With weather cooling down from the blazing days of summer, it may seem like the opportunity to introduce new and exciting frozen beverages is waning. However, that’s not the case—in fact, frozen dispensed is perhaps the best category for “playful innovation,” according to Technomic’s February 2019 Convenience Retailing University presentation on dispensed beverages. Additionally, the consumer-reported spend for a frozen, dispensed-beverage purchase is more than $3 higher than overall consumers ($9.60 for those purchasing frozen beverages vs. $6 overall).
With numbers like that, it’s easy to see why offering frozen drinks even after summer temperatures drop can be beneficial to the bottom line. Check out four more ways to boost business with frozen dispensed beverages, even when there’s a chill in the air.
With the popularity of “freakshakes” and the inherent virality of “over-the-top” drinks, c-stores can benefit from offering unique flavors of frozen dispensed drinks that consumers may want to share on social media. A simple option such as a frozen coffee drink is a good start—and a must-have to ensure stores appeal to those seeking traditional options—but it’s differentiation that will help c-stores edge out competitors. Think seasonal—pumpkin spice frappes or mint-mocha freezes, can attract customers who love those flavors but don’t want a hot drink. Frozen hot chocolate can also be a big seller during cooler months.
Consumers are snacking more now than they used to—an average of 2.8 times per day, according to Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report. And overall, 59% of consumer snack occasions include a beverage—with or without food—so broadening the types of drinks while promoting happy hours, between-meal deals and other snacking opportunities can lead to an increase in beverage purchases.
C-stores that don’t currently offer frozen drinks may dismiss this concept fearing that adding another piece of equipment may take up too much valuable counter space. But the Curtis Chill-X features a straight-thru air flow allowing for zero side clearance installation. Chill-X is sleek, versatile and slips easily into any counterspace. It also has an optional automatic refill solution so it saves retailers time and labor.
While unique flavors are appealing to some consumers, others may feel more comfortable spending their treat or snack dollars on something they know they’ll like. Vanilla latte frappes, vanilla or chocolate options and fruit slushies can all be safe options for the 42% of consumers who, according to Technomic’s 2018 Beverage Consumer Trend Report, say a purchase driver for drinks at c-stores is that they’re craving a specific beverage. By offering favorites, retailers can be sure that regulars looking for something familiar will be able to find what they’re looking for.
According to Technomic’s 2018 Beverage report, 36% of consumers 18- to 34-years old—compared to 26% of consumers overall—say they would be likely to purchase unique limited-time beverages that are experiential. To attract younger consumers, bright signage, both in-store and outside of the store, can be appealing. Additionally, posting blasts on social media—or, perhaps more effectively, setting up location-based push notifications to be sent out alerting consumers of new drinks, flavors and deals—can ensure more customers are aware of any new drinks being offered.