Building Your Business with Frozen Blended Drinks!

frappeSmoothies and frappes are among the fastest growing segments in the specialty beverage industry.  According to our product vendors, frappe sales bloomed to $4.3 billion in 2012 alone. Smoothies are also on the rise… they are increasing at a sales rate of $2 billion per year and expected to reach the $9 billion plateau (worldwide) by 2015. There is money to be made with these blended specialty drinks, and Stockton Graham & Co. is here to help you!

Frozen coffees and frappes first hit the stage in the late 90’s when Starbucks introduced the “Frappuccino®”. From then on massive franchises and independent, locally owned shops alike have implanted these frozen treats into their beverage menus with tremendous success. The flavors available are endless, drinks can be blended with milk alternatives for those with dairy aversions, and health supplements can be easily added to every drink! Frappes also appeal to coffee lovers when the weather is warm, and hot drinks, like drip coffee or espresso, seem less appealing. With leading industry brand names such as Big Train, Caffe D’ Amore, Dr. Smoothie- Café Essentials and recently Torani Real Cream, adding frappes to your menu can nearly quadruple your margin per ounce.

Fruit smoothies are nothing new to this industry, but in the past few years, their sales have reached all-time highs. Fact is, only about half of the population in the U.S. claims to be “coffee drinkers”, so there is still a large market for alternative specialty beverages.  Smoothie sales are sky rocketing, not only due to the fact that smoothies are so delicious, but also because of the diversity of their market. The smoothie market appeals to children, adults, the health conscious, customers looking for a sweet treat, or those needing a meal replacement to get through their day. Nearly every fast food franchise has made smoothies a permanent fixture on their menu, showing how valuable they are to the specialty beverage menu. Here at Stockton Graham & Co., we offer leading smoothie brands such as Dr. Smoothie, Torani, Jet, Monin and more, so be sure not to miss out this smoothie season!

Dr. Smoothie is offering a promotion right now to show you how well supplements fit into your smoothie business. If you buy 2 cases or more of Dr. Smoothie concentrate, you will receive a 3lb jar of Whey protein for free. Read more about this promotion and the benefits of supplements in our recent blog. DaVinci and Jet are also offering a promotion to show you how blended drinks can be easily flavored with syrups to add a special touch. Click here for more information. Our vendors know that blended drinks are a big seller, and they are looking to meet all your needs in this market.

If one or both of these drinks are missing from your shop’s menu, this is the perfect time to add them. For the rest of this month, Stockton Graham & Co. is INSTANTLY giving away several FREE cases of frappe powder or smoothie concentrate with ANY purchase of a Vitamix or Blendtec blender. The sales generated from the free product will cover the complete cost for multiple blender packages, so be sure to check this promotion out if a blender is (or will be) on your shopping list! For more information on our blender/free product promotion, visit our blending equipment page.

The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to frozen beverage sales and the profits they can generate. Here at Stockton Graham & Co., we can help outfit your store with the right frappes, smoothies and blenders. We even offer a Specialty Beverage Basics Coffee College course to assist your shop in learning to prepare these blended beverages. Adding these drinks to you menu now can be fast, easy and most importantly, profitable, so be sure to call us at 800.835.5943 to get your frozen beverage program started today!

Spring Recipes For Your Cafe’s Menu!

smoothiesSpring is rapidly approaching, so it’s time to liven up that menu with some cool and refreshing beverages to prepare for warmer weather!

Lemonade is a perfect seasonal drink and a profitable seller to add to your menu for spring! You can liven it up by adding a shot of flavored syrup, and also charge a little more while doing so. Add flavors like raspberry, strawberry, blackberry or blueberry to create a specialty lemonade with higher profit margins. Add a fruit garnish to really showcase the drink and draw more attention from customers. For a 16oz modified lemonade add 4 pumps of the flavored syrup of your choice and mix with lemonade and ice!

Frozen lemonade is another top pick to add to your menu! As mentioned above, you can add a shot of flavor to create an even tastier specialty beverage. Stockton Graham & Co. is currently promoting a flavored frozen lemonade combo from Jet until March 31,2013. If you buy one case of Jet Arctic Lemonade smoothie mix at $76.80 you will receive 1 bottle each of DaVinci Gourmet Fruit Innovation Raspberry, Strawberry and Blackberry Blood Orange and a 3 tier syrup rack with 3 syrup pumps for no charge! For a 16oz frozen lemonade using these products use 7oz of the Jet Arctic Lemonade, 4 pumps of syrup and blend with a 16oz cup of ice!

Another simple beverage to add to your spring menu is iced tea and flavored iced tea. Tea is always good to offer, especially in warmer weather. Add shots of syrup to be able to charge more and create a drink that is not offered at competing locations! Raspberry and Peach iced tea are a great way to refresh your customers in the upcoming warmer weather! Feel free to experiment with any fruit flavor to build a tea special to your cafe!

With higher temperatures also comes a higher demand for Frappes, so be sure to have a few variations available! These are some Frappe recipes that we recommend to start your spring menu:
16oz Irish Cream Mocha – 1 pump chocolate sauce, 3 pumps Irish cream syrup, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of ice and blend
16oz Brown Sugar Cinnamon – 4 pumps brown sugar cinnamon syrup, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of ice and blend.
16oz Caramel – 2 pumps caramel sauce, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of ice and blend.
16oz White Chocolate – 2 pumps of white chocolate sauce, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of and blend.
16oz Chocolate Covered Cherry – 1 pump chocolate sauce, 3 pumps cherry syrup, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of ice and blend!

Last but not least, don’t forget to have fruit smoothies available! Fruit smoothies offer a nice non-caffeinated and healthy option to your customers. Stockton Graham & Co. carries smoothie mixes from several different vendors so make sure to check out the product catalog on the web or call a Customer Care Associate at 800.835.5943 to find out which product is best for your shop! Don’t be afraid to get adventurous, mix and match flavors or allow customers to request their very own fruit smoothie concoction! We have some rebates on certain smoothies brands that can be found here.

If you are looking for other great drink ideas be sure to give us a call at 800.835.5943 and our Customer Care Associates will be glad to collaborate with you on recipe ideas! Spring is a great time to bring back your frozen beverage menu, and boost your summer sales. Make sure you are offering everything you can, to keep your customers cool in the warm months.

Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras Promotions for your Coffee Shop!

heart2With the annual celebration of both Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras, February could prove to be a very festive month for your café! The first step in getting ready for these occasions is decorating accordingly! Be sure to put up hearts and other Valentine’s décor to get people’s hearts racing from something other than your coffee drinks! For Mardi Gras, bring your shop to life with colorful decorations and even have some carnival Mardi Gras masks laying around for photo opportunities! In addition to decorating, here are some promotional ideas from our customers to run during the festivities!

Valentine’s Day – Thursday February 14, 2013
To make sure you include all of your customers in your shop promotions, aim towards just celebrating love, over Valentine’s Day. Why not show your customers some love and offer discounted specialty beverages all day! Or have a small “treat” ready to show your appreciation, for example a small chocolate for each customer or a free flavor shot.

Create a Valentine’s mailbox, every purchase gets their name and email on a “valentine” to drop in. The idea is to draw a name for a prize, maybe a bag of your retail coffee! Ask guests if you can add their email address to your coffee shop’s newsletter or internet promotions listing. Make sure to mark who says yes or no, so you are not spamming and alienating any customers.

Encourage those who have significant others to make visiting your shop part of their date night, by offering a buy-one-get-one deal on drinks. Dim the lighting to set the mood for couples dropping by after dinner. The romantic coffee shop setting is always fun after dining out!

Team up with your community to offer great Valentine’s Day promotions. Your chocolatier or bakery could assist you in creating coffee and chocolate gift baskets for Valentine’s day! Incorporate a local florist to make flower arrangements that you could display and sell, or let them display in your shop with their sign and no cost to you! Really branch out by setting up a sampling station at the flower shop for customers to taste your coffee, while picking up their flower arrangements. This way, you are getting people to sample your coffee that may have never done so otherwise.

Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday is February 12, 2013 but Mardi Gras celebrations begin weeks before.
Contact your baker and have them create a signature Mardi Gras King cake of cupcakes for your shop! Cupcakes are very on trend right now and portion sizes are easier to maintain. For a “café twist” on this classic tradition replace the baby figurine that is customarily hidden in the cake with a chocolate covered coffee bean, making all of your customers a King or Queen! Keep it classic and offer a free beverage to the customer that purchases the “good luck” cake with the baby figurine inside!

If you have the accommodations bring in a live band to entertain your customers with a Mardi Gras party! Consider operating under extended hours and offering drink specials if your café serves alcoholic beverages as well as coffee. This could be especially popular on Fat Tuesday!

Host Mardi Gras happy hour with signature drink specials from 4pm-7pm to increase some afternoon traffic! If you have a strong morning crowd, apply the “happy hour” concept from 7am-10am or whenever your busiest time is!

Perhaps bring in Stockton Graham’s Banana Foster or Pralines & Cream flavored coffee for the week as a special Mardi Gras treat. It’s something new for your customers to try, directly related to the holiday!

Holidays are a great way to connect with your customers and learn more about them. Take advantage of these two celebrations to learn more about your guests and have fun! If you would like more suggestions on coffee event planning, or have any other questions please give us a call at 800.835.5943.

Check out our other Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras themed blogs!:
Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras coffee drink recipes
Valentine’s Day Drink Ideas To Steal Your Heart!
Great Valentine’s Day Recipe: Cinnamon Twist White Mocha
Torani’s Bananas Foster Syrup Is Just In Time For Mardi Gras
Featured Seasonal Coffees for the 1st Quarter of 2012

 

Proper Blender Maintenance from Stockton Graham & Co. & Big Train

 

Stockton Graham & Co. and Big Train want to make sure your shop is ready for summer frappe sales and your blender is a critical piece of that pie. Proper blender care and maintenance can prolong the life of your blender as well as improve your drink consistency and save you money. Here are some great tips to get ready for the blended season:

• Check your pitchers – Pitchers should not have spider cracks on either of the sides or have cracks at the bottom. Spider cracks in the pitcher could mean your quaternary ammonia levels are higher than 200ppm and cracks on the bottom allow the container to sit on the base differently potentially causing the drive socket and blade assembly to wear down quicker. If your containers are cracked, it is time to buy new ones.

• Check your blade assemblies – Hold the pitcher upside down under one arm and spin the clutch that is located at the bottom of the container. For Vita-Mix blenders, the blade assembly needs to be replaced if it does one of the following: spins more than 1-2 revolutions, keeps spinning, no longer has rigid teeth, contains a blackish/brownish oil-like substance beneath or can wiggle, the bearings are worn out. This is one of the benefits of a Vita-Mix blender; you can replace the blade assembly without replacing the entire pitcher.

• Check the Drive Socket – Look into the socket which is located on the top of the motor base. If the teeth/grooves are not rigid and clearly visible by touch, the socket needs to be changed.

Never:
-remove the container before the blades have stopped spinning or,
-put the container in the dishwasher.

 

If your blender cannot be refurbished or repaired, now is the time to bring in a new blender. Hanging on to one that’s clearly on it’s last leg can cost your dearly, especially if it decides to quit during 4th of July weekend. Luckily, VitaMix and Stockton Graham & Co. have your blender needs covered! These commercial VitaMix® blenders have been designed to blend luscious, mouthwatering frappes and delectable smoothies consistently drink after drink and customer after customer. Using our retail experience, Stockton Graham & Co. offers these blenders to provide the retailer the ability to handle one or many customer orders with speed, consistency and reliability for many seasons to come.

VITAMIX® DRINK MACHINE ADVANCE #05086
List $940
$425
The Drink Machine Advance has the power and performance to produce perfectly smooth beverages that’ll get your customers asking for more! The Drink Machine Advance has 6 programs using just the dial switch! Each program combines the right speed and timing to eliminate the guesswork, allowing operators to have consistency from location to location, and drink to drink.

VITAMIX® T&G 2 BLENDING STATION #34013
List $1705
$725
The noise-reducing cover of the Vita-Mix Touch & Go 2 makes this one of the quietest blenders on the market, allowing you to blend virtually any drink while preserving your shop’s soothing atmosphere. As powerful as the Vita-Mix Drink Machine Advance, but adding 34 programmable blending programs, variable speed control, low and high pulsing, and a much quieter operation.

VITAMIX® THE QUIET ONE #36019
List $2095
$1025
Operating at an amazing 18 decibels below its closest competitor on one of the most demanding recipes (milkshake), according to independent third party testing, The Quiet One would be perceived as being four times quieter. It was specifically designed to create a more enjoyable customer environment while offering operators the ability to deliver a wide variety of superior blended beverages.

Give us a call at (800) 835-5943 for blender advice, Big Train recipes and more!

Stockton Graham & Co. ® Selected as Launch Distributor in the Southeast of Barista Fria Smoothies and Frappes

Barista Fria Ice Shaver Blender System

Barista Fria Ice Shaver Blender System

Stockton Graham & Co. ®, has introduced a new smoothie and frappe line by Barista Fria.

Barista Fria is a shelf stable fruit smoothie and frappe mix developed by Island Oasis. With over 25 years of frozen beverage products and blending technology, Island Oasis developed Barista Fria for the specialty coffee and beverage industry. Like Island Oasis, Barista Fria is a complete program of a Blending Shaver system and product enhanced by an array of point of sale materials and recipe ideas. Barista Fria is utilizing specialty coffee roasters and distributors to work with the specialty coffee retailer and other specialty stores offering hand crafted beverages. Stockton Graham & Co. is proud to be among their launch distributors.

“Barista Fria is a product line that we have evaluated extensively, tested with our customers and had numerous meetings with the company representatives,” said Jeff Vojta, President of Stockton Graham & Co. “One of the unique aspects of being a specialty coffee and beverage retailer is to be able to offer our customers’ guests an individually made to order, customized drink that is as unique as the guest. We believe that the Barista Fria line will help to fill a niche in the market place and offer our customers additional ways to increase their business and profits.”

Barista Fria is packaged in aseptic ready to use cartons, with no corn syrups, trans fats, preservatives and has a one year shelf life at room temperature and unopened. Product flavors include strawberry, banana, mango, wild berry, pina colada, caramel latte, mocha latte, ice cream base and chocolate ice cream base, with Non-Fat yogurt and chai flavors coming soon. Barista Fria also offers a cutting edge, no money-down equipment program for retailers including a newly designed state of the art, electronic controlled ice shaver, blender system.

For more information on how to serve up Barista Fria in your coffeehouse, café or specialty retail store, contact Stockton Graham & Co. at 800.835.5943.

Barista Fria