Celebrate America’s Most Delicious Holiday

Summer is heating up, and that means National Soft Serve Day (August 19th) will be here before you know it. As the unofficial sponsor of the holiday, Frostline® wants to help you close out the summer with an epic celebration. It’s easier than you might think to bring the frozen fun to your soft serve operation, and there’s no better way to attract customers than with a party.

First, whether you’re already a Frostline customer or not, visit our website to learn how to order your complimentary Celebration Kit. All you have to do is contact us, and we’ll send you a kit – no strings attached – that will arrive at your doorstep in just a few business days.  Inside, you’ll find signage to hang up in your store and a step-by-step playbook on how to promote National Soft Serve Day.

Also on our website, you can download a set of unique images to use in your own social media to help bring customers to your store. In addition, you can learn more about our friends at PAICRA (People Against Ice Cream Related Accidents), whose sole mission is to bring awareness to the dangers of hard-packed ice cream. By serving soft serve, you’re making the safer choice and resting the wrists of your employees.

National Soft Serve Day is better with friends. So on August 19th, join us in raising a cone to America’s most delicious holiday. Be sure to share your photos and videos with us on Facebook and Twitter, tagging us and #NationalSoftServeDay.

And since the party begins and ends with soft serve, be sure to stock up on your Frostline Soft Serve Mix now.

 

Five Fascinating Facts About Vanilla

You know vanilla is oh-so-delicious, and you could probably guess that it’s the world’s most popular flavor and scent. From desserts to perfumes to bug repellents, its uses are far-reaching and not at all…vanilla.

No surprise here: sales of our Frostline® Vanilla Soft Serve Mix far exceed our second most popular flavor – Chocolate – so we feel a particular affinity for this fabulous flavor. Just like the Mesoamericans who originally cultivated vanilla, we searched the land (cough, the internet) to gather and share these lesser-known facts about this popular spice.

1. It’s Ancient

Just like chocolate, vanilla was first discovered in the region that is now Central America. It appears to have been discovered in the 15th century. However, 75% of today’s vanilla comes from Madagascar and the island of Réunion, where a vanilla vine was smuggled in the 1700s. On the island, the plant grew beautiful blossoms but infrequent and unpredictable pods (a.k.a. vanilla beans). The problem was that the region lacked the Melipone bee – found only in Mexico – to pollinate the flower. It took almost 50 years to develop a hand-pollination method for the plant.

 2. It’s Part of History

Thomas Jefferson introduced the U.S. to vanilla after tasting it in France, where he was serving as Ambassador to King Louis XVI. He wrote down the recipe for vanilla ice cream and was known to have served it alongside pastries during his term at the President’s House (now known as the White House). His hand-written note, dating back to the 1780s, is considered to be the first known recipe recorded by an American. It now lives in the Library of Congress.

3. It’s Expensive

After saffron, vanilla is the most expensive spice in the world because it is so time-consuming and labor-intensive to produce. The plant, surprisingly from the orchid family, grows as a vine that can take years to mature. The plant produces a flower that makes the vanilla bean, and it only blooms for 24 hours. It must be pollinated during that time, or it will die. Outside of Central America, the flowers must be pollinated by hand with teeny-tiny tools. And after the beans are harvested, they can take six to nine months to cure. Not to mention, vanilla only grows between 10 to 20 degrees north or south of the Equator. Talk about a stubborn spice.

4. It’s Useful

Beyond its uses as a flavor, vanilla has many other around-the-home applications, like freshening up your fridge (or microwave) and concealing the strong smell of paint. The next time you find yourself painting a bedroom, add a tablespoon of vanilla extract to the can to save your nostrils. In the kitchen, vanilla can be used (with water) to wipe down the fridge and microwave, eliminating any stale/stingy/sour odors that may be lingering. It can also be used to repel spiders and mosquitoes, neither of which can stand the vanilla scent we love! To create a safe DIY mosquito repellent, simply combine equal parts water and vanilla extract, spray it on your skin, and say sayonara to itchy bug bites. To repel spiders, place a bowl of vanilla beans (that have been preserved in vodka or vinegar) on any surface that you’d like to keep a spider-free zone.

5. It’s Popular

Internationally, vanilla continues to rank as the most popular flavor of ice cream. But what’s the scoop on all the different varieties? Generally, anything labeled straight-up vanilla is made with vanilla extract or a substitute.  Vanilla bean ice cream uses unprocessed beans from a vanilla pod, which appear as black specks. French vanilla does not use vanilla from France but a classic French method of making ice cream from an egg-custard base, accounting for its yellowish hue.

“Vanilla” may have become a synonym for boring, but it’s obviously anything but. And while it’s expensive and labor-intensive in its original form, vanilla can be affordable and convenient as a soft serve. Contact us for a starter kit, including Frostline Vanilla Soft Serve Mix, to carry on the tradition of this popular treat.

Ice Cream Sandwiches for Any Operation

According to the Huffington Post, ice cream sandwiches are the new cupcake. Luckily, you don’t have to rethink your operation to get in on the trend before it goes the way of the cronut.

Macro trends like nostalgia  and extreme dining have influenced the resurgence of the ice cream sandwich. Customers love treats that remind them of their childhood, and they’re craving indulgent desserts as a reward for eating healthy the rest of the day. Restaurants around the globe are capitalizing on this trend, with recipes as simple as the original or as exotic as the S’mores Burger, made with Nutella spread, brûlée marshmallow, vanilla ice cream and Maldon sea salt on mini brioche.

It’s easier than you think to offer your own twist on this classic treat, especially if you’re one of these types of operations:

For Bakeries or Coffee Shops:
You’re already known for fresh-baked goodies, so delicious ice cream sandwiches are only one step away. Adding a soft serve machine to your back of house will open up infinite flavor combinations that will take your most popular baked items to the next level.

Try any of our recipes (or invent your own) and sandwich cool, creamy soft serve between cookies, brownies, cake slices and more. Cut a cake donut in half, fill the middle with coffee soft serve and add maple bacon crumbles to the center for a sweet and savory breakfast-turned-dessert combo to die for.

For Frozen Yogurt Shops:
The DIY trend continues to dominate in the foodservice space, especially when it comes to ice cream. As competition continues to grow, you need to continue to find new ways to get customers to choose your shop, rather than the store just down the street.

Signature products and experiences could take your shop over the top. Partner with a local bakery to offer the fresh-baked brownies or other options to serve as the “bread” (see above). Invite your customers to create their own ice cream sandwiches in the wackiest flavor combinations available. You could even hold a contest for the most indulgent treat, complete with mix-ins and toppings.

For Recreation Destinations:
Unique food items are part of an amusement park’s DNA. Classics like caramel apples and cotton candy will always draw a crowd, but nothing drives return business better than a concoction that’s only available at your place.

Using either hard-packed ice cream or soft serve, experiment with customer favorites to create an ice cream sandwich that’s unique to your location. Try funnel cake waffles as the vehicle for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Soft Serve and watch the customers line up!

See? Ice cream sandwiches are practical for any size or type of operation, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to flavor combinations. Your business just got a whole lot cooler.

How To Engage Brokers to Drive Innovation

As you may know, Frostline® Frozen Treats is manufactured and marketed by Kent Precision Foods Group. We want to share an exciting company-wide initiative that furthers our commitment to serving the needs of not only our customers, but our customers’ customers.

At Kent Precision Foods Group, we regularly gather insights from leading foodservice research groups and organizations to stay ahead of flavor, consumer and industry trends. A focus on what’s coming next has helped us evolve our business with more innovative products and processes that benefit everyone who interacts with our company and brands.

That’s why we have formed the KPFG Insights Foodservice Broker Advisory Board. The board includes a regional cross section of industry leaders with extensive experience, drawn from the country’s top brokers, including:

  • Al McGarity – Gilbert Foods
  • Phil Schmidt – Floyd B. Case Inc.
  • Elizabeth Klingman – Acosta
  • Ed Brink – Herspring-Gibbs
  • Kyle Moen – Synergy Enterprises
  • Dori Bilbrey – Menu Marketing

By more directly engaging with the broker community, we hope to gather industry insights, learn more about competition, discover cross-merchandising opportunities, test promotion ideas, identify product gaps, ideate on new products, and collect operator feedback, including overall business insights and trend impact. KPFG will use this information to serve as a source of market intelligence for the entire foodservice industry and to create future product and marketing plans for our brands.

The KPFG Insighters Foodservice Broker Advisory Board meets every six weeks via conference calls and at least twice a year face to face. Input from the first meeting, held in November, is already being incorporated into the KPFG Foodservice plan for 2016.

For more information about the Broker Advisory Board or about KPFG, please visit precisionfoods.com.

Chocolate: From Inaccessible to Everywhere

When most of us hear the word “chocolate,” we think of candy, cookies, and other mouthwatering sweets. Of course, everyone loves a decadent dessert. But did you know that for 90% of chocolate’s existence, it was neither sweet nor easily accessible? As a modern treat defying that past, Frostline® Chocolate Soft Serve Mix brings you the history of its famed flavor.

The ancient Mesoamericans discovered chocolate, probably around 1900 B.C. If you thought your cup of cocoa was a modern phenomenon, groups like the Olmec, Maya and Aztec had you beat 4,000 years ago. They drank chocolate as a bitter, frothy beverage. It might not sound as good as your classic hot chocolate, but its ingredients, which included chili peppers and other spices, were certainly “original.”

Even in its unsweetened state, ancient chocolate was so popular that its availability was limited to society’s most elite. This begs the question: if the Mesoamericans weren’t in it for the sugar, what was the appeal? Watch out romantics, because history tells us they found chocolate to be a mood enhancer and aphrodisiac. They may have been on to something 3,500 years before Valentine’s Day was even invented.

Due to its…interesting effects, people used to think chocolate had spiritual and mystical powers. They reserved it for rulers, warriors, priests and nobles at sacred ceremonies. In fact, the Spanish explorers who brought chocolate back to Europe only had the privilege of trying the stuff because the Aztec king mistook their leader for an incarnated deity.

Europeans sweetened chocolate with cane sugar and cinnamon in the 1500s, but one thing remained unchanged: it was still only available to the rich and royal. Thank goodness for the invention of the steam engine in the 1700s, which made mass production possible.

Today, the word “chocolate” has expanded to include a range of sweet and accessible treats, like Frostline Chocolate Soft Serve Mix. Unlike ancient chocolate, it’s refreshingly delicious, surprisingly affordable, and even available to customers with dietary restrictions. Frostline Vanilla Soft Serve Mix is also available for customers who prefer the classic cone.

Sweet New Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service has announced a new set of ice cream-themed stamps[1] that look good enough to eat. Designed by Ethel Kessler with illustrations by Nancy Stahl, they feature five classic soda fountain treats that are sure to inspire appetites. You’re probably familiar with most of them, but here’s a run down:

Double-Scoop Ice Cream Cone:
You guessed it—this is a classic, cone-shaped pastry stacked with two scoops of ice cream.

Egg Cream:
Oddly enough, this contains neither eggs nor cream. It’s a classic beverage consisting of milk, carbonated water, and chocolate syrup.

Banana Split:
Variations of this classic dessert are a dime a dozen, but it’s traditionally made with a split banana, ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, nuts, and cherries.

Root Beer Float:
A simple but stand-alone treat consisting of ice cream in root beer.

Hot Fudge Sundae:
Again, variations of this treat are endless, but it’s typically made with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, nuts, sprinkles, and a cherry on top.

Why the emphasis on soda fountain treats? According to USPS, soda fountains were important gathering places in U.S. history, especially when Prohibition banned alcohol sales[2]. During World War II, soda fountains popped up at military bases in the U.S. and abroad, because drinking a soda or indulging in a sundae reminded soldiers of simple pleasures at home[3]. Today soda fountain culture lives on in homes, restaurants, and frozen treat operations.

Did you know Frostline® can help create the classic favorites featured on USPS’s new stamps? Ones you can actually eat? We offer soft serve mixes, frozen yogurt mixes, and frozen beverage mixes that can be substituted for traditional, hard-scoop ice cream. Because Frostline is economical to ship, convenient to store and easy to prep, you can offer a fresher product and make more money. Plus, many of our products are free of lactose, cholesterol, gluten, and dairy, so you can bring back childhood treats with a better for you twist.

 

[1] https://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2015/pr15_069.htm

[2] http://www.dairyfoods.com/articles/91535-heres-one-stamp-you-wont-mind-licking

[3] http://flicksandfood.com/postal-service-to-issue-weight-control-stamps-in-2016/

How To Embrace The Extreme Dining Trend

If you own or operate a restaurant, you may have noticed that your customers’ orders seem erratic. It may seem like diners are undecided or confused about what they want to eat or drink.

But according to Mintel’s 2016 Foodservice Trends report, that’s not the case. In a world full of never-ending choices, consumers are balancing their diets (and lives) by ordering extremes. To keep up, today’s food and beverage outlets have to cater to both ends of the dining spectrum – and Frostline can help.

Splurge and Steal
Most customers are finding reasons to dine across the entire price continuum. Busy professionals might grab fast food for lunch on a busy day, only to meet friends at a premium dining hot spot for an indulgent (and expensive) dinner.

To balance the higher-priced items on your menu, consider offering an incredibly low-cost dessert. Frostline Soft Serve Mix is so affordable that you can even offer it as a complimentary treat to customers.

Perfectly Prepared and DIY
The level of choice customers want to make changes daily…even hourly. Overwhelmed by the options for customization, a customer may order a signature menu item exactly how you recommend it. They trust your chef to provide a delicious and well-balanced dish.

But if you make it easy, the same customer will be delighted by the opportunity to DIY their dessert. With a soft serve machine and Frostline Soft Serve mix, you can offer endless customizable frozen treats – from a sundae bar with delicious toppings to a build-your-own milkshake station.

Health and Indulgence
While Millennials continue to clamor for healthier foods, they are most likely to choose foods based on their mood. If they feel like eating something indulgent, they’re going to go for it, even if they make healthy choices most of the time.

Luckily for Millennials and all the others they influence, Frostline offers the best of both worlds. Both vanilla and chocolate flavors are lactose-free, gluten-free and low-fat, but they taste so rich and indulgent that customers can’t get enough.

In 2016, foodservice is all about helping customers make easy choices to find balance. To do so, operators must embrace the “and” – even when it seems incongruous. With the help of Frostline® Soft Serve, you can make this extreme dining trend work for you.

What’s Hot in Desserts

With the start of 2016, you may be wondering what dessert trends will emerge this year. One category gaining traction is unexpected pairings, like exotic or even spicy flavors in sweet desserts[1].

“Operators are going to put a bit more thought into how they are incorporating chilies, cayenne and roasted garlic into unconventional ways of baking,” said Corporate Chef for Dawn Food Products, Kami R. Smith. She noted that cookies, brownies and mousse are great menu items for chocolate and spice[2].

Unexpected flavors are also finding their way into ice cream and soft serve. Sweet and salty, heat paired with sweet, and exotic flavor combinations are just a few of the trends showing up in freezers and soft serve machines. Olive oil and sea salt were big in 2015, but another savory ingredient that may emerge on the scene in 2016 is ground black pepper[3].

As we shake off winter, it’s easy to heat up your offerings with unusual creations that will keep customers guessing. With dozens of recipes and flavor combination ideas, Frostline® makes it easy to spice up your soft serve.

 

 

[1] http://nrn.com/sweet-solutions/sweet-spicy-savory-horizon-2016-desserts

[2] http://nrn.com/sweet-solutions/sweet-spicy-savory-horizon-2016-desserts

[3] https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/ground-black-pepper-may-be-next-trendy-ice-cream-flavor/

5 Things You Don’t Know About Frozen Yogurt

February 6 is National Frozen Yogurt Day[1]. Let’s dig in spoon first and celebrate this ice-cold treat!

Frozen yogurt is eaten almost as much as ice cream nowadays[2], and it’s easy to see why. Served in an infinite number of flavors and styles, it’s a delicious, healthier alternative to ice cream.[3] But it wasn’t always seen so favorably. The health-conscious trend of the 1970s spurred the creation of frozen yogurt. It didn’t go over very well because many people did not like the taste. It finally gained widespread popularity in the 1980s, after recipes improved to create the frozen yogurt we know and love.[4]

Dying to know more? Here are 5 things you might not know about frozen yogurt:

  1. Plain flavored yogurt has been around for more than 4,000 years; however, it wasn’t until the 1970s that anyone thought to freeze it.[5]
  1. The key to frozen yogurt’s popularity is sugar. In the 80s, frozen yogurt franchises added sugar to balance the tart flavor, and it was a hit. By the 90s, frozen yogurt had a 10% share of the frozen dessert market.[6]
  1. FroYo has become a very trendy treat, and unique flavor creations are constantly in the works. In 2015 the world’s first black frozen yogurt was released in a flavor called Black Sakura. The color is due to the addition of naturally activated charcoal, which is said to contain healthy antioxidants and can also help remove toxins from the body.[7]
  1. As if you needed further convincing to enjoy this treat, frozen yogurt also contains protein, calcium, vitamins and potassium. These healthy qualities among others can help boost a person’s immune system, lower cholesterol, and aid the digestive system.[8]
  1. Like traditional ice cream, frozen yogurt is now available in many different forms. In addition to traditional soft-serve styles, you can also find parlors that feature options like hand-scooped froyo, smoothies that blend froyo with fresh fruit and juice, as well as frozen yogurt filled cakes and pies.[9]

While frozen yogurt may have taken a while to gain traction, it can now be found in just about every style and flavor imaginable. Now go out and share your newfound frozen yogurt knowledge as you celebrate this sweet holiday.

If you’re looking for a delicious, fat-free frozen yogurt for your operation, Frostline® offers mixes in vanilla and chocolate. Contact us for more information or to place an order.

 

[1] http://www.punchbowl.com/holidays/national-frozen-yogurt-day

[2] http://www.punchbowl.com/holidays/national-frozen-yogurt-day

[3] http://www.punchbowl.com/holidays/national-frozen-yogurt-day

[4] http://www.spacemanusa.com/more-fun-facts-about-frozen-yogurt/

[5] http://www.spacemanusa.com/more-fun-facts-about-frozen-yogurt/

[6] http://thefuzzypeach.com/self-serve-frozen-yogurt-franchise-history

[7] http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/news/black-new-white-2016/

[8] http://www.spacemanusa.com/more-fun-facts-about-frozen-yogurt/

[9] https://www.franchisehelp.com/industry-reports/frozen-yogurt-industry-report/

 

Breakfast Gets Cool

Consumer demand for breakfast all day is at an all-time high.

McDonald’s started the era of all-day breakfast in October, after receiving tens of thousands of demands for all-day breakfast on social media[1]. Three months later McDonald’s still says all-day breakfast is the number one request they get from customers, so it’s not going away anytime soon[2].

Other brands are showing signs of innovation in their breakfast offerings too, like Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco or Sonic’s French Toaster. Whether or not businesses see a complete overhaul of their breakfast daypart in the future, many are finding a way to capitalize on some aspect of the trend.

According to the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast, seven out of ten consumers say they want restaurants to serve breakfast throughout the day. Millennials are more interested in breakfast for dinner than any other age group before them[3].

Have you thought about bringing breakfast flavors to your shop? You can transform Frostline® vanilla and chocolate soft serve into trendy new breakfast creations with one or two on-hand ingredients. Offer maple bacon syrup soft serve, coffee flavors, or waffle cones to take advantage of the fad, and turn your operation into a delicious dessert destination.

For breakfast inspired recipes and more, check out our recipe sheet!

 

[1] http://time.com/money/4062667/mcdonalds-all-day-breakfast/

[2] http://www.eater.com/2015/10/16/9553041/mcdonalds-all-day-breakfast-disaster-franchisees-upset

[3] https://www.qsrmagazine.com/exclusives/dawn-daylong-breakfast