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.

 

Celebrate Back to School

Back to school time can be a challenge for everyone, as families transition from their relaxed summer routines to that of the busy new school year. Sure, it’s exhilarating at first. But the excitement of receiving class schedules and buying new school supplies is often short lived–diminishing soon after class is actually in session.

As a soft serve operation, there are many ways you can help ease the pain of this transition period, offering solutions that help everyone cool down after the school day. Here are just a few opportunities for you to embrace the back to school season and drive sales at your operation.

Host a Soft Serve Social
This twist on the typical party is an easy way to celebrate the back to school time period. Invite families out for a one-night-only soft serve soiree, or host a series of socials inviting a different local school on each evening. You’ve already got the soft serve essentials, so just add a few party elements like a balloon artist, family-friendly DJ, and some table games to launch your soft serve social in full swing.

Offer a happy hour
Back to school can be a particularly stressful time for parents, and they love soft serve just as much as their kiddos. To help the parent crowd cool down, offer a happy hour with discounted rates for all the hardworking parents out there. Have a liquor license? Take your soft serve to the next level and offer flavored liquors as add-ins. Because the only thing better than soft serve is boozy soft serve.

Host a School Supplies Drive
No matter where you are, there are families in your area that struggle to get access to the school supplies their children need. With it being back to school season, August is the perfect time to host a book and school supplies drive. And it’s a win-win, providing an opportunity to increase your customer base while giving back to your community. This year, host a drive at your operation, incentivizing participation with discounted soft serve. Not sure where to start? There are a number of organizations out there that can help you get it going.

If you’ve hosted any of these events at your operation, we’d love to hear from you! Please share your best practice advice with us in the comments!

Need to stock up on soft serve mix for any back to school shindigs you’re hosting this summer? Frostline® Chocolate & Vanilla Soft Serve mix is more cost efficient than dairy alternatives, allowing you to keep the parties going all season long. And because all of our products are lactose-free and gluten-free, you can serve more customers. Contact us for ordering information.

 

How to Party on National Soft Serve Day

Our favorite holiday is almost here! National Soft Serve Day is August 19th – are you ready to celebrate?

If you haven’t already ordered a complimentary celebration kit, there’s still time. Just fill out our contact form and include “National Soft Serve Day kit” in the comments. A representative from our Customer Care team will be in touch right away.

Our website dedicated to National Soft Serve Day is full of ideas on how to celebrate this cool holiday, but here are a few more ways to take your party up a notch:

  • Bring in a local band or DJ to entertain customers while they enjoy their soft serve. Live music is always a crowd pleaser, and passersby are guaranteed to stop by, just to see what all the fuss is about.
  • August is hot! If you have any outdoor space near your operation, attract families by setting up fun water toys for the kids. Just make sure you have plenty of seating and some shade available for the parents.
  • Offer prizes to the first 100 customers to visit your location on August 19th. Order Frostline® t-shirts to give away (while supplies last), or purchase inexpensive prizes from local hot spots (gift cards are always a winner) to help customers enjoy their summer.

The key to bringing people into your store on August 19th is pre-promotion, so no matter how you’re celebrating, make sure you tell your customers ahead of time. If you have a customer database, send an email (or two!) to talk about your special offers. Post details about your event on social media. And, of course, make sure to use the in-store signage provided by yours truly.

Most importantly, we encourage you to have fun. How do you plan to party on National Soft Serve Day? Tell us in the comments below, on Facebook or Twitter.

A Visual Treat: Frozen Treats Infographic

Several months ago, we created a blog post that defined a variety of different frozen treats. Since we are committed to offering the best information about the frozen treats industry to our customers (and we like to make pretty things) we decided to turn it into an infographic for your handy, dandy reference.

If you need a quick refresher, or an easy reference to the world of frozen delicacies, check out this visual guide. Feel free to print it out and hang it on your wall, too – just try not to lick it.

 

KPF1540 Frozen Treats Infographic (2)

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.

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/

 

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.

Have You Seen a Gordon Food Service Store Near You?

170 locations nationwide

170 locations nationwide

Big warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s have carried products in bulk for many years but you may notice a new player in town – one that doesn’t have a club membership fee – the Gordon Food Service Store. Have you seen one? These 170 stores are located primarily in the Midwest but can also be found in Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. For a location finder, please click here.

The Gordon Food Service Store is a division of Gordon Food Service, the nation’s largest family-owned foodservice distributor. Why are we telling you about this store? Because they stock our Frostline Simply Smoothies™ base mix as well as our Chocolate and Vanilla soft serve mixes. The chain also carries DOLE Soft Serve’s soft serve mix varieties in Pineapple and Orange.

Healthier Eating Lends Itself to Smoothies

Healthier Eating Lends Itself to Smoothies

The benefit of shopping at a Gordon Food Service Store is that you get the expertise of a foodservice company that understands the complexities of cooking in bulk and the time limitations for shopping. Their goal is to line their shelves with the most popular food service products including restaurant supplies, paper products and refrigerated, frozen and dry foods so that you can get what you need, when you need it, at a price that works. Plus, for smaller businesses, shipping charges can really eat into food costs. If you’ve located a store near you, it might be worth the trip to stock up on dry soft serve and frozen beverage mixes. With a year shelf-life, there isn’t the worry of spoilage. For more food cost savings, their website houses money-saving coupons and a weekly savings ad. Another value-added benefit through Gordon Food Service is custom menu planning with Menu Wizard and Gordon GO!, a loyalty program.

If you are a restaurant, non-profit, hotel, day-care, caterer or party planner, you might check them out. After all, it’s nice to experience something new in the New Year that could save you time and money. Win-win!

Check to see if there is a location near you.

Gordon Food Service Store understands cooking in bulk and shopping time limitations.

Operators Need Solutions for Today’s Challenging Restaurant Business

From the desk of Kirk Jaudes, VP Sales & Marketing, Kent Precision Foods Group, Inc.

Kirk Jaudes shares his insight for today's restaurant business

Operators Need Solutions for Today’s Challenging Restaurant Business

As the foodservice industry continues to evolve, there are certain strategies that are timeless. Serving great food in a great atmosphere at a fair price is one of those tenants that create success. As we look around our industry we continue to see pioneers who step out by faith to start a business that has one of the highest failure rates in business. Yet these passionate foodies seek to find a niche in every market in our country.  So how do we help them succeed?

Passionate food service entrepreneurs are always looking for the latest trends. “Sustainability and waste reduction are increasingly important issues across the restaurant and foodservice industry,” according to Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, National Restaurant Association as stated in an October 2013 press release. It’s on everyone’s radar. This creates both challenges and opportunities when it applies to distribution and how food manufacturers respond to this trend.

Small footprint restaurants are emerging quickly. We continue to see a great number of new restaurants opening in 1,200-1,500 square feet locations. This creates opportunities for small distributors, cash and carry stores as well as local farms to supply this type of operation. Cash flow is priority for these new entrepreneurs and high dollar drop sizes tie up much needed cash. With the large broadline distributors requiring drop sizes of $500 or more, it limits the small operator’s ability to meet these demands. And along with the smaller footprint comes less refrigerated and freezer space. This is where dry mix companies can capitalize. Dry mix products take up less storage space and offer the operator small batch options. Frostline is a leader in dry mix frozen treats, offering flavor varieties, simplicity and cost control.

As I stated earlier, there are foundational elements that will never change. People buy from people, and they buy more from people who take an active interest in their success. Manufacturer sales reps, broker sales reps and distributor sales reps are most successful when they bring the operator solutions. Today’s environment requires more than a good price, we need to provide menu applications that are on trend and a consulting sales approach with the end result of bringing more customers through our customers’ doors. And one last thing that should never change in a sales call is asking for the order. If we can apply these things to our daily business strategies we will all succeed.

Get Ready to Meet the New Year Demand for Fruit and Veggie Smoothies

It’s near 2015 and foodservice operators are looking at predicted trends for the New Year. As the latest health and nutritional information floods the web, we know consumers will continue to demand healthier, simpler, more clearly labeled foods. Another trend we anticipate escalating in our busy world is convenience. When you combine these trends, fruit and vegetable smoothies become the perfect response to consumer requirements. According to IFT (Institute of Food Technologists), beverages remain the largest U.S. functional product sector¹.

Healthier and happier in 2015!

Just add kiwi, lemonade, Simply Smoothies base mix, water and ice.

Does your establishment currently have a smoothie offering? If not, we think 2015 is the year to invest in a blender and start experimenting with flavor. Our Simply Smoothies™ base mix is a powder base mix that makes it easy to create rich, creamy smoothies without the need for an expensive yogurt or dairy base. Your shopping list can focus on fruits (fresh or frozen) and vegetables (fresh or frozen), or perhaps you’ll find that the best flavor combinations are made with items you already buy and have on hand.

Our product has been tested and blends easily in most commercial blenders but if you don’t currently own a good blender, we recommend you check out Blendtec and Vitamix. Consumer Reports’ experts agree with us, listing the top two picks as the Vitamix 5200 and the Blendtec Designer 725. Check out the complete article here. A reliable, powerful blender is a necessity for making a large volume of smoothies on a regular basis. Blending ice and frozen fruit can sometimes jam or break blender blades. Obviously, this is not a welcome surprise. Also, blenders vary with longevity so making sure to research long-term durability is key.

Take smoothies to the next level.

Over 30 smoothie recipes to blend.

Once you have your blender and are ready to experiment, we’ve put together a recipe Idea Book as well as seasonal flyers for winter, spring, summer and fall to get you started. Colorful veggies like carrots, kale, and chard easily combine with berries and melons to make a super-food smoothie. Want to give it a whirl? Leave us a comment and we’ll send you a sample of our Simply Smoothie base mix. It is gluten free, low fat and low sodium – a portrait of the 2015 healthy food trend.

¹The Top Ten Functional Food Trends A. Elizabeth Sloan, April 2014, Volume 68, No.4 accessed 11/21/14 http://www.ift.org/food-technology/past-issues/2014/april/features/toptentrends.aspx?page=viewall