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!

Salted Caramel is Summer’s Biggest Flavor Trend

Salted caramel is busting out. Just yesterday, Vermont-based ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s announced a partnership with New Belgium Brewing Co. (which is not located in Brussels, but in Fort Collins, Colorado) to put its name on an ice cream-flavored beer. Not any ice cream-flavored beer, mind you. But a beer flavored with salted caramel and chocolate. The beer, which is called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, is currently scheduled be produced at the end of the year, according to Sean Greenwood, who is head of communications for Ben & Jerry’s. That is, unless the ice cream-flavored beer backlash doesn’t cause a change of plans.Stockton Graham Salted Caramel Iced Coffee

That announcement, which generated a flurry of media coverage, comes only a few weeks after Skippy announced the answer to our salty-and-sweet prayers. They’ll soon be shipping Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Spread with the tagline “Good Never Tasted So Good” to a supermarket near you.

The Twittersphere was giddy with excitement: “Will your inner foodie scream SKIPPY YIPPIE for our new Peanut Butter Spread with Salted Caramel?” the Skippy people posted. Since the announcement, their Twitter feed has been, um, salted with salted caramel recipes like Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Brownies, Banana Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Frosting and Three-Ingredient Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cookies.

And then there’s celebrity chef and blogger Bren Herrera’s Salted Caramel Salted Caramel Popcorn with Honey Chipotle Jerky, which was inspired by the Today Show’s Al Roker and shared on the show’s food blog last month.

The other big celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, chimed in with a salted caramel mocha. According to Oliver, it is a marriage of rich, sweet chocolate and bold, bitter coffee with a hint of salty intensity that is “truly on another level.”

Perhaps the salted caramel trend was ignited in March at the 35th Annual Natural Products Expo West. No fewer than a dozen salted caramel options from brownies to bar snacks lined the booths at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. Chobani showed Flip Creations with Salted Caramel Crunch and Kellogg’s offered a new Special K Chewy Snack Bars in a salted caramel variety.

Luckily, Torani gives your shop a simple way to profit from the salted caramel craze. Perfect for frappes, espressos and steamed milk, the syrup’s buttery caramel kicks things off and its touch of saltiness appears at the end.

Here at Stockton Graham & Co., Salted Caramel Iced Coffee has become the go-to drink of the month. Made with Torani Salted Caramel and Stockton’s Ice Coffee Blend, which is roasted by Stockton Graham Coffees in Raleigh, NC, the light saltiness complement’s the coffee’s natural sweetness.

Here’s the recipe:

Salted Caramel Iced Coffee
7 oz.    Brewed Stockton’s Ice Coffee Blend
¾ oz.   Torani Salted Caramel Syrup
(Or caramel with a pinch of sea salt)
16 oz.  Ice
Milk or cream to taste

Directions: Add ice to cup. Pour in coffee followed by syrup. Adjust amount if customer wants milk. Stir vigorously and serve.

Brewing directions for Stockton’s Ice Coffee Blend can be found here.

Call 800.835.5943 to order Torani Salted Caramel Syrup or Stockton’s Ice Coffee Blend today!