Hello! I hope this finds you all well and that your businesses have settled into a new normal. Hopefully, you are experiencing the benefits of the British public taking ‘staycations’ or travelling within the UK for their holidays this year. I am writing this at the start of the school holidays (if you can tell the difference from the term time this year) but schools will probably be starting a new term with a ‘new normal’ for pupils and teachers by the time you are reading this. When I was enjoying my own trip within the UK recently I took time to think about what ice cream parlours and gelaterias might need to consider, as we settle into this so called ‘new normal’ at the end of a somewhat different summer than we had expected. So this article is about how to keep your cabinet colourful and your customers reassured with familiar flavours whilst keeping their attention.
I think you would all agree that we often create a colourful eye-catching cabinet in the summer months with strawberry, mango, fruit sorbets, candy floss pinks and so on. However it is easy to slip into a beige phase as we head towards winter. This is not a problem in itself as the ‘beige’ flavours are a popular bunch – salted caramel, chocolate, white chocolate, cookies, bueno etc. The point I am making is that it doesn’t make for a very eye catching cabinet. If your customers know your ‘beige’ flavours and that is part of your reputation this might not be an issue in your market. I would urge you to consider our previous discussions about how we all buy with our eyes and how we have established before that colours do draw customers into your shop even if they buy the beige in the end anyway! So how do we ‘beat the beige’?…
As we move from the exotic flavours of summer and we head towards who knows what, maybe it is time to reassure customers with some familiar homely flavours often associated with autumn in the UK. These are flavours you can add a splash of colour to with some fruity ripples – here are some suggestions to get you started, although I am sure you have your own variations and twists of many of these already:
Many of these flavours are reminiscent of traditional British desserts which will evoke fond memories in the minds of customers. In the current environment where so many experiences are not as normal, customers may be feeling uncomfortable, so if you can offer flavours with a reassuring name this may well be welcomed. Obviously, as I often mention, it does depend on your customer demographic, location and market as to which flavours will appeal to your particular clientele. If you are in a student or young trendy district you might prefer to look at the section on trends later in this article. Although students away from home for the first time may also be looking for reassurance…
Before you get any ideas I am not talking fancy dress here (although I do like a good costume – but that is another story!). By dressing the cabinet I am referring to the additions, decorations and adornments that you use to represent the flavours or add colour to the beige and other gelato and ice cream pans. There are two points I would like to draw your attention to here.
Earlier this year you may remember reading my article on confectionary in our cabinets. Here we looked for different eye-catching ideas by seeing what chocolate bars and confectionary were on the shelves in our local supermarket, sweet shop or newsagent. Ruby chocolate is one such trend at the moment and has a good colour to help keep your cabinet away from the typical browns and beiges associated with traditional chocolate flavours.
One flavour we have seen interest in over recent months at Antonelli is Marshmallow – the pink and white again offers a fresh and bright look. We have heard of customers combining this with various other flavours to create favourite chocolate marshmallow combinations – maybe you have created something yourself already with Marshmallow ice cream. I am always keen to hear of new and different creations so do get in touch and send me a photo of your successes. If you need help in tweaking your ideas to make them better then you know where to find me.
If you are content with your beige cabinet and the popular beige flavours I mentioned earlier (there is nothing wrong with these flavours only the fact there is little differentiation in their appearance) another way to add a bit of colour and attract customers’ attention is to offer colourful ice cream cones. The range of cones available is very varied from chocolate dipped and decorated cones, to cones that are multi-coloured. I know a little bit about cones too as it happens!
I am back doing One 2 One sessions now so if you would like to go through some particular flavours or recipes do get in touch and I will be happy to help. I hope to catch up with some of you in person soon. In the meantime do take care and stay safe. Keep up the precautions and don’t let your guard (mask) down.
See you next time for the latest scoop.
Seroquel generic 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 September 2020 Edition of the ICA’s Ice Cream Magazine…