It has been great to be back visiting customers again all around the country in recent weeks. I have been doing lots of ‘One 2 One’ training and invariably the subject turns to holidays at some point or other. Everyone has asked me ‘Are you going on holiday this year?’ Many people this year will be taking a ‘Staycation’, remaining in the UK. There are, in fact, lots of lovely places to explore within our own shores, as I am sure you will all be the first to agree, given you are hoping to attract the British public to your parlours, gelaterias and cafés across the UK this summer. Maybe you have signed up to the GBICS (Great British Ice Cream Staycation) so you may have already downloaded a toolkit to help support you, your business promotions and ice cream style.
I have found that many of these conversations turn to discussions about where people like to visit. Destinations such as Greece, Spain, France, Dubai, Turkey, Italy, Florida and many more repeatedly crop up. This got me thinking – why not bring some aspects of these favoured places to your parlour?
We all like to get the holiday vibe and of course the biggest curse we have in the UK is the weather. Whilst I am writing this the sky remains grey and temperatures are low for the time of year, but hopefully by the time you are reading this article the summer will have actually arrived and you can help the British public to believe they are somewhere warm and exotic (if that is what they want to think of course!). If the poor weather continues then maybe refer back to my Best of British article from a few months ago!
So putting the weather to one side for the moment how could you bring Paris to your parlour, Genoa to your gelateria or Cairo to your café? When you start to think about it you may already have a few flavours influenced by other countries or cultures that you make or have the ingredients to make on your shelf. Here is a list of flavours and ice cream style to start you off that you could introduce to your cabinet this summer to bring a bit of our favourite foreign holiday destinations to us, as we can’t go to them.
This is just to whet your appetite, as there are many more. You probably have your own memories of tastes and smells when you have been travelling, although not all will convert into an ice cream flavour of course! If you have some ideas for adding ice cream style that you would like to use to create a new flavour and you would like some help creating the recipe – you know where to find me.
You may have a particular ice cream style and flavour mix in your cabinet that is all part of your brand. Your customers may love this and have come to expect a certain selection of flavours, so you maybe reticent about bringing in something new which doesn’t fit. Why not think about offering different accompaniments such as churros, brownie, croissant, crepe, shortbread, matcha biscuit or pancakes or something you have enjoyed when on your travels, or heard about from your friends. Just ensure you select flavours that go with these additions – you don’t want to undermine your established brand.
If you want to really get into the party mood or the holiday vibe you could turn it into an event maybe for a week or month you could hang up flag bunting for the countries you are serving flavours from or just pick one country per week. Your staff could also dress up as long as their outfits meet the health and safety rules. You could also encourage your customers to join in the fun. Remember to post on social media to attract the most interest. I will look out for the ice cream style photos and look forward to hearing the stories of Staycation 2021.
I guess my message to you this month is have fun with your flavours and celebrate the holidays with your customers. I am not suggesting you over complicate your offering – just a few tweaks here and there could add value to vacations. If you have any questions do get in touch. Otherwise see you next time for the latest scoop.
profitably Antonelli’s National Technical Manager Jonny Ireland is a regular contributor to the ICA’s Ice Cream Magazine…
See how this article looked in the July 2021 Edition of the ICA’s Ice Cream Magazine…