Go BANANAS this spring with
these fun banana recipes!

The tropical breezes are blowing, and it’s time to celebrate spring! Bring the tastes of the islands to your menu with these delicious banana recipes. Have a luau in your store with a refreshingly smooth Jamaican Me Crazy Smoothie or a majorly mouthwatering Monkey Mocha! Your customers will appreciate the new fun options and come back for more all season.

Banana RecipesJamaican Me Crazy Smoothie
7 oz Pina Colada Smoothie
1 oz Banana Syrup

Fill cup with ice, add syrup, fill with smoothie.
Pour contents into blender pitcher, blend until smooth.

Banana RecipesMonkey Mocha
½ oz Banana Syrup
1 oz Chocolate Sauce
2 oz espresso
8 oz milk

Combine sauce and syrup in cup. Steam milk.
Then add espresso and steamed milk to cup. Garnish with whipped cream.

Banana RecipesStrawberry & Banana Italian Soda
½ oz Banana Syrup
½ oz Strawberry Syrup
8 oz sparkling water

Pour sparkling water over ice. Add syrup and stir.

Banana RecipesBanana Pudding Cream Soda
½ oz Banana Syrup
½ oz Vanilla Syrup
8 oz sparkling water
1 oz cream, float on top ice

Pour sparkling water over ice. Add syrup and stir.
Add cream.

Place your order today by calling 800.835.5943.

“Blend This!” Event Recap – Frozen Drink Sales Growing Fast!

Blend This!In June, Kerry Foods and Stockton Graham & Co. co-hosted two “Blend This!” seminars in Charlotte, NC and Greenville/Spartanburg, SC. The events featured Jill Zimmerman, Kerry Foods Southeast Regional Food and Beverage Manager and Thom Swain, Stockton Graham & Co. Southeast Business Development Associate. Both Thom and Jill provided attendees with updates and detailed market data on one of the fastest growing food and beverage segments in the US with personal experience, industry statistics and samples.

What started as summertime treat, blended ice coffee and other frozen drinks are now among the fastest growing segments in the specialty beverage industry with estimated 2012 US sales of over $4 billion. This number is continuing to grow each year, with smoothie sales alone estimated to grow worldwide to over $9 billion in 2015.

During the events, Thom and Jill reviewed the current trends in these categories, ideas on how to capitalize on them, and the profitability of frozen drinks.

Beverage Trends
One consumer trend that has emerged in the hectic schedules of American daily life is the idea of eating several small meals throughout the day, with 38% of consumers claiming to do this. Also, 46% of women and 36% of men say they eat healthy most of the time, but indulge in a daily “guilty pleasure.”

In our industry, frappe sales are bigger than ever and growing at 25% over last year with a strong focus on indulgent frozen or ice blended options, especially in coffee shops, donut shops and even traditional food service restaurants. The frozen drink trend has gone mainstream with 20% increase seen in smoothies on Quick Service Restaurant menus from 2009 through 2012.

In terms of our own customer base, throughout this year frozen and ice blended coffee sales are equal to or greater than the number of specialty coffee prepared drinks utilizing the espresso machine.

How to Capitalize on these Trends
There are many ways that you can take advantage of this sales trends to drive additional gross profits for your store. The first step is to benchmark your store. Do you offer a selection of blended ice drinks, including coffee, creams and fruit options? Do you have the proper ingredients, equipment and serving options for them? You don’t need an extensive menu, but you should offer multiple choices to customers. Finally, you need to decide how these menu items will complement your mainline espresso and coffee offerings.

In reviewing the menu trends, consumers are looking for that reward treat, or “guilty pleasure.” While the basic ice blend café mocha is a mainstay, incorporating some different options such as cookies and cream, caramel swirl and blueberry-pomegranate will tempt customers to indulge themselves at your store. To keep the menu fresh and appealing, we learned that market surveys indicate that 41% of consumers like to try new beverages, so offering LTO’s (limited time offerings) that rotate regularly, as well as the opportunity to try new flavors will help build repeat visits as well as sales. Seasonal or holiday-themed food and drinks also help to create a sense of urgency with a “get it while it’s here” immediacy.

As a specialty coffee shop, you and your staff can also express creativity that appeals to the consumers’ sense of flavor adventure and thirst for innovation by offering unique combinations, customizations and garnishes all served with expertise and awesome service. This will help you  stay on top of new trends and flavor options each season.

To further capitalize on the profitability of frozen blended drinks, utilize your staff’s knowledge, customer input and national trends to create unique signature drinks for your store. Work with your ingredient distributor and manufacturers to get tips on how to market and promote them in your store using a variety of tactics from vendor-provided POS to sampling programs for new LTO introductions.

How Profitable are Frozen Drinks?
Like their espresso-based counterparts, frozen drinks have sales prices that range from $3.00 per drink (smaller sizes) to over $5.00 per drink for the more indulgent, elaborate and larger sizes. The cost of goods on these drinks typically should average 25% of their sales price, thus generating gross profit of $2.25 to $3.75 per drink. With even 30 sales a day that represents an additional gross profit contribution to your store’s profits of $90 per day, or $2700 per month!

Ice blended coffee and blended drinks may not fit every specialty coffee bar or program, but they are an important and growing part of many a retailers’ operation whose sales are growing rapidly each year. This segment has been a mainstay for many of the larger chains such as Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and it has recently attracted restaurants such as McDonalds, Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts and others.

Stockton Graham & Co. associates can help you review your offerings, incorporate new drinks onto your menu and blend specialty coffee knowledge with successful business practices. Contact us today at 800.835.5943 or send email to inforequest@stocktongraham.com.

Independence Day Recipes for Your Coffee Shop!

4th-of-JulyJuly 4th is a holiday that involves a lot of time spent outdoors in the warm summer air. Whether watching fireworks  or a parade, spending the day by the water or just grilling, your customers will need to be refreshed this Independence Day. We have gotten together, some of our favorite July 4th recipes to serve in your specialty beverage shop, easily at a cookout or other celebration. Berries are really popular around Independence Day because most of them are in season in the summer, July is even “National Blueberry Month”. Whether it is frozen and blended, caffeine filled or sugar filled, satisfy your customers this Independence Day with some fun specialty drinks!

As mentioned in our 4th of July Promotions Blog, Iced Americanos are a fun drink to focus on for July 4th, the day we celebrate American Independence. To make a “Berry Americano”, use ¾ oz. of your berry of choice (blueberry, raspberry, strawberry…) syrup, and add to a glass of 2 shots of chilled espresso, ¾ a cup cold water, a ¼ a cup of half & half and ice. The half and half really makes the flavor show up more with creamy goodness.

You can make a “Red, White & True Latte” for your coffee lovers as well . For a 16 oz. drink, fill a glass with ice, add 6 oz. of milk, 2 shots of espresso, 0.75 oz. of raspberry syrup, 0.75 oz. of peach syrup and stir.

To cool your customers off, you can serve a “Blueberry Cream Soda”.  Fill your 16 oz. glass with ice and add 1 oz. of blueberry syrup, ½ oz. of French vanilla syrup and 7 oz. of sparkling water.  This tasty and bubbly drink will satisfy anyone looking for a caffeine free drink option in your shop.

For smoothies you can whip up a “Red, White and Blueberry Smoothie”. If you use powdered mixes, make your standard smoothie drink with a ¼ a cup of fresh or frozen strawberries and blueberries. Drizzle white chocolate on your cup to decorate, or on top of the smoothie. If you prefer pour over smoothies, just choose your mix that contains strawberries and blueberries and decorate the cup with white chocolate.

Lemonades are full of nostalgia for the summers past, so you can’t have a 4th of July celebration without this classic! We have DaVinci Gourmet Fruit Innovations that make a great classic lemonade with just a few pumps, water and ice! Add another flavor for a fun and fruity drink. Another Lemonade twist is Frozen Flavored Lemonades. DaVinci Gourmet and Jet are offering an Arctic Lemonade promotion right now with blood orange, raspberry and strawberry Fruit Innovations. Adding 3 pumps of these syrups to the lemonade mix, gives this classic refreshing beverage something new and delicious!

If Tea is your customers choice for a refreshing beverage, it is very easy to add syrups to make a special drink, with an up charge and little cost to you. A shot of any flavor can bring life to a regular tea. Try a “Raspberry Tea Sparkler” this Independence Day. To 7 oz. of tea, add 1 oz. of raspberry syrup and 2 oz. of sparkling water or soda water. This gives the tea a carbonated and flavorful kick. Flavored teas are one of the fastest growing specialty beverages in the US, so if you already serve tea, flavored tea is an easy way to add more variety and profits.

If you use pour over smoothies, create a “Firework Smoothie” for this 4th! Use Strawberry Banana smoothie mix (about 6 to 7 oz. depending on brand) and mix in some vanilla cream base powder (this also depends on brand, but about 1 tablespoon). Blend the mixes with 16 oz. of ice and 2 strawberries for texture. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles!

Creating signature drinks for your shop every holiday is a fun way to get customers to try new products! Most customers love variety and getting them to try new recipes is an easy way to introduce them to what could be their new favorite drink. Call our Customer Care Associates today at 800.835.5943 to find more fun recipes or to order some of our great specialty beverage products today!

Save up to $18 a case on Jet Arctic Lemonade, Margarita and DaVinci Single Origin Naturals Syrup!

Temperatures are still up, and we’re offering some great specials to cool your customers down with frozen drinks featuring Jet Frozen Beverage Mixes and DaVinci Gourmet Single Origin Naturals Syrups! We suggest mixing Jet Arctic Lemonade with the DaVinci Pacific Northwest Raspberry Syrup. Just add 3 pumps of syrup prior to blending to make a 12 oz drink. With the Raspberry syrup, the drink becomes a sweet and sour combination to rival any strawberry/lemonade frozen drink. Also add the raspberry syrup to Jet Margarita for a refreshing summer drink!  Give your customers something new and interesting to keep them coming back!

Save on Jet’s Arctic Lemonade and Margarita Frozen Drink Mix Flavors with Stockton Graham & Co.  We are offering this great special to end out the summer season:

$12 off a case or $2 off a 64oz carton after mail in rebate.
$6 instant savings a case!

 That’s up to $18 dollars off a case of this summer staple!

Don’t forget to add syrups to your frozen drinks! DaVinci Gourmet Single Origin Naturals has a promotion as well!

$12 off a case or $1 dollar off a bottle after mail in rebate.
$6 instant savings a case!

Offers expire: Mail in rebates 12/31/2012, Instant savings 9/30/2012.
Don’t miss out on these savings, call us at 800.835.5943 today to place your order!

Jet Arctic Lemonade Rebate, Jet Margarita Rebate, DaVinci Naturals Syrup Rebate