Smoothies for breakfast

People are switching to smoothies for breakfast as a tasty way to drink a meal and get a healthy start to their day. Smoothies are an easy way to get a low-calorie, healthy, one-cup breakfast with the right type of energy that caffeinated coffee and sugary drinks don’t have. Plus, drinking a healthy smoothie instead of eating bagels and muffins for breakfast helps customers avoid the jittery or burned-out feeling by lunchtime.

Boosted by “smoothies for breakfast” campaigns from big-name QRS chains like Smoothie King, Tropical Smoothie, Jamba Juice and regional testing programs from Burger King, McDonalds, Dairy Queen and Subway, customers are increasingly grabbing smoothies on the go.Smoothies, Stockton Graham & Co.

Perhaps demographics are at the core of the smoothies for breakfast trend. More younger coffee shop patrons are placing an emphasis on their health and well-being, so breakfast is starting to make a resurgence in popularity. Younger, go-getters have experienced the drawbacks of skipping breakfast — lower energy, less nutrients and a tendency to binge-eat later in the day — so they’re finding ways to work breakfast back into their daily routines.

According to a 2014 survey of 1,000 adult consumers by Kellogg Company, 56% of respondents said they’d prefer to eat breakfast every day, but cited a lack of time as a primary reason why it doesn’t always happen.

Drinking a nutrient-rich smoothie doesn’t take as long as most meals and many people find it easier to manage in the car or on the run than other fast-food options. Time, portability, convenience and health are the biggest factors in choosing a smoothie.

The new breakfast smoothie craze is good news for your shop. You can be one of the first in your area to offer smoothies for breakfast as a way to entice more customers into your store.

As an operator, there are several benefits to offering smoothies for breakfast:

Sales: Smoothies have become more popular than ever and have grown on restaurant menus by 9%.  Almost 90% of consumers aged 18-24 want more smoothies available. These tasty and healthier beverages keep them coming back for more! Smoothies rake in more than $2 billion each year, according to Mintel International.

Customization: Smoothies can be made on-the-fly to satisfy just about any customer’s palette with just a few basic smoothie flavor mixes (strawberry banana, mango and pineapple for instance) and a couple healthy add-ins like yogurt, chai seeds, fresh fruit, fresh kale and protein powder.

Efficiency: In most cases, the only equipment you’ll need for a booming morning smoothie business is the same blender and cups you use for your afternoon blended drink business. Your shop may even have ingredients like yogurt and fresh fruit on your current breakfast or lunch menu. If you’re already offering frappes and smoothies in the afternoon, very little additional staff training will be necessary.

Here at Stockton Graham & Co. we offer everything you need to update your menu with delicious smoothie choices. From smoothie mixes to blenders, we offer it all by carrying a variety of both Dr. Smoothie mixes in addition to DaVinci Gourmet mixes. Between those two brands, there are over 32 smoothie flavors to choose from.

Greens for Breakfast
With chains like Starbucks, Jack in the Box, Burger King and Dunkin Donuts now offering green smoothies with ingredients like kale, spinach, beets and squash, customers are becoming more adventurous in their blended drink habits. You can ride to the top of the green smoothie wave by offering green alternatives on your breakfast smoothie menu.

The newest flavors in the DaVinci Gourmet smoothie family provide an easy way to try out green smoothies in your shop. Gratifying Greens is a mix of healthy vegetables and fruits such as spinach, pear, apple and kiwi made with only natural ingredients and no preservatives; it is the perfect way for your customers to start their day. Every flavor is gluten and lactose free, and there is a serving of fruit per glass. A second flavor, Red Harvest, is a yummy blend of super fruits such as acai berry and pomegranate with the fresh flavors of pumpkin and pear mixed in, creating a delightfully crisp taste.

The nice thing about DaVinci Gourmet’s Gratifying Greens and Red Harvest is that their healthy flavor profile is not overwhelming. So they create a nuanced foundation for the addition of healthful breakfast ingredients like yogurt, kefir, oats and almond butter.

You’ll want to experiment in your shop to create the perfect flavor profile for your customers. But here are two recipes to get you started:

Green Machine Breakfast Smoothie
6 oz DaVinci Gratifying Greens
1/4 oz Peach syrup
2 oz plain yogurt
1 T Chia seeds
16 oz. of ice

Directions: Place DaVinci Gratifying Greens in blender jar. Add yogurt and syrup. Top with ice. Blend, pour into cup and serve.

Kefir SuperFruits & Oats Breakfast Smoothie
6 oz DaVinci Red Harvest
3 oz Kefir
1 T organic oatmeal
16 oz Ice

Directions: Place DaVinci Red Harvest in blender jar. Add kefir and oatmeal. Top with ice. Blend until smooth, pour into cup and serve.

Pump up Breakfast
For an additional pump of health, add protein powder to a breakfast smoothie. Dr. Smoothie brand SmoothieCeuticals offers organic protein, vegan protein, whey protein and functional blends that are easily integrated into any smoothie recipe. Consider using Dr. Smoothie’s new Beetroot & Berries smoothie mix with an invigorating blend of tart red beets, strawberry and raspberry puree as a base. The Dr. Smoothie mixes are 100% fruit, gluten free and vegan. Each 20 oz. portion has a full day’s 5 servings of fruit and vegetables.

Red Revival Protein Breakfast Smoothie
6 oz Dr. Smoothie Beetroot & Berries
2 scoops SmoothieCeuticals Whey Protein
3 oz water
16 oz of ice
(optional) ¼ cup raspberries

Directions: Place SmoothieCeuticals whey protein in a blender and top with Dr. Smoothie Beetroot & Berries and water. Add ice blend. Pulse in raspberries for two seconds pour, into cup and serve.

New smoothie equipment, FREE product and rebates!
When your new breakfast smoothie menu becomes a hit, you may consider upgrading your blender or adding a new, super-quiet and high-efficiency commercial blender. We carry many Vitamix blenders ranging from easy blending to blast-off power. For a limited time, you can take up to 55% off the MSRP of commercial blenders from Vitamix.

Plus, as a special offer, receive up to 3 FREE cases of smoothie mix from Dr. Smoothie, DaVinci, Big Train, Caffe D’Amore, MoCafe, Monin or Torani with a blender purchase. All offers end 8/31/2015.

If you don’t need a new blender but want to try the new smoothie mixes from DaVinci and Dr. Smoothie, both brands are offering rebates on their products. Just call a Customer Care Associate at 800.835.5943 to order, and we’ll email the rebate form. It’s as easy as that!

Stockton Graham & Co. Now Offering Modern Oats from Mocafe!

Modern OatsThe demand for healthy and convenient breakfast options has never been stronger, especially certified gluten-free options. Oatmeal especially has experienced a resurgence, and has made the shift from frumpy to fabulous with the addition of delicious new flavors & higher quality ingredients. Stockton Graham & Co. is proud to announce the addition of Modern Oats to our product mix! This all natural gluten-free oatmeal from Mocafe is a fast, healthy, on the go meal. Everything is in the cup. We are offering a new product promotion of ONE FREE VARIETY PACK case with any one-case minimum purchase of any flavor (initial orders only) PLUS $2/off per case! Expires October 31, 2013

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At Modern Oats, they start by selecting only the most nutrient & protein rich, non-genetically modified, and certified gluten-free whole rolled oats — oats never grown with pesticides or chemical fertilizers, from smaller, family run farms throughout the upper Midwest of North America. After the oats are steamed and sized, they then blend with the finest, juiciest, antioxidant rich superfruits, omega 3 rich nuts and seeds, and lightly sweeten with only certified organic evaporated cane juice to craft the most delicious, healthy, modern blends of oatmeal found today.

Just add hot water, wait 3 minutes, stir and enjoy!

Modern Oats is available in 6 delicious flavors: Apple Walnut, Chocolate Cherry, Goji Blueberry, Mango Blackberry, 5 Berry and Nuts & Seeds.

Remember that we offer product samples for free, so if you would like to try Modern Oats, just ask your Customer Care Associate to include it in your next order! The Modern Oats sample kit includes a product brochure and one individual serving carton of each flavor.

Call 800.835.5943 today to get pricing and learn more about this great new product line!

Click here to learn more about Modern Oats!

Umpqua Oats Variety Kit Changes

Umpqua oats variety packUmpqua Oats has made a change to their variety kit oatmeal case. Now you will get 4 “Kick Start”, 4 “Mostly Sunny” and 4 “R U Nuts” in a variety case. These are the top sellers of the brand, and very popular choices by Stockton Graham & Co. customers. Earlier this week Stockton Graham & Co. started shipping this new reconfigured variety kit. All of these flavors are available individually as well, if you prefer one over the others. To help our customers save, Stockton Graham & Co. is offering 1 free case of oatmeal with the purchase of 7 other oatmeal cases in our Everyday savings program.

“Kick Start” is our best seller, and you can see why when you look at what’s in it: flax seeds, raisins, almonds, sunflower seeds, golden raisins, blueberries, cranberries, walnuts, sea salt and cinnamon. This grouping of nuts and fruit create a scrumptious morning snack! “Mostly Sunny” is a delicious combination of oatmeal, raisins, cranberries, golden raisins, apples, sea salt and cinnamon that anyone will love. Nut lovers will go crazy over “R U Nuts”. Flax and Sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, sea salt and cinnamon give you a crunchy texture within your creamy oatmeal. We also have “Old School”, “Lei’d Back”, “Not Guilty”, “Jackpot” and “Salted Caramel” flavors individually for sale.

Many consumers are looking for quick, healthy, to-go snacks and your shop can benefit by offering something delicious they can grab anytime of the day. You can count on Umpqua oats to have only the best ingredients, and have them made with the care only moms can provide. This product is shelf stable, so it’s great for a shop who’s main focus is coffee and specialty beverages. From the natural ingredients to the unsurpassed taste, Umpqua Oats is truly the nutritious, delicious and fast breakfast choice. They use only whole thick rolled oats for an “old fashioned” taste.  Rolled oats contain thiamin, iron and fiber and will keep you going through your daily routine!

We expect other changes from Umpqua Oats this year, including new packaging and new flavors! To learn more about Umpqua Oats changes, order some oatmeal or discuss other food products, call our customer care team at 800.835.5943 today!

Oatmeal Done Easy, Profitably and Right

More and more customers have been asking about doing oatmeal in their cafés, so we wanted to provide some suggestions. This old favorite has enjoyed a resurgence over the last several months, and even McDonald’s has introduced their own take on it.

There are many brands of pre-packed oatmeal available that only require the addition of hot water, but they can be costly and therefore hard to sell. So, we recently conducted some trials in our office of different preparation methods and here are our results.

The easiest method by far turned out to be the use of commercially available “quick oats” such as Quaker brand. For plain, old-fashioned oatmeal, measure out about 3/4cup or weigh out about 1.5oz of quick oats into a 12oz. to go hot cup or small to go soup cup. Add about 1 cup of hot water from your coffee brewer, stir, cover and serve. Just that easy.

To give your oatmeal a little added pep, you can add ingredients readily available in your shop, such as flavoring syrups, smoothie purees with a splash of Half & Half or even chai. Here we tried and loved Monin Spiced Brown Sugar with a dash of cinnamon, Strawberries and Cream using Dr. Smoothie strawberry puree and a chai oatmeal with a sprinkling of Big Train Spiced Chai. We also found a bag of pre-packed trail mix with dried fruits and nuts at Trader Joe’s for about $.50/pack which worked great as a topping.

Adding oatmeal to your daily menu is easy and profitable. With costs of at or under $1.00, you can easily charge anywhere from $1.99 to $2.99 with a decent profit margin. Your customers will happily pay that price and feel better knowing they made a healthy breakfast choice.

Thom Swain
Stockton Graham & Co.

Subway prepares to intro breakfast menu – Are you ready to compete?

Sandwich behemoth Subway has recently announced the company is rolling out its anticipated breakfast menu in just a few short weeks. The blog WalletPop reports:

The sandwiches, scheduled to debut in North America on April 5, will feature healthier options such as egg whites, Black Forest ham and whole-wheat English muffins. You can also indulge yourself with steak and cheese on the chain’s traditional 6-inch or foot-long breads. Breakfast at Subway will range in price from $1.75 to $2.25 for English muffin melts to $4 to $6 or the foot-longs.

Adding breakfast also means adding coffee. Subway breakfast customers will  have the option to purchase a coffee and English muffin sandwich for $2.50.

So what does this mean for the independent operator? Since we have customers in so many different areas across the United States, we typically shy away from giving blanket advice regarding food. We don’t want to give advice that doesn’t fly with your particular local health department. Instead, we invite you to do some evaluations as to whether or not you should invest in a breakfast program, if you don’t offer one currently.

There are ways to simplify a hot breakfast menu by sticking to basics and working with minimal SKUs that can be adapted to different recipes, i.e., your eggs can be in 3 different sandwiches and used in a platter.  Partner with a local food supplier and distributor to see what options they can provide and be sure to check with local regulators as to what jives with area code.

The article also mentions a study by Mintel, a leading market-intelligence firm, that finds that restaurants added over 460 new breakfast to their respective menus in 2009, which is more than 2007 and 2008 combined. Despite a recent decline in breakfast and brunch sales, analysts predict a 13% market expansion between 2009 and 2014.

Eric Giandelone, director of research for Mintel foodservice, says, “To overcome contracting sales, restaurant operators need to be keenly aware of what drives people into restaurants for breakfast.” What better way to find out than to talk to  your customers. What are they looking for? What do they value? Where are they coming from when they visit? Where are they going when they leave?

To help determine if jumping into breakfast foray is the right thing to do for your business, call your Stockton Graham & Co. Customer Care Associate and request a FREE Marketing Area Profile today.

Mike Adams
Stockton Graham & Co.