Ice cream is popular around the United States and the globe. The NPD Group has reported that in any 14 day period, about 40% of the American population will indulge in the tasty treat. Some estimate the average American will have some ice cream at least 28.5 times every year. At least 9% of all of the milk that is produced on dairy farms around the country is used to make ice cream. If you manage an ice cream shop, you may be looking for ways to increase your sales. Beyond getting all the right desert supplies, there are some fun things you can do to spread the word about your business and sell more product.
- Bring your best seller to the local flea or famers’ market. There is a good reason to give away free samples of product. If you are just opening a new ice cream shop, people do not yet know about you. If you have a unique product, say interesting and fun flavors, you need to get people to try them. Find a way to bring your ice cream cups to the local farmers’ market or flea market and give away samples of your best sellers. Give away coupons. “Buy one, get one” coupons encourage people to buy something when they come to your shop.
- Have “frequent buyer cards.” For every ten individual ice cream cups someone buys, give them one for free. You can have them bring in receipts or you can have cards printed up that you stamp or punch when they buy your product. If you have a good product, people are going to appreciate getting some for free from time to time. Keep in mind that it costs a lot less to keep a current customer happy than to entice a new customer to your business.
- Work with a local grocery store to set up a tasting station. There are a lot of local grocery stores around the country that like to support other local businesses. There are also some grocery stores who operate in multiple states, that like to promote local businesses. When you work with the grocery stores and open tasting stations, you can get to know your prospective customers. They will get to know you and your product. The best thing you can do is get people in the area talking about you and your product.
- Have events at your store. If you want to get more press coverage, you need to have an event. This gives them a reason to cover you because something is happening. Have a sundae building party at your business site. Host a party of the craziest flavor combinations. Host ice cream eating contests. You can also have events where you make batches of flavors that are recommended by your customers. Whatever you can do to make the experience of frequenting your business more interactive will get people talking more about you and your brand. These can help you get more use out of your desert supplies.
- Feature strange and unusual flavors. For the Fourth of July, break out some of the flavors of ice cream that were enjoyed during the revolutionary war period. Dolly Madison, for instance, enjoyed oyster ice cream that she made from the oysters she pulled out of the Potomac River. To celebrate Independence Day, you can have that on the menu. When Presidents’ Day rolls around, make President Abraham Lincoln’s favorite flavor your featured flavor. He preferred pralines and cream.
- Sponsor charity events. When local organization have fundraisers or other events that you know are going to be well attended, sponsor them. If they are big enough events for the press to cover, you will be a part of the coverage. If a lot of people come, that is a lot of people who may not have heard of you that now know who you are. There are a lot of great reasons to help out the community events in your area. This can only raise awareness of the ice cream and desert supplies that you offer.
When people are looking for ice cream and desert supplies, you want them to think of you.These tips can help.