Welcome to Connecting the Dots - CT’s new column connecting our retailer and roaster readers to products, services, and ideas to grow their profits. With estimates of more than $9 billion dollars spent on this category in 2015, it was an easy decision where to start this new feature: Frozen/Iced Beverages.
CT surveyed 500 coffee-focused retailers about their current Frozen/Iced Beverages program and the results were enlightening: 80% of the retailers have some form of program in place and 69% have seen their sales and profits rise in this category! Even those with a program were also seeking help and ideas on how to improve their sales by adding new products and improving their marketing methods. We all know everyone likes to cool down on sweltering days with a refreshing smoothie, cold-brew, or other frosty quencher, but it’s not just the hot days of summer that call for ice-cold drinks. Frozen beverages and cold drinks are a hot trend that is only getting hotter. In fact Frozen Beverages is one of the most profitable and fastest growing drink categories and helps to build slow time clientele.
The key to increasing sales for both smoothies and other frozen beverages is offering a product that the consumer perceives as too difficult or not as good if prepared at home. Frozen Beverage Programs need not be a daunting or cost prohibitive endeavor. Many vendors offer complete set up and staff training with the product and equipment you need to get started. Some even provide point of sales materials and marketing suggestions. Frankly the more successful you are selling your product, the more product they sell. It is a win-win! You can choose to make it personal to your own establishment by creating signature drinks and rotating the menu to incorporate local and in season products, and you can’t go wrong with jumping on the heath craze bandwagon where smoothies and blended drinks are concerned. There are delicious and nutritious pre-made boosts and supplements in a wide variety of health benefits from enhancing vitamins and protein intake to increasing your energy or curing a hangover.
Do your research and ask your vendor what they offer, and also do your research and find out what your customers desire. Offer samplings and take note of which were the most popular. Ask questions of your customers to see what their favorite flavors are and what health benefits they are looking for in a supplemented drink. Below are a few of the vendors who responded to our survey on their offerings.