Extreme Milkshakes for Dietary Restrictions

 

In a culture where diners are seeking extremes, foodservice operations are serving more extravagant dishes and desserts that beg diners to share photos before digging in. In 2016, there’s no dessert more tempting than the extravagant milkshake.

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Extreme milkshakes first gained popularity in Australia last summer, but by way of social media, the trend soon exploded around the world. Sugar lovers across the globe are going crazy about milkshakes that include enough mix-ins and toppings to crush your recommended sugar intake for a week.

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Concoctions like the Brooklyn Blackout and the Churro Shake (pictured above) are drawing a crowd to Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer and go for $15 a pop. And they look amazing…but what if allergies or lifestyle choices don’t allow for such indulgence? Now you can bring the milkshake magic to your operation, even for those living with dietary restrictions.

Start with Frostline® Vanilla Shake Mix, or even Frostline Vanilla or Chocolate Soft Serve Mix as a base. All of our products are lactose-free and gluten-free, which automatically gives you an edge because you can serve more customers. Then, start piling on the toppings to create your leaning tower of sweets. Include classic favorites that are also lactose and gluten-free like fruit, nuts, marshmallows, gummy worms, coconut and more. You can even make or purchase sauces, like salted caramel or fresh strawberry, that serve the needs of even the most dessert-deprived.

Make sure your creations are not only palate-pleasing, but gorgeous as well. The more extreme the presentation, the more likely your customers are to share photos and brag about their experience.

Are you getting in on 2016’s coolest dessert trend? Share your best creations below.

 

Think Outside the Pie

Introducing Frostline® Pumpkin Spice Soft Serve

You know fall is approaching when pumpkin products start popping up everywhere. From Pumpkin Spice Lattes to Pumpkin Spice Pasta, it’s become one of the most popular flavors on the market between September and December.

It’s getting cooler too. Pumpkin-flavored products continue to gain popularity in every category. Data from Nielsen shows that total sales of pumpkin-flavored items in the U.S. are up almost 80% since 2011, to over $360 million in 2015. And this year, Forbes pegs the size of the pumpkin spice economy at more than $500 million. Not only are brands releasing more pumpkin flavored products, the sale season is getting longer.

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Frostline® pays close attention to foodservice industry trends. That’s why for a limited time only, we’re offering Pumpkin Spice Soft Serve Mix. Combining the rich, complex flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, it’s a fall favorite that’ll have customers beelining for your operation.

This product won’t be around for long, so get it while it lasts. For more information, visit our product catalogContact us for ordering information.

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.

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.

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

Egg Shortage Impacts Ice Cream and Custard Sales

Ice cream and custard sales are taking a hit due to egg shortages and higher prices.

The egg shortage is the result of the avian flu epidemic that has devastated flocks of egg-laying chickens across the country. Since December 2014, more than 48 million birds, mostly chickens and turkeys, have been impacted. Thus, many operators are reconsidering their homemade ice cream or custard strategies, pulling these egg-dependent treats off the menu or raising prices until the supply returns to normal.

Because of the egg crisis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered its forecast for egg production this year to 6.9 billion dozen, a 5.3 percent drop from 2014. By late May, the price for a dozen Midwest large eggs had already soared to $2.62, a 120 percent increase from their mid-April, pre-bird flu prices, industry analyst group Urner Barry said.

Rita’s Italian Ice is in the process of phasing out frozen custard due to the shortage.

“We are not able to get our egg supplies anymore to supply our 600 stores,” said spokeswoman Ariel Vegotsky.

Rita’s customers will now find soft-serve ice cream in exchange for custard.

Officials say it could take up to two years for eggs to return to normal production. “The best-case scenario, we’re talking about a year before the availability is more robust,” said John Howeth, the American Egg Board’s senior vice president in charge of food service and egg product marketing.

If the egg shortage is affecting your revenue, it may be time to give Frostline® Soft Serve a shot. Since our dry mixes don’t require eggs, you no longer have to worry about the uncertain price of produce. Plus, Frostline Soft Serve is low fat and free of lactose, gluten, and trans fat. Fast and easy prep means you get fresh product when you want it, and with taste that’s consistently rich and creamy, your customers will never guess our soft serve is actually better for them.

“So far, the reaction from guests has been positive,” said Vegotsky. “Everyone is happy with the product we are serving.”

Demand Increases for Smoothies in the New Year

With the arrival of the New Year, foodservice professionals pay special attention to what researchers predict as the next big trend for the industry. On the non-commercial side, beverages are always important, and smoothies stand out with the largest growth potential according to a recent article in Foodservice Director.

Blended drinks will rule the roost in the C&U and Healthcare markets

Consumers are looking for healthier drink choices and smoothies answer the call with a variety of fruit, seed and vegetable ingredients.

So what exactly IS a smoothie? In addition to fresh fruit, many smoothies include ice, frozen fruit, syrups, or even vegetables. They have a milkshake-like consistency that is thicker than a slushie. They also often contain a dairy-component such as milk, yogurt or ice cream. What’s best in a smoothie? Anything you want: fresh or frozen fruit, vegetables, seeds, oats, protein powders, herbs, spices, yogurt, milk, juice…the ingredient possibilities are endless. The benefits of this beverage is the versatility of the ingredients you can include and as diverse as the kitchen ingredients currently on the shelf, in the refrigerator or with your local supplier or farmer’s market.

Foodservice Director says that blended drinks will rule the roost in the C&U market. That makes sense as students are on the go and lean towards a quick meal or snack to keep them going. Surviving on a college budget, a $5 smoothie for a meal replacement is attractive. Also, this youthful market is flooded with information through technology 24/7. They hear the latest news on nutrition and disease prevention which greatly impacts their buying behavior and lifestyle choices.

In healthcare, smoothies are an easy way for people to take in essential nutrients on their time schedule regardless of ability. Smoothies are easy to sip, fresh and flavorful, and provide a cool, refreshing meal replacement or snack for patients, visitors, and staff. Plus, smoothies can be easily tailored to meet nutritional goals with the addition of nutrients and healthful supplements.

Healthier and happier in 2015!

Add celery, cucumber, broccoli or sprouts for a nutrition boost.

Overall, consumers are looking for healthier drink choices and smoothies answer the call with a variety of fruit, seed and vegetable ingredients. “Superfoods” have been buzzing lately: chia seeds, coconut oil, flax seeds, Acai berries, hemp, and Cacao powder to name a few. Another trend is rotating leafy greens like kale, cabbage, bok choy, chard, beet greens, and carrot tops into these vitamin rich drinks to increase energy, detox, prevent disease, and/or slim down.

If you’re looking to add a “winner” to your 2015 beverage menu, it is definitely worth considering smoothies. Commercial and non-commercial markets show growth potential, with C&U and Hospitals showing the most promise. However, with the millennial population growing in purchase power, restaurants, fast casual, fast food and frozen yogurt and ice cream shops should be ready for increasing demand.

Increase Sales with Milkshakes, Iced Beverages or 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.