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.
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.
In a culture where diners are seeking extremes, foodservice operations are serving more extravagant dishes and desserts that beg diners to share photos before digging in. In 2016, there’s no dessert more tempting than the extravagant milkshake.
Extreme milkshakes first gained popularity in Australia last summer, but by way of social media, the trend soon exploded around the world. Sugar lovers across the globe are going crazy about milkshakes that include enough mix-ins and toppings to crush your recommended sugar intake for a week.
Concoctions like the Brooklyn Blackout and the Churro Shake (pictured above) are drawing a crowd to Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer and go for $15 a pop. And they look amazing…but what if allergies or lifestyle choices don’t allow for such indulgence? Now you can bring the milkshake magic to your operation, even for those living with dietary restrictions.
Start with Frostline® Vanilla Shake Mix, or even Frostline Vanilla or Chocolate Soft Serve Mix as a base. All of our products are lactose-free and gluten-free, which automatically gives you an edge because you can serve more customers. Then, start piling on the toppings to create your leaning tower of sweets. Include classic favorites that are also lactose and gluten-free like fruit, nuts, marshmallows, gummy worms, coconut and more. You can even make or purchase sauces, like salted caramel or fresh strawberry, that serve the needs of even the most dessert-deprived.
Make sure your creations are not only palate-pleasing, but gorgeous as well. The more extreme the presentation, the more likely your customers are to share photos and brag about their experience.
Are you getting in on 2016’s coolest dessert trend? Share your best creations below.
New Frostline® Pumpkin Spice Soft Serve is becoming a fall favorite across the country. Its rich, complex flavor makes it perfect as a stand-alone treat, but it has some pretty sweet dessert applications too. Here are a few to get the pumpkin rolling:
PUMPKIN & CARAMEL TARTLETT
This take on the pumpkin pie combines rich and spicy with cool and creamy and is incredibly easy to create.
1 2” Graham cracker tart shell
1/4oz. Caramel syrup
3oz. Frostline Pumpkin Spice soft serve
1/8oz. Whip cream
Pumpkin pie spice
- Drizzle caramel syrup in the base of the tart shell.
- Dispense 3oz. Pumpkin Spice soft serve into the prepared tart shell.
- Garnish with whipped cream and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.
PUMPKIN SPICE MILKSHAKE
Nothing beats eating pumpkin treats, except perhaps drinking them. Follow the easy recipe below to make a delicious seasonal shake.
12oz. Frostline Pumpkin Spice soft serve
2 Tbsp. Whole Milk (or dairy free alternative)
2 Tbsp. Heath Toffee bits
1/2oz. Whipped Cream
- Place 12oz. Pumpkin Spice soft serve in a blender.
- Add milk and toffee bits and blend. Pour into a 16oz. glass.
- Garnish with whipped cream and drizzle with toffee syrup.
PUMPKIN SPICE COFFEE
Everyone’s familiar with the pumpkin beverage responsible for starting this pumpkin spice craze. Offer a sweet variation on the pumpkin spice latte, and top coffee with Pumpkin Spice Soft Serve.
4oz. Hot coffee
4oz. Frostline Pumpkin Spice soft serve.
- Place hot coffee in a 12oz. tumbler
- Place 2, # 16 scoops (4oz.) of Frostline Pumpkin Spice soft serve onto the coffee.
- Garnish with toffee flavored biscotti.
Our favorite holiday is almost here! National Soft Serve Day is August 19th – are you ready to celebrate?
If you haven’t already ordered a complimentary celebration kit, there’s still time. Just fill out our contact form and include “National Soft Serve Day kit” in the comments. A representative from our Customer Care team will be in touch right away.
Our website dedicated to National Soft Serve Day is full of ideas on how to celebrate this cool holiday, but here are a few more ways to take your party up a notch:
- Bring in a local band or DJ to entertain customers while they enjoy their soft serve. Live music is always a crowd pleaser, and passersby are guaranteed to stop by, just to see what all the fuss is about.
- August is hot! If you have any outdoor space near your operation, attract families by setting up fun water toys for the kids. Just make sure you have plenty of seating and some shade available for the parents.
- Offer prizes to the first 100 customers to visit your location on August 19th. Order Frostline® t-shirts to give away (while supplies last), or purchase inexpensive prizes from local hot spots (gift cards are always a winner) to help customers enjoy their summer.
The key to bringing people into your store on August 19th is pre-promotion, so no matter how you’re celebrating, make sure you tell your customers ahead of time. If you have a customer database, send an email (or two!) to talk about your special offers. Post details about your event on social media. And, of course, make sure to use the in-store signage provided by yours truly.
Most importantly, we encourage you to have fun. How do you plan to party on National Soft Serve Day? Tell us in the comments below, on Facebook or Twitter.
Introducing Frostline® Pumpkin Spice Soft Serve
You know fall is approaching when pumpkin products start popping up everywhere. From Pumpkin Spice Lattes to Pumpkin Spice Pasta, it’s become one of the most popular flavors on the market between September and December.
It’s getting cooler too. Pumpkin-flavored products continue to gain popularity in every category. Data from Nielsen shows that total sales of pumpkin-flavored items in the U.S. are up almost 80% since 2011, to over $360 million in 2015. And this year, Forbes pegs the size of the pumpkin spice economy at more than $500 million. Not only are brands releasing more pumpkin flavored products, the sale season is getting longer.
Frostline® pays close attention to foodservice industry trends. That’s why for a limited time only, we’re offering Pumpkin Spice Soft Serve Mix. Combining the rich, complex flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, it’s a fall favorite that’ll have customers beelining for your operation.
The 4th of July is a special day for U.S. families, and not just because it’s Independence Day. Offices close, and with school already out, parents and kids have the opportunity to spend quality time together. Outdoor barbecues are everywhere, most communities have parades, and fireworks can be seen far and wide. Independence Day is the family holiday of the summer. And when families celebrate, especially in the midst of warm weather, there’s usually soft serve involved.
Kids of all ages love soft serve and all the combinations: Dip! Sprinkles! Swirl! No matter what kind of operation you run, if kids know you sell soft serve, they’ll be begging their parents to stop in. And on a day like the 4th of July, it’s the perfect treat for parents too. With Frostline®, they can even rest assured knowing their soft serve is free of lactose, cholesterol, and gluten. It’s a childhood favorite, with a better for you twist.
It’s easy to customize your soft serve for the holiday too. Melt white chocolate chips, dip waffle cones, and toss red, white and blue sprinkles on top. Or, offer a patriotic toppings bar kids can use to decorate their soft serve themselves. Raspberries, coconut and blueberries will do the trick, but options are as boundless as your imagination.
This year, celebrate Independence Day soft serve style, and delight families all over your community. For more information about Frostline Soft Serve, visit our product catalog. Contact us for ordering information.
Several months ago, we created a blog post that defined a variety of different frozen treats. Since we are committed to offering the best information about the frozen treats industry to our customers (and we like to make pretty things) we decided to turn it into an infographic for your handy, dandy reference.
If you need a quick refresher, or an easy reference to the world of frozen delicacies, check out this visual guide. Feel free to print it out and hang it on your wall, too – just try not to lick it.
Summer is heating up, and that means National Soft Serve Day (August 19th) will be here before you know it. As the unofficial sponsor of the holiday, Frostline® wants to help you close out the summer with an epic celebration. It’s easier than you might think to bring the frozen fun to your soft serve operation, and there’s no better way to attract customers than with a party.
First, whether you’re already a Frostline customer or not, visit our website to learn how to order your complimentary Celebration Kit. All you have to do is contact us, and we’ll send you a kit – no strings attached – that will arrive at your doorstep in just a few business days. Inside, you’ll find signage to hang up in your store and a step-by-step playbook on how to promote National Soft Serve Day.
Also on our website, you can download a set of unique images to use in your own social media to help bring customers to your store. In addition, you can learn more about our friends at PAICRA (People Against Ice Cream Related Accidents), whose sole mission is to bring awareness to the dangers of hard-packed ice cream. By serving soft serve, you’re making the safer choice and resting the wrists of your employees.
National Soft Serve Day is better with friends. So on August 19th, join us in raising a cone to America’s most delicious holiday. Be sure to share your photos and videos with us on Facebook and Twitter, tagging us and #NationalSoftServeDay.
And since the party begins and ends with soft serve, be sure to stock up on your Frostline Soft Serve Mix now.
You know vanilla is oh-so-delicious, and you could probably guess that it’s the world’s most popular flavor and scent. From desserts to perfumes to bug repellents, its uses are far-reaching and not at all…vanilla.
No surprise here: sales of our Frostline® Vanilla Soft Serve Mix far exceed our second most popular flavor – Chocolate – so we feel a particular affinity for this fabulous flavor. Just like the Mesoamericans who originally cultivated vanilla, we searched the land (cough, the internet) to gather and share these lesser-known facts about this popular spice.
1. It’s Ancient
Just like chocolate, vanilla was first discovered in the region that is now Central America. It appears to have been discovered in the 15th century. However, 75% of today’s vanilla comes from Madagascar and the island of Réunion, where a vanilla vine was smuggled in the 1700s. On the island, the plant grew beautiful blossoms but infrequent and unpredictable pods (a.k.a. vanilla beans). The problem was that the region lacked the Melipone bee – found only in Mexico – to pollinate the flower. It took almost 50 years to develop a hand-pollination method for the plant.
2. It’s Part of History
Thomas Jefferson introduced the U.S. to vanilla after tasting it in France, where he was serving as Ambassador to King Louis XVI. He wrote down the recipe for vanilla ice cream and was known to have served it alongside pastries during his term at the President’s House (now known as the White House). His hand-written note, dating back to the 1780s, is considered to be the first known recipe recorded by an American. It now lives in the Library of Congress.
3. It’s Expensive
After saffron, vanilla is the most expensive spice in the world because it is so time-consuming and labor-intensive to produce. The plant, surprisingly from the orchid family, grows as a vine that can take years to mature. The plant produces a flower that makes the vanilla bean, and it only blooms for 24 hours. It must be pollinated during that time, or it will die. Outside of Central America, the flowers must be pollinated by hand with teeny-tiny tools. And after the beans are harvested, they can take six to nine months to cure. Not to mention, vanilla only grows between 10 to 20 degrees north or south of the Equator. Talk about a stubborn spice.
4. It’s Useful
Beyond its uses as a flavor, vanilla has many other around-the-home applications, like freshening up your fridge (or microwave) and concealing the strong smell of paint. The next time you find yourself painting a bedroom, add a tablespoon of vanilla extract to the can to save your nostrils. In the kitchen, vanilla can be used (with water) to wipe down the fridge and microwave, eliminating any stale/stingy/sour odors that may be lingering. It can also be used to repel spiders and mosquitoes, neither of which can stand the vanilla scent we love! To create a safe DIY mosquito repellent, simply combine equal parts water and vanilla extract, spray it on your skin, and say sayonara to itchy bug bites. To repel spiders, place a bowl of vanilla beans (that have been preserved in vodka or vinegar) on any surface that you’d like to keep a spider-free zone.
5. It’s Popular
Internationally, vanilla continues to rank as the most popular flavor of ice cream. But what’s the scoop on all the different varieties? Generally, anything labeled straight-up vanilla is made with vanilla extract or a substitute. Vanilla bean ice cream uses unprocessed beans from a vanilla pod, which appear as black specks. French vanilla does not use vanilla from France but a classic French method of making ice cream from an egg-custard base, accounting for its yellowish hue.
“Vanilla” may have become a synonym for boring, but it’s obviously anything but. And while it’s expensive and labor-intensive in its original form, vanilla can be affordable and convenient as a soft serve. Contact us for a starter kit, including Frostline Vanilla Soft Serve Mix, to carry on the tradition of this popular treat.
Macro trends like nostalgia and extreme dining have influenced the resurgence of the ice cream sandwich. Customers love treats that remind them of their childhood, and they’re craving indulgent desserts as a reward for eating healthy the rest of the day. Restaurants around the globe are capitalizing on this trend, with recipes as simple as the original or as exotic as the S’mores Burger, made with Nutella spread, brûlée marshmallow, vanilla ice cream and Maldon sea salt on mini brioche.
It’s easier than you think to offer your own twist on this classic treat, especially if you’re one of these types of operations:
For Bakeries or Coffee Shops:
You’re already known for fresh-baked goodies, so delicious ice cream sandwiches are only one step away. Adding a soft serve machine to your back of house will open up infinite flavor combinations that will take your most popular baked items to the next level.
Try any of our recipes (or invent your own) and sandwich cool, creamy soft serve between cookies, brownies, cake slices and more. Cut a cake donut in half, fill the middle with coffee soft serve and add maple bacon crumbles to the center for a sweet and savory breakfast-turned-dessert combo to die for.
For Frozen Yogurt Shops:
The DIY trend continues to dominate in the foodservice space, especially when it comes to ice cream. As competition continues to grow, you need to continue to find new ways to get customers to choose your shop, rather than the store just down the street.
Signature products and experiences could take your shop over the top. Partner with a local bakery to offer the fresh-baked brownies or other options to serve as the “bread” (see above). Invite your customers to create their own ice cream sandwiches in the wackiest flavor combinations available. You could even hold a contest for the most indulgent treat, complete with mix-ins and toppings.
For Recreation Destinations:
Unique food items are part of an amusement park’s DNA. Classics like caramel apples and cotton candy will always draw a crowd, but nothing drives return business better than a concoction that’s only available at your place.
Using either hard-packed ice cream or soft serve, experiment with customer favorites to create an ice cream sandwich that’s unique to your location. Try funnel cake waffles as the vehicle for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Soft Serve and watch the customers line up!
See? Ice cream sandwiches are practical for any size or type of operation, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to flavor combinations. Your business just got a whole lot cooler.
As you may know, Frostline® Frozen Treats is manufactured and marketed by Kent Precision Foods Group. We want to share an exciting company-wide initiative that furthers our commitment to serving the needs of not only our customers, but our customers’ customers.
At Kent Precision Foods Group, we regularly gather insights from leading foodservice research groups and organizations to stay ahead of flavor, consumer and industry trends. A focus on what’s coming next has helped us evolve our business with more innovative products and processes that benefit everyone who interacts with our company and brands.
That’s why we have formed the KPFG Insights Foodservice Broker Advisory Board. The board includes a regional cross section of industry leaders with extensive experience, drawn from the country’s top brokers, including:
- Al McGarity – Gilbert Foods
- Phil Schmidt – Floyd B. Case Inc.
- Elizabeth Klingman – Acosta
- Ed Brink – Herspring-Gibbs
- Kyle Moen – Synergy Enterprises
- Dori Bilbrey – Menu Marketing
By more directly engaging with the broker community, we hope to gather industry insights, learn more about competition, discover cross-merchandising opportunities, test promotion ideas, identify product gaps, ideate on new products, and collect operator feedback, including overall business insights and trend impact. KPFG will use this information to serve as a source of market intelligence for the entire foodservice industry and to create future product and marketing plans for our brands.
The KPFG Insighters Foodservice Broker Advisory Board meets every six weeks via conference calls and at least twice a year face to face. Input from the first meeting, held in November, is already being incorporated into the KPFG Foodservice plan for 2016.
For more information about the Broker Advisory Board or about KPFG, please visit precisionfoods.com.