BacktoSchool_BlogImage_673x440_Frostline

Back to school time can be a challenge for everyone, as families transition from their relaxed summer routines to that of the busy new school year. Sure, it’s exhilarating at first. But the excitement of receiving class schedules and buying new school supplies is often short lived–diminishing soon after class is actually in session.

As a soft serve operation, there are many ways you can help ease the pain of this transition period, offering solutions that help everyone cool down after the school day. Here are just a few opportunities for you to embrace the back to school season and drive sales at your operation.

Host a Soft Serve Social
This twist on the typical party is an easy way to celebrate the back to school time period. Invite families out for a one-night-only soft serve soiree, or host a series of socials inviting a different local school on each evening. You’ve already got the soft serve essentials, so just add a few party elements like a balloon artist, family-friendly DJ, and some table games to launch your soft serve social in full swing.

Offer a happy hour
Back to school can be a particularly stressful time for parents, and they love soft serve just as much as their kiddos. To help the parent crowd cool down, offer a happy hour with discounted rates for all the hardworking parents out there. Have a liquor license? Take your soft serve to the next level and offer flavored liquors as add-ins. Because the only thing better than soft serve is boozy soft serve.

Host a School Supplies Drive
No matter where you are, there are families in your area that struggle to get access to the school supplies their children need. With it being back to school season, August is the perfect time to host a book and school supplies drive. And it’s a win-win, providing an opportunity to increase your customer base while giving back to your community. This year, host a drive at your operation, incentivizing participation with discounted soft serve. Not sure where to start? There are a number of organizations out there that can help you get it going.

If you’ve hosted any of these events at your operation, we’d love to hear from you! Please share your best practice advice with us in the comments!

Need to stock up on soft serve mix for any back to school shindigs you’re hosting this summer? Frostline® Chocolate & Vanilla Soft Serve mix is more cost efficient than dairy alternatives, allowing you to keep the parties going all season long. And because all of our products are lactose-free and gluten-free, you can serve more customers. Contact us for ordering information.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

This product won’t be around for long, so get it while it lasts. For more information, visit our product catalogContact us for ordering information.

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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 catalogContact us for ordering information.

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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.

 

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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.

 

Vanilla_BlogImage_673x440_Frostline

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.

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According to the Huffington Post, ice cream sandwiches are the new cupcake. Luckily, you don’t have to rethink your operation to get in on the trend before it goes the way of the cronut.

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.

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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.

Chocolate_BlogImage_673x440_Frostline

When most of us hear the word “chocolate,” we think of candy, cookies, and other mouthwatering sweets. Of course, everyone loves a decadent dessert. But did you know that for 90% of chocolate’s existence, it was neither sweet nor easily accessible? As a modern treat defying that past, Frostline® Chocolate Soft Serve Mix brings you the history of its famed flavor.

The ancient Mesoamericans discovered chocolate, probably around 1900 B.C. If you thought your cup of cocoa was a modern phenomenon, groups like the Olmec, Maya and Aztec had you beat 4,000 years ago. They drank chocolate as a bitter, frothy beverage. It might not sound as good as your classic hot chocolate, but its ingredients, which included chili peppers and other spices, were certainly “original.”

Even in its unsweetened state, ancient chocolate was so popular that its availability was limited to society’s most elite. This begs the question: if the Mesoamericans weren’t in it for the sugar, what was the appeal? Watch out romantics, because history tells us they found chocolate to be a mood enhancer and aphrodisiac. They may have been on to something 3,500 years before Valentine’s Day was even invented.

Due to its…interesting effects, people used to think chocolate had spiritual and mystical powers. They reserved it for rulers, warriors, priests and nobles at sacred ceremonies. In fact, the Spanish explorers who brought chocolate back to Europe only had the privilege of trying the stuff because the Aztec king mistook their leader for an incarnated deity.

Europeans sweetened chocolate with cane sugar and cinnamon in the 1500s, but one thing remained unchanged: it was still only available to the rich and royal. Thank goodness for the invention of the steam engine in the 1700s, which made mass production possible.

Today, the word “chocolate” has expanded to include a range of sweet and accessible treats, like Frostline Chocolate Soft Serve Mix. Unlike ancient chocolate, it’s refreshingly delicious, surprisingly affordable, and even available to customers with dietary restrictions. Frostline Vanilla Soft Serve Mix is also available for customers who prefer the classic cone.

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