Should you be making your own ice cream or buying wholesale?
If you run a frozen dessert store then you have a choice between buying your ice cream in bulk from a wholesaler or to make your own. Depending on what type of shop you own, one decision will make more economical sense for you over the other. Even though there are a lot of quality wholesale products that you can purchase there is no comparison in being able to make and serve your own homemade authentic ice cream.
First, there is nothing wrong with buying wholesale. Wholesale products are good quality and are great for small shops or anyone just getting into the ice cream business. But eventually, as you get more passionate and serious about ice cream, you'll want to start making your own product.
To get started making your own ice cream you'll need four components: an ice cream batch machine, a hardening cabinet, a tempering cabinet, and dipping cabinet. All that might sound like a lot upfront but it is an investment in your long-term success. The return on your investment will pay off when you consider that producing your own ice cream is a fraction of the cost of buying wholesale. If the long-term economic payoff isn't motivation enough then consider the other advantages of making your own product.
You Create Your Own Brand
Producing your own product allows you to brand store, your product in your own unique and specific way. When you produce unique flavors and package them, you are creating a brand for your store and this brand can, in time, can create great demand. When a customer buys some of your unique branded ice cream and it takes home to the freezer, then it's constantly front of mind every time they open the freezer...and when they run out...they can only get it at your store.
You Can Create Your Own Unique Flavors
Creating unique flavors is an important and fun aspect when creating your own ice cream. A consumer can get regular flavors such as chocolate or vanilla almost anywhere but they can't get mango or pumpkin just anywhere...only in your store. With your own equipment, you can experiment and come up with different or interesting flavors that your customers can't find anywhere else. Adding extra ingredients such as chocolates or other candies can really change the outcome of your overall productivity as well. Be adventurous in what you are trying to make and don't be afraid to experiment. If your ice cream flavor doesn't sell, or is unpopular with customers then you know for next time. Also, a good practice is to sell your new ice cream flavors in individual cone sizes to help see if the flavor is popular and can be switched to be made on a bigger scale.
Complete Control Over ingredients
Have you ever had ice cream that was either too sweet or didn't have enough flavor in it? Well creating your own product fixes all these problems. If you are not happy with the finished product of your ice cream you can change it until it passes your quality and taste test. Adding a variety of ingredients or taking some out can severely alter the end product. So test out what you like and experiment with different techniques or ingredients while attempting to produce an ice cream product that will represent your brand correctly.
Producing your own ice cream product can be much more cost-effective than buying it wholesale. Look at the profit margin from year to year and you will see an increase in profits when you switch from wholesale ice cream products compared to making your own. Profits can be measured down to profit per scoop since you control the ingredients, flavor, and overrun of the product. Having your own equipment also gives you complete control over your inventory as well. Any ice cream made can be stored in a freezing cabinet for up to a month allowing you to stock up or reserve popular flavors.