Since their creation in the late 1950’s, frozen dispensed drinks have become almost synonymous with convenience stores everywhere. According to NACS, the frozen beverage segment generated 50% profit and frequently leads to additional in-store purchases. Additionally, of all the hot and cold dispensed beverage sales, 13.2% came from a frozen beverage dispenser in 2015. Because practically all stores sell some iteration of this drink, success lies in targeting the right generations, freshening your offerings, and keeping customers informed.
Kids and teens from ages 3-17 are an estimated 50% of frozen beverage buyers and they are particularly enticed by flavor infusions and combinations. But Gen Z isn’t the only age group choosing frozen dispensed beverages. People aged 25-34, or Millennials, account for 64% of the frozen beverages bought at c-stores, once a week or more. Both Gen Z and Millennials seek out opportunities or customization when buying food. They also appreciate better-for-you or sustainable and ethical ingredients and practices). Cater to these needs to optimize an already present market.
Mix it Up
Don’t underestimate the power of switching up your frozen beverage flavors. CSD weighs in on this, saying, “New flavors, limited time only flavors, the ability to combine flavors and fun things to add… will draw customers to the frozen beverage dispenser.” Seasonal flavor preferences offer the opportunity to take advantage of these promotional tactics. According to Technomic’s 2016 Beverage Consumer Trend report, 32% of consumers say their beverage preferences change according to the season. Optimize these preferences by changing your flavors with the season. NACS suggests peppermint during the holiday season and lemonade or watermelon in the warm months.
From in-store signs to refillable branded cups, visibility can greatly influence frozen beverage sales. The best way to make your new flavors or promotional offerings known is with adequate signage. In fact, the manager of Wawa “suggested digital and in-store signage, [and] the use of social media as part of your promotional plan”. This is especially true during winter months when frozen beverages may be less appealing; “without promotion and visibility in the store, sales can melt without the means to draw in consumers,” says CSD. Making your offers easy to identify in-store and online “helps guests navigate the space and make choices quickly”.
Keep up with the frozen beverage competition by embracing these areas of opportunity and by investing in new and innovative equipment. Keep your beverage operation running successfully year-round with a Granita Machine by FETCO. Its multiunit dispensers house multiple flavors in one machine, which is ideal for expanding your line with seasonal and on-trend flavors.