On July 22, 2022, the USDA announced a funding increase “to help schools continue to serve kids healthy meals this coming school year and provide financial relief for schools and child care providers.” The increase will be effective July 1, 2022, and schools will receive an additional $0.68 per free/reduced lunch meals and $0.32 per free/reduced breakfast meals. This effort from the Biden-Harris Administration is intended to help schools and childcare facilities combat the rising costs of food...
Frozen Drinks: A Summer Favorite
July is almost over and temperatures are still high. If you haven’t already began offering frozen drinks to your consumers, it’s not too late to start. With more consumers shifting the way they think about food and beverage choices, there are plenty of frozen dispensed beverage trends to take advantage of. If you’re looking for a great way to boost profits, increase traffic, and enhance your store’s image in the summer and all year around, frozen beverages are a great way to go.
A Popular Choice
Frozen beverages have typically been a popular choice for a broad range of c-store customers. However, today’s frozen beverage sales seem to be primarily driven by teens and millennials, and more specifically, women in these age groups. The Coca-Cola Frozen Category Attitude and Usage study reported that almost 50% of frozen beverage purchases are impulse buys and that these frozen beverage purchases also frequently result in more purchases.
Innovation Is Thriving
As consumers have continued to demand more customization and variety, the frozen beverage category has evolved a great deal and now encompasses a broad range of options. Randy Raymond, director of retail foodservice strategy for The Coca-Cola Co., says that today’s primary frozen beverage customers are drawn to drinks that are fun. The key innovations that consumers look for are:
- Fun Colors – Teens and millennials enjoy mixing and matching cool colors like that of Mango and Passion Fruit.
- Unique Flavors – Companies like Coca-Cola are seeing demands for desert-themed beverages as well as sweet and sour carbonated frozen drinks.
- Continuous Change – “73% of consumers say they’d love to see frozen beverage products and flavors rotated once a month or more.”
- Dairy and Coffee – With the popularity of coffee and ice cream innovation, more and more consumers are looking for frappuccinos and milkshakes.
Having a frozen drink station in your c-store is a great way to add to your profits because they can have up to a 50% margin. To further boost sales with this category, c-stores are using a number of strategies.
- Cross Promotion – Store owners often run promotions that encourage the purchase of frozen drinks with other complimentary items, especially other foodservice items.
- Fuel Sales – Many gas stations encourage their consumers fill up at their location by offering their frozen beverages as part of their rewards program.
- Frequent Buyer Programs – C-stores are gaining more loyal customers by launching programs that give consumers discounts if they purchase a certain amount of frozen beverages.
- Advertising – The cups that are used for frozen beverages in the c-store are a great opportunity for the store to enhance their brand or promote other businesses.
A frozen beverage solution is a great way for even the smallest c-stores to enter into the foodservice category. These dispensed beverage solutions are available from a number of vendors and require very little maintenance. Because slushies are one of the few items that are most heavily branded to the convenience industry, frozen drinks are an item that is sure to stick around for years to come. C-store owners of all kinds should be getting in on this great profit building opportunity sooner than later.