Ghirardelli dazzles guests with decadent recipes and flavors

Aileen Avila, business development manager at Ghirardelli, pours samples for customers.

Aileen Avila, business development manager at Ghirardelli, pours samples for customers.

Ghirardelli brought delicious samples of frappe bases and syrups to Lollicup USA’s headquarters last Wednesday for the fourth vendor open house seminar of the year.

Although Ghirardelli is known best for its chocolate, the brand is remarkably versatile. This was the highlight of Ghirardelli’s seminar.

About six samples of icy and delicious blended beverages were made each session to show all of the different ingredients that can be paired with Ghirardelli; from tiramisu to dulce de leche.

Aileen Avila, a business development manager for Ghirardelli, encouraged customers to seek out unique flavors.

She said frappe bases are often mixed with juice, coffee and other ingredients to make very unique treats.

The first session’s taste testing began with a delicious chocolate chip banana bread pudding frappe. Avila blended Classic White Frappe Mix, a banana, water, ice and a graham cracker together to make an incredibly decadent drink.

Later in session Lollicup staff and customers had the opportunity to create their own recipe. The group decided to combined ingredients like milk, caramel, peanut butter, vanilla wafer cookies and Chocolate Frappe mix. The drink was deemed the “Lollicup special,” and the results were delicious.

Avila also stressed the importance of marketing a menu, products and the business as a whole.

Avila said getting customer’s attention is extremely important to maintaining a business. Any marketing efforts can help give your business the push it needs.

Tips were offered on how to create attractive menu boards and advertisements. Avila said ads can be made using free phone apps like VSCO, Aviary, Phonto and Pitch Stitch. These aps are great options for those on a tight budget.

Ghirardelli helps customer market products with its “Made with Ghirardelli” program. Food and beverages made with Ghirardelli products can be advertised as such. According to Ipsos Chocolate Consumer Monitor, nine out of 10 people are aware of the Ghirardelli brand.

There is one final vendor open house seminar of the year. Cappuccine with stop by Lollicup USA on Wednesday, June 1.

Oregon Chai, DaVinci Gourmet and Big Train inspire customers at open house

Last Wednesday’s vendor open house brought about a very important aspect of the foodservice industry: variety.

Nate Booth, a senior corporate accounts manager for Kerry Foodservice Brands, showcased some of the best products from top brands; from chai flavors to kid-inspired drink mixes.

The events began with an introduction to the well-renown Oregon Chai brand, which is the no. 1 selling chai brand.

Nate Booth discusses DaVinci smoothie mix,

Nate Booth discusses DaVinci smoothie mix.

Chai sales are continuously on the rise as people seek alternatives to coffee drinks. Booth said 49 percent of coffee shops, donut shops and cafes have chai on their menus.

For those not already serving chai, Booth encouraged them to try out Oregon Chai’s delicious Chai Tea Latte Concentrate. Guests had the opportunity to taste this sweet and simple mix during the session.

Booth followed his Oregon Chai demonstration with an in-depth conversation about DaVinci Gourmet products. While this brand carries a wild variety of products, it began with its focus on coffee beverages.

“DaVinci Gourmet (syrups) was made for coffee,” Booth said. The brand was founded in Seattle, WA in the 1990s and was developed to focus on accenting espresso.

This is what makes these syrups stand out from other leading brands. DaVinci Gourmet flavors perform very well in both hot and cold coffee drinks.

Flavor is a necessity, Booth said. “Not everyone likes an Americano.” Guests chuckled and nodded.

Flavored beverages add uniqueness and quality to beverages that might otherwise be ordinary. Adding flavor to beverages can increase profits by 10-40 percent, he said.

Along with syrups, Booth highlighted the brand’s sauces. Each flavor breaks down and infuses the beverage instead of drifting to the bottom of the cup. These sauces thoroughly and evenly add flavor.

“We want the first sip to taste like the last sip,” Booth said.

The final presentation featured Big Train, a brand of tasty powder drink mixes and concentrates. Seminar attendees had the opportunity to help create and taste test some of Big Train’s Blended Creme products, including a flavor from its Kidz Kreamz line.

Two more vendor open house sessions are available for sign-ups. On May 18, Ghirardelli will present its incredible selection of products. Click here for more information and for RSVP instructions.