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.

Change Your Flavor…Keep Your Soft Serve Flowing

Let’s face it…customers love delicious soft serve choices but having just one soft serve machine can limit your creativity. STOP! That’s a myth. The truth is that there is a simple way to flavor traditional vanilla and chocolate soft serve to drive repeat business. Operators can easily and affordably achieve specialty flavors by mixing in a Flavor Packet from Frostline®. Imagine offering Vanilla and Strawberry Shortcake or Vanilla and Chocolate Mint. Now think of it as a “swirl” of flavor.

There are 15 Flavor Packets available:
Banana Split
Birthday Cake
Chocolate Lover’s
Chocolate Mint
Dulce de Leche (Caramel)
Eggnog
French Vanilla
Gingerbread
Matcha Green Tea
Peach Cobbler
Peppermint
Pumpkin
Ripened Raspberry
Strawberry Shortcake
Orange

Flavor packets transform soft serve into a valuable commodity: more customer choices with very little prep time. How easy is it to use flavor packets? Really easy.

  1. Place 2 gallons of cold tap water into a sanitized Frostline mixing bucket
  2. Stir in contents of flavor packet with wire whisk
  3. Once thoroughly dissolved, add contents of 6 lb bag of Frostline Soft Serve Mix or Frozen Yogurt Dessert Mix
  4. Blend according to package directions
  5. Pour immediately into soft serve machine or cover and store in refrigerator
Transform vanilla or chocolate soft serve and frozen yogurt into specialty dessert flavors.

Transform vanilla or chocolate soft serve and frozen yogurt into specialty dessert flavors.

Operators often feature a flavor-of-the-day or weekly LTO (limited time offer). This is a wonderful way to draw more traffic to restaurants and independent shops; only make sure to shout it to the rooftops. Promoting new flavors on social media platforms can pique interests and motivate patrons to visit sooner than later. Another helpful hint is to request that customers “check in” on Facebook and share pictures on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and/or Tumblr. This a fun way to promote your operation and encourage guests to visit.

Holidays and events become even more promotable when seasonal themes are incorporated. Making new twists on traditional ideas such as “Eggnog in July” or “Orange October” can get customers thinking about soft serve more often; translating into higher sales. Winter months are a great time to feature specialty flavors like Peppermint, Gingerbread, and Pumpkin.

Another benefit to using Flavor Packets is that operators can plan promotions in advance with the peace of mind that the flavor is immediately accessible on the shelf. Like our soft serve mix, Flavor Packets are a dry mix. They store flat on storage shelves and have a one year shelf life.

If a flavor interests you, please leave us a comment and we’ll gladly send you a sample. If you are ready to purchase a case, please visit our online store http://www.precisionfoodsstore.com/flavor-packets.html or talk to your nearest foodservice broker.

Dub’s Drive-In Restaurant – A Frostline and American Success Story

*A guest blog by Phil Schmidt, president, Floyd B. Case, Inc.

Opened in 1951 by its namesake “Dub Lewis”, Dub’s Drive-In has been a favorite stop for the people of Sandpoint, Idaho ever since.

Dub Lewis opened Dub’s Drive-In almost 65 years ago and remains a favorite stop for locals and tourists.

Opened in 1951 by its namesake “Dub Lewis”, Dub’s Drive-In has been a favorite stop for the people of Sandpoint, Idaho ever since. In 1987, Marty Mires purchased the restaurant after moving to Sandpoint from Florida. Marty’s father had retired in Sandpoint so Marty chose to follow him and was looking for something new to do.

Dub’s Drive-In is located across the street from Dub’s Field where spring and summer baseball and softball are played. Many of the teams are sponsored by the eatery and they have employed high school students for so long that former employees children now work there. When Sandpoint locals are giving directions to visitors they always refer to Dub’s as a focal point – “take a right at Dub’s” or “it’s just past Dub’s on the left”.

Famous for their soft serve ice cream, they serve up giant cones, sundaes, shakes, dipped cones with sprinkles and more. In the early days, they used so much dairy mix that the local dairy had to deliver soft serve mix to them every day. Even then, they ended up giving Marty a key to the plant so he could go and pick up more mix during evenings and weekends. Business was good but managing the high volume of dairy mix with their limited storage was a real problem.

After extensive testing the decision was made, they switched to Frostline and never looked back.

After extensive testing the decision was made, they switched to Frostline and never looked back.

Then, sometime around 2005, an insightful sales person (some think it was our own Floyd B. Case) brought Marty a sample of Frostline® soft serve mix. Marty and the entire Dub’s team were skeptical at best. A dry mix? Lactose-free? But they tried it and found it was not only a wonderfully delicious product but it also helped them in so many ways:

  1. No more daily deliveries and weekend stops to the dairy. Frostline didn’t need refrigeration.
  2. Now they could offer flavors besides Vanilla and Chocolate with the flavor packets that were available with Frostline products.
  3. They only had to clean their machines once a week instead of everyday. What a huge deal!
  4. Frostline lowered their food cost by almost half.

After extensive testing the decision was made, they switched to Frostline and never looked back. Now their store proudly promotes “lactose-free” soft serve and their customers are still coming in droves. The flavor packets help provide new, fun options that are great for seasonal promotions. The dairy was very sad about losing such a great customer but everyone else was thrilled! Now, Dub’s employees tell stories about how many buckets of Frostline they had to mix over the weekend (they have at least 6 buckets of vanilla and four buckets of chocolate pre-mixed and ready to go at all times). They have won awards for “best ice cream in the city”, many times, and are still the place to hang out for the local kids.

Today Dub’s, under Marty’s guiding hand, has grown and added more inside space for their customers. Marty’s brother Joe opened “Serve-A-Burger” across town and uses nothing but Frostline as well. Although the car hops are gone, the wonderful sound of happy families enjoying an evening dessert after a ball game is still the norm at Dub’s.

They only had to clean their machines once a week instead of everyday. What a huge deal!

They only had to clean their machines once a week instead of everyday. What a huge deal!

It’s hard not to be proud to be a part of such a wonderful and important institution like Dub’s and to know that we have helped them to succeed. If you’re ever in northern Idaho, you must stop in for a giant cone and to say “hi” to Marty and his team.

Dub’s Drive-In, 703 Hwy 2, Sandpoint, ID 83864

Guest Blogger: Phil Schmidt, president
Floyd B, Case, Inc.
1050  SW Stephenson St
Portland, OR 97219
503-476-4404 or  phil@fbcase.com

 

Introducing Birthday Cake Soft Serve! A Celebration of Flavor and Color!

Excuses, excuses! No more excuses not to eat birthday cake! We recently perfected our newest soft serve flavor Birthday Cake and it is BLUE! You might ask why we choose this flavor and color combination over a billion other combinations? The answer is simple – we think it’s time for a celebration!

Frostline Birthday Cake Flavor Packet

Cone or dish? Celebrate flavor with our newest flavor packet – Birthday Cake!

Kids perusing an ice cream parlor are drawn to a selection that makes a statement with a bold color and a crazy fun name. We’ve all been there…red, blue, orange, black, purple, hot pink; they exude fun AND hold the possibility of a color-stained tongue. Don’t believe us? Tom Kerber Jr. of Kerber’s Dairy in Pennsylvania said, “Most kids…they don’t care what flavor the ice cream is…they care what color!” He added, “…Anything that sounds really goofy or fun, they like that!” reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Bright colors and creative names don’t just attract kids but they are proven to attract the young at heart too. According to Food Business News in May, manufacturers are “keying in on childhood classics, with s’mores, peanut butter and jelly, and birthday cake among featured flavors in new products.” Birthday cake’s popularity resulted in the introduction of birthday cake-flavored M&M’s, Oreos, vodka, and America’s favorite Easter chicks – Peeps.

There is no denying that color attracts but when it’s in a soft serve machine, flavor variations are equally as important. Plus, let’s face it, there is a seasonality to soft serve, and a good survival tactic in the off-season is offering trendy flavors. In response to the “featured flavor” trend, we created flavor packets that can be purchased in packs of 12 and 36 and yield 113 servings per packet. Favorites for fall include, Pumpkin, Kettle Corn and Dulce de Leche. Once the winter holidays set in, Peppermint, Egg Nog and Gingerbread are safe bets and when spring arrives, Matcha Green Tea, Banana Split and Chocolate Lovers fit the bill. At the height of soft serve season, adding flavors such as Valencia Orange, Strawberry Shortcake and Sun-Ripened Raspberry can be a refreshing change. Check out our complete list here.

Coffee Craving

Give them a “cup of joe” in the form of soft serve.

Although, flavor packets make implementing seasonal flavors quick and easy, Frostline has many recipes for creating your own unique soft serve just by adding one additional ingredient to our soft serve mix. For example, soda varieties like Mountain Dew, Cherry Coke or Dr. Pepper create a taste-tempting teenage delight and for younger kids, adding grape juice or apple cider lures them in! For adults, black coffee easily transforms into “a cone of joe” or a local microbrew will spike up a hopper quickly and tastefully!

Want to try our newest flavor – Birthday Cake? Please leave us a comment on this blog and we will send you a sample. All you need is a soft serve machine and vanilla soft serve mix! The flavor packet is easily added while mixing the soft serve mix with water. Check out our newest mixing video!

Celebrate EVERYDAY with Frostline! For pennies per serving, you can attract families to dine at your restaurant or soft serve shop and keep coming back for more! Especially if you rotate seasonal flavors in between your gold standard vanilla and chocolate!

Put Down the Scoop for National Soft Serve Day

Celebrate National Soft Serve Day August 19

Celebrate National Soft Serve Day August 19

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Swirl Won’t Curl? Seeing Ice Crystals? Let’s Fix That!

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

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

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

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

Troubleshooting The Perfect Swirl Frostline®

Troubleshooting The Perfect Swirl

Family-Friendly Soft Serve

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

Family Friendly Soft Serve

Family Friendly Soft Serve

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

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

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

Family Friendly Soft Serve

Kids LOVE soft serve for dessert

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

Frostline® Soft Serve and Frozen Yogurt Mixes Offer Solutions for Commercial Soft Serve Machines

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

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

Frostline®  The Perfect Frozen Treat™

Frostline® The Perfect Frozen Treat™

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

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