This month we're talking about products, promotions, and profits by offering candy blend-ins at your store. You've probably heard of them called other names such as avalanches, blizzards or flurries, or any other sort of cold-weather anomaly. Whatever the name you give it, it's basically a mix of soft-serve ice cream and candy. This type of product just continues to grow exponentially in the ice cream market and is basically the reason why we're doing this tip on it. Stores that add this to their menu always see an increase in their sales and profits.
Let's review the candy blend-in product and see why it's a great option to add to your line.
First, the candy blend-ins offer a great profit margin. To give you an example, if you're serving a 16oz. candy blend-in, it's going to cost you, depending on your candy anywhere between $1.25 and $1.75. That also gives you a little range depending on your cups, lids, spoons, branding...etc. You're selling that 16oz. product for $4.95 to $5.95 depending on the market you're in. Your food cost may be as low as 20% and the product also fetches a nice pure profit amount over and above your smaller ticket items.
Flexibility. This product remains so popular with store owners and customers because it has huge flexibility. Through your use of creative flavoring, you can really hit some hot buttons with the flavor combinations you can create. You can use different variations of candy and ice cream to really hit upon unique flavors and creations. Think of peanut butter cups with peanut butter sauces streamed throughout. Or a S’mores creation with crushed graham cracker, chocolate syrup and marshmallows. You can layer them or blend them. You can hit upon the latest dessert trends – like cereal and ice cream are very hot right now. You can market them with clear cups or keep them a mystery with solid paper cups. What's more, you can create seasonal combinations to really drive sales throughout different parts of the year. During the fall you can do pumpkin-based products. During the spring you can incorporate mint for St. Patrick’s Day or do fruit-based combinations throughout the summer months. All of these seasonal products and stand-alone combinations can create great promotional and marketing opportunities as well.
Simplicity. One of the best reasons to incorporate this into your product line is that it is simple and fairly quick to make. The only additional equipment you'll need is a blender (comparable to the Arctic Swirl). The cost of a blender like this is usually minimal for the amount of return you get on it. Plus, within a couple of weeks of selling these products, you'll make money back. You add soft-serve and candy into a cup and blend it with the blender. Wa la, you have an entirely new product.
If you haven't considered adding a candy-blend-in product to your menu then the time is now to take advantage of one of the hottest trends in frozen desserts. Our machine at Sentry, the Arctic Swirl blender is an extremely high-end, very rugged machine that will literally last forever. It has a small footprint, so space is usually never an issue - two feet of space is all you need. Our store owners love it because it has a foot pedal which allows for hands-free mixing as well.
So, if you're a frozen dessert store, cafe, or restaurant owner looking to add profits throughout the year, start offering candy blend-in products to your customers.