Trends Indicate Customization of Blended Drinks Critical to Summer Sales

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal indicates that Starbucks is looking to increase sales this summer by  letting their customers create their own frappuccinos.

According to the article, Starbucks plans to call the program the “however-you-want-it-frappuccino”, allowing customers to:

order the drink with soy milk instead of dairy, decaffeinated instead of caffeinated coffee, and far fewer calories. The calorie count for a grande caramel light frappuccino, for instance, could drop 25% to 120 calories if ordered with nonfat milk, light syrup and no whipped cream.

The hope is that a reworking of the popular frozen drink will help increase sales when demand for hot coffee declines and give a boost to day parts in the afternoon and evening that are traditionally slower.

While Starbucks has incredible market presence, independent operators should accept this not as a shot across the bow, but as a shot in the arm. Now is the time for the small business owner to capitalize on this great idea and use it as an opportunity to get more people in the door. As always, the independent business owner can be more flexible and proactive.

Getting back to the main focus of the WSJ article, here are some customizable options to present to your frozen beverage customers:

1. Milk. Whole, 2%, Skim or Soy?

2. Coffee. With or without a shot of Midnight Lotus Espresso? Decaf or regular? Additional charge should apply per shot added.

3. Regular or ‘Lite’? Many base mixes have lower calorie options available, for example, Caffe D’Amore has a line of ‘Skinny’ mixes and Big Train has a line of ‘No Sugar Added’ products, which we stock.

4. What flavor? Adding certain Monin, Torani and DaVinci syrups to vanilla or chocolate bases makes for an awesome treat. Toasted Marshmallow? Raspberry? Sugar-Free Strawberry?

5. Toppings. Whipped cream? Chocolate drizzle? Flavored whipped cream? Sprinkles?

Giving the customers more choice for customization, without creating more hassle, is the way to go. Notice that many of these choices don’t involve an operator bringing in additional costly inventory. Remember, when rolling out any new beverage, it is important to promote the item or items using the proper channels. Tweet, update Facebook, place signage, etc.

Also, if you happen to be in need of a new blender, we are offering a couple of turnkey packages this summer. Don’t be wary of purchasing new equipment; these packages include rebates for free product that can offset much of the cost associated with the blender.

If you need additional assistance in developing a frozen drink menu, call to take advantage of our expertise today at 800-835-5943!

Mike Adams
Stockton Graham & Co.