can be for families? If you don’t already offer soft serve to your customers, you might consider adding it to next year’s menu:)

Frostline® Frozen Treats soft serve and frozen yogurt mixes operate in ALL commercial soft serve machines as well as the Rival home ice cream maker. ElectroFreeze, SaniServe, Stoelting and Taylor are just a few of the available brand-name machines that create perfectly frozen, delicious soft serve everyday!

Soft serve machines are self-contained units that will store, churn and freeze soft serve mix into a delectable, frozen treat. If you require a medium or high volume machine for production, the machine must be able to freeze additional product to replenish what is being dispensed. Two types of commercial machines are available: gravity-fed machines and pressurized machines. Gravity-fed machines require staff to pour liquid soft serve mix into the top of the hopper and gravity pulls the mix down into the freezing cylinder. Pressurized machines follow the same loading process but an electric pump transfers the soft serve mixture into the freezing cylinder. An added benefit of a pressurized machine is the location of the hopper – usually underneath the dispensing head in a refrigerated cabinet. This location reduces spillage and physical strain when compared to the design of a gravity-fed machine.

Frostline®  The Perfect Frozen Treat™

Frostline® The Perfect Frozen Treat™

Many factors go into the purchase of a soft serve ice cream machine.  You will need to know your budget, projected sales volume, space allowance, desired mixing features, and whether you want to buy new or used. Soft serve machines vary in price, service, and reliability. The Frozen Yogurt Review has compiled reviews and a comparison chart of some of the top commercial soft serve machines. Another useful document is from Foodservice Equipment Reports. It contains an in-depth review of soft serve ice cream including history, commercial machines and health department inspections. http://www.fermag.com/sr/v12i02_sr_softserve.htm.

Purchasing a soft serve machine is an investment and requires diligent research. As with any significant purchase, it is always best to shop and compare! Make sure to read customer reviews, compare warranties and identify a point of contact in case you experience difficulties with your machine. Whether you are just starting out, replacing an old machine, adding an additional machine, or just curious about dry mix; we are excited about your soft serve plans! Please let us know if you want to sample Frostline® Frozen Treat mixes. We can assure you that your customers will love the taste and your business will love the profitability and usability of our mixes.

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