SOFT ICE CREAM & FROZEN YOGURT
The soft ice cream business is a satisfying and financially rewarding business for all levels of the business chain. The customer receives good value, refreshment and snack satisfaction. The retail operator makes a good profit margin providing an excellent return on investment. The product distributor earns a reasonable margin and maintains a good inventory turn.
To make soft ice cream, you need a soft ice cream (soft serve) freezer. Liquid mix is poured into the freezer. The mix flows into the freezing cylinder and is frozen to the inside of the freezing cylinder. Inside the freezing cylinder is a beater assembly with a scraper blade. The scraper blade will scrape against the surface of the cylinder and cut off the frozen mix. When this happens, liquid mix flows against the cylinder wall and freezes. After about fifteen minutes, all of the liquid mix has been frozen into soft ice cream. In the process, air is mixed into the freezing mix providing a mixture of frozen ice cream and air. When a customer wants to purchase a cone of ice cream, the operator lifts the handle in the door covering the freezing cylinder and soft ice cream is dispensed. Liquid mix replaces the void created from removing the soft ice cream and freezes into ice cream.
Our mix is supplied to International Customers in a powder form. The powder is blended with water to make the liquid mix. The mix can be a high fat or low fat. It can be ice cream or yogurt base. It can contain added vitamins and nutrition. It can be flavored. Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry are the most popular flavors.
Soft ice cream is purchased by the consumer as both a destination and an impulse produce. It is best to establish your retail locations where there is abundant foot traffic. If you depend on customers traveling to purchase, they may find a closer location before they reach you. There should be adequate traffic to sell a minimum of one hundred servings per day. A retail business can be successful by selling less than one hundred servings per day, but when establishing a location, that should be the minimum target. Promotions, merchandising and advertising are important to tell the consumers you have ice cream. You want to get customers to sample and to purchase your soft ice cream. Brand identity is important because it establishes a quality continuity from location to location. In some businesses, it is a common practice for retail operators to water down the mix. There is little concern for providing a quality product. As an importer and distributor, it is important to establish a following for your brand. Consumers understand what is good and what is better. Your ultimate customer is the consumer. By building a strong brand, new retailers will want you to supply them with powdered mix. In some markets, the distributor will blend the powder and water and deliver a liquid mix to their operators. This is most popular when a distributor operates with an up-charge program or where there is poor quality water supply.
Soft Ice Cream Mix
Soft ice cream mix is supplied in a powder form. The mix is complete. You blend with water. The American Standard is three pounds of mix blended with one gallon of water. American mix is typically packed in a three-pound foil bag, with twelve bags per case. The yield of liquid mix is fifteen gallons per case. Our mix is formulated to be stiff on the cone. This allows for ease of dispensing and slow melting. An alternative to receiving mix in portioned bags is to purchase in fifty pound bulk bags. The cost will be lower and the expectation is that packing cost will be lower in your market. We recommend that mix sold to retail operators be in the portioned bag. In some markets we add vitamins and minerals to fortify the nutritional value of the mix.
The cost for a serving of soft ice cream is determined by weight. The freezing process will blend air into the mix. This causes the volume to become a variable and you do not want to make your cost based on a variable. Cost is determined by the weight per serving. A bag of mix will weigh three pounds to two kg. It is blended with 3.75 to 5 liters of water, depending on the bag size. The combination will weigh five to seven kg. This is how much ice cream you can sell. Determine the weight of your serving size and calculate your cost per serving. When you stop the freezer to clean, there will be remaining ice cream in the freezing cylinder and mix in the mix storage hopper. This mix can be drained out and stored in the refrigerator for use the next day.
The freezer needs to be cleaned and sanitized a minimum of two times per week. Many operators will clean the freezer at the end of each day. They will wash out the freezer and disassemble at night. In the morning, they will reassemble and sanitize. Depending on the size of the freezer, the cleaning time will take about half an hour.
Soft ice cream freezers are available in single flavor counter top or floor models. Two flavor freezers with a third dispensing nozzle for a combination flavor are available in countertop or floor models. Most two flavor freezers are upright models. We have contracted with manufacturers to manufacture soft ice freezers to our specifications. Contact us directly for a list of the equipment available and our direct sales price.
There are three basic business formats used for the distribution and sale of soft ice cream. First, the retail operator owns their freezer. They purchase mix from anyone they want to. The loyalty of the retail operator to a distributor is important to continue the re-supply. Second, the distributor owns the freezer. The freezer is placed in the retail operators business. The distributor increases the cost for each case of mix to include an equipment rent. This program requires that a retail operator purchase a minimum number of cases of mix per month from the distributor. The rent up-charge may have to be adjusted if the mix purchases are lower than agreed. The distributor needs to receive a minimum amount of revenue per month per freezer and this amount is spread over the agreed number of cases to be purchased. In the beginning, if the purchase is low, the operator will pay a per case shortage fee. If the low purchase volume continues, the cost per case increases. In an up-charge program, the distributor takes responsibility for the maintenance and service of the freezer. Third, the distributor determines a rent fee that is paid for the rental use of the freezer. This rent is based on the expectation that the operator will purchase mix from the distributor. In this situation, the operator will be responsible for maintenance and service.
How To Get Started
The business objective is to supply mix to a selected group of customers and to supply a good quantity each month. To get the business going, you have to find and convert existing operators to purchase your mix. A store must have a freezer before they have the opportunity to purchase your mix. To insure that you have a strong customer base, you can provide the equipment to the operators and supply them with mix.
ACF Premium Soft Ice Cream
Our Premium Soft Ice Cream Mix is a world standard product. Our food technicians have designed this product to have a smooth and creamy texture with a flavor balance taste to become the best soft ice cream product in the world. Our complete mix is shipped in powdered form. The retail store operator adds potable (drinking) water to the mix and blends. The mix is poured into the soft ice cream freezer where it is frozen and dispensed to customers. Our Premium mix is packaged in 1.36 kg foil bags to maintain freshness and has a shelf life of one year. We pack 12 bags per case. Our shipping case is heavy, double strength and will not crush during shipment. The shipping case is white in color. (Our International distribution centers will pack eight bags weighing two kg each). This mix is available in pre-flavored Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry and unflavored Neutral. The neutral mix is easily flavored with our line of concentrated flavor extracts developed especially for use with soft ice cream. This product is currently being used throughout Asia and Russia. Our premium mix was given a superior rating of 9.5 out of a possible 10 by the worlds largest manufacture of soft ice cream freezers. One case of mix will yield 600 servings that are 100 grams each.
ACF Premium non-dairy Soft
Ice Cream Mix
Our Premium Non-Dairy Soft Ice Cream Mix was designed for markets that prefer a product with no dairy ingredients. Our food technicians have designed this product to have a smooth and creamy texture with a flavor balance taste to be similar to our premium dairy soft ice cream. Our complete mix is shipped in powdered form. The retail store operator adds potable (drinking) water to the mix and blends. The mix is poured into the soft ice cream freezer where it is frozen and dispensed to customers. Our Premium mix is packaged in 1.36 kg foil bags to maintain freshness and has a shelf life of one year. We pack 12 bags per case. Our shipping case is heavy, double strength and will not crush during shipment. The shipping case is white in color. This mix is available in pre-flavored Vanilla, Chocolate, and unflavored Neutral. The neutral mix is easily flavored with our line of concentrated flavor extracts developed especially for use with soft ice cream. One case of mix will yield 600 servings that are 100 grams each.
ACF Frozen Yogurt Mix
Our Premium Frozen Yogurt Mix was developed for the American market to provide the smooth and creamy taste of premium ice cream with the addition of active yogurt cultures. This complete mix is shipped in powder form and reconstituted in water when you are ready to use. This mix is packed in 3 lb (1.36 kg) bags. There are 12 bags per case.
"Bringing American Style Snack and Fast Food Products to the Global Marketplace"