Milkshakes consist of milk and ice cream. That basic recipe makes shakes an easy choice to include in a convenience store’s frozen dispensed beverage (FDB) menu because they’re not complicated with a plethora of ingredients that require a lot of staff intervention. However, the number of flavor possibilities is only limited by the selection of ice cream.
Of course, c-stores aren’t necessarily equipped to offer a vast menu of milkshakes, nor would it be fiscally sound to constantly be changing out flavors. Customers may be disappointed if they can’t buy a favorite flavor on return visits. Rather, milkshakes serve up greater profit margins when stores routinely offer people’s favorite flavors, even if that happens only at certain times of the year. Adding a self-serve milkshake machine is a great way to offer a wide variety of flavors with minimal labor.
That said, what qualifies as one person’s favorite doesn’t always register on others’ top list. So what are the most popular frozen dispensed milkshake flavors?
Tried and True
Certain flavors just never go out of style, and that can pay off for c-stores because they appeal to a large number of people all the time.
Year after year consumer surveys reaffirm Americans love vanilla ice cream, usually scoring first or second place. So naturally, vanilla is a popular shake flavor, too.
No surprise here, chocolate ranks high among consumers.
The sweet berry blends well as either an ice cream scoop or mixed as a shake.
While you don’t want a constantly rotating menu of options, surprising people with a new flavor or specially highlighting a flavor once in a while could encourage customers to try something different simply because the idea of how that shake might taste piqued their interest. Here are a few of the popular flavors right now.
Not to be confused with blended iced coffee drinks, milkshakes made with coffee ice cream definitely benefit from the craze.
The fall coffee obsession parlays nicely into a seasonal milkshake.
Mint shakes are typically associated with St. Patrick’s Day, making it a springtime favorite.
- Candy Bars
Of course, individuals can add in chunks of candy, cookies and brownies to elevate the plain shake.
Although shakes could be a dessert all on their own, creating them from other desserts could be a great limited-time offer. According to some ice cream manufacturers, people are digging flavors like jelly donut, banana cream pie and even cake batter.
- Perpetual Big Sellers
Although not as popular as the classics, salted caramel, peanut butter and cookies and cream are usually big hits.
Fortunately, many milkshake machines now track each pour so c-store owners and managers can collect hard data that reflects which flavors resonate with customers for more profitable planning of what to sell and when to sell it.