Putting the “Mint” in Merriment

Frostline Peppermint Flavor Packet

44% of adult consumers find mint flavors and/or ingredients extremely appealing for the upcoming winter season.*

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and even some flavor trends extend well beyond it. Take, for instance, the popularity of peppermint, which has long been associated with, and often peaks during, the holiday season but is now becoming a perennially favorite flavor.

Compared to pumpkin spice, which kicks off autumn before Labor Day, but generally falls off once the New Year rolls around, peppermint has a lingering effect on consumer cravings.  According to the recent Flavor Consumer Trend Report by Chicago-based Technomic Inc., flavors previously linked to the holidays – namely, peppermint and cinnamon — are starting to stay on the menu in independent and fine dining chains.  In another recently-released study, Technomic found that the use of mint in non-alcoholic beverages jumped 30.4 percent and that the use of add-ins has risen 6.7 percent over the last two years.

The type and use of mint beverages has evolved with and through the seasons as well. In its Seasons Eatings Report for winter 2016, Technomic trend spotters project that in the run-up to the New Year and through the winter, specific mint flavor profiles like peppermint and spearmint will be in demand.

Already, the marketplace reflects the refresh, so to speak, of minty flavor profiles. An early glimpse at holiday beverage menus shows a move toward more festive green and minty drinks. Meanwhile, in the dessert and ice cream category, Mintel Group Ltd. reports that at least 16 new products featuring peppermint have been launched in the U.S. marketplace, including unique items like Cado Organic Mint Chocolate Chip Avocado Frozen Desserts as well as a new take on a classic, the Good Humor Girl Scouts Thin Mints Frozen Chocolate Mint Dessert Bar.

As operators meet their customers’ penchant for mint flavors, KPFG’s own trend spotters and product development experts have been ahead of the curve. The company’s new peppermint flavor packet is a relevant and easy addition to soft serve mixes, used during and beyond the holiday season. Simply blended with Frostline vanilla soft serve, the peppermint flavor packet allows operators to offer a mint variety of soft serve for a limited time.

With only weeks away, now is the time to add the refreshing taste of peppermint to your menu. Please visit Frostline’s website, www.frostlinefrozentreats.com, to find your nearest broker or fill out the contact form.

Peppermint Soft Serve

Whether for a candy cane-blended treat, a cone that evokes the spirit of the season or, later in the year, a refreshing alternative to everyday flavors, the addition of mint can lend some cheer to favorite cold desserts. ‘Tis the season – make that the year – to be jolly about mixing up menu offerings.

*Source: Season’s Eatings Report: Winter 2016, Technomic Inc.

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

One Stop Fits All! Offering Lactose Free and Gluten Free Gives Peace of Mind!

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

 

Healthier Eating Lends Itself to Fruit Smoothies

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

 

Your Soft Serve and Frozen Yogurt Machine Will Thank You

SoftServe-058

Kent Precision Foods Group Offers Foodservice Soft Serve Solutions for Every Business Model

Choose which scenario best describes your situation:

a. A cafeteria of hungry college students waiting in line for a frozen treat

b. A kid-friendly restaurant using complementary soft serve as a perk for dining in

c. A froyo franchise with several hoppers waiting to dispense the next imaginative flavor

d. A small frozen beverage store wanting to serve soft serve and smoothies

e. Not listed above but ready for marketable, easy to make, deliciously profitable soft serve

If you answered a, b, c, d or e, you’ve come to the right place! Kent Precision Foods Group offers a soft serve mix that will meet your needs. Let’s begin with your machine or machine: ElectroFreeze, SaniServ, Stoelting, or Taylor? No problem.  In fact, Frostline® and DOLE® Soft Serve work in all commercial soft serve machines.

Why Frostline®? Why DOLE® Soft Serve?

The biggest distinguisher between the two brands is Frostline® is a smart choice for businesses looking to offer basic but appetizing soft serve flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate and Swirl. It is a cost effective frozen dessert that tastes great! In addition, if you have multiple machines or would like to offer fun, seasonal flavors, Frostline® offers flavor packets that can expand your menu 17 or more times.

Dole StrawberryDOLE® Soft Serve is the perfect choice for businesses with multiple soft serve machines or businesses located in a community that demands a nutritional “niche”. DOLE® Soft Serve fruit flavors are vegan friendly, dairy free, fat free, cholesterol free, gluten free, lactose free, and made with natural colors. Offering five fruit flavors, as well as Vanilla and Chocolate, easily provides an attractive, solid, palate-pleasing menu for soft serve businesses. Kent Precision Foods Group has had the pleasure of partnering with DOLE®, one of the most recognized and trusted brands in real fruit flavor, for over 17 years.

What About Taste?

Confidence is KEY! How can you be confident your patrons will keep coming back for more? TASTE! It would be unthinkable for us to offer anything less than delicious! Recent Technomic research states 94% of operators say taste is the main criteria when selecting a soft serve brand. Both Frostline® and DOLE® Soft Serve offer a sampling program. Please contact your foodservice broker or contact us for more details.

Dry Mix IS Better All Around

Why dry? Both Frostline® and DOLE® Soft Serve are packaged dry for many reasons. First, the largest benefit is cost. The only difference between dry mix and liquid mix is WATER. Adding water to the product before shipping passes along unnecessary costs to you in product and shipping. It also forces the manufacturer to add preservatives, which is a hot topic (Hood, 2014) in today’s news. Moreover, purchasing dry mix eliminates the worry about ordering too much or too little product because of expiration, refrigerated storage capacity and waste. We simplify the mixing process with complementary mixing buckets and whisks, mixing videos, and easy to follow instruction sheets.  Plus we always support our customers with recipes, posters, flavor strips and an array of other marketing materials.

Beyond the Cup and Cone

Simply SmoothiesFrostline® Simply Smoothies™ and Frozen Beverages expand frozen dessert menus beyond the traditional cup and cone (although we LOVE being served in waffle cones, especially chocolate dipped with sprinkles).

Simply Smoothies™ is a NEW, uncomplicated, dry-mix base product available in 4.8lb re-sealable containers or single serve packets. Just blending with water, ice and ingredients such as frozen fruit, vegetables, cookies or even alcohol, allows operators to target new customers desiring an on-the-go snack sipped through a straw! Finally, don’t stop there! Offering trendy Frostline® Vanilla and Mocha Iced Cappuccinos or Shakes can effortlessly and DELICOUSLY round-out any frozen dessert menu.

References

Hood, J. R. (2014, January 8). Survey finds consumers concerned, but confused, about food safety. Retrieved from Consumer Affairs: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/survey-finds-consumers-concerned-but-confused-about-food-safety-010814.html