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Summertime and the selling's still not easy (but it's getting easier).

Summertime and the selling's still not easy (but it's getting easier)

In June of last year, I wrote an article in this magazine about selling coffee in the summertime and shared a few coffee secrets and recipes for keeping sales up during the hot weather. It became one of my most requested columns.

I've long been a believer in cold coffee beverages (notice I didn't say iced coffee) and apparently a lot of other people are too. Just a few of the cold coffee beverages or mixes that are now available are: "Ice Breaker" (Hills Bros.), "Cappuccino Coolers" (Fairwinds Gourmet Coffee Company), "P'Nosh" (P'Nosh Beverage Company), "Original New York Express Iced Coffee" (Original New York Seltzer Company), "Georgia" (Coke), "POKKA" (POKKA Corp. of Japan), "Cappio" (General Foods), "Nescafe Mocha Cooler" (Nestles' Nescafe), "Jamaican Gold" (Prince of Peace Enterprises, Inc.), "Ice Cap" (Chateau Miel, Inc.), Boyd's great tasting Mocha Cappuccino, the new "Granita Latte" cold coffee drinks so popular in Seattle, and "Manhattan Special", a terrific espresso soda manufactured in Brooklyn, New York. Although this list may seem enormous, I'm sure there are even more products available that I don't know about.

One new entry into the cold coffee market that I recently learned about is an Iced Cappuccino mix developed by National Fruit Flavor Co. of New Orleans, LA. It tastes really good and uses regular, brewed coffee.

Their sales manager, Avery Stirratt, contacted me and explained the process. To a carafe of regular, brewed coffee (non-flavored) add their flavored, sweetened product and milk, chill, serve over ice and the result is a great tasting cold coffee beverage. The sweetened flavoring is available in a variety of tastes and the product itself is self-stable for a number of months. When milk is added, the shelf life of the product is decreased to the shelf life of the milk. The concept is interesting and the product really does taste good.

Cold coffee beverages, when properly made, are delicious but when made and served improperly, they're awful. If you choose to make your own, be sure to use either freshly brewed coffee or coffee that has been stored in a preheated thermos. Cold coffee beverages made from burned coffee left on the heat too long, taste like cold, sweetened, burned coffee left on the heat too long.

It would also be wise to call your cold coffee concoction something besides Iced Coffee. I've always called cold coffee beverages Coffee Coolers because the term Iced Coffee has never appealed to me. It makes me think of a cup of coffee with an ice cube floating in it.

I recommend using flavored coffee for Coffee Coolers and adding half and half to the coffee before it is served. Black, cold coffee just looks like black, cold coffee. When low-fat milk is added to coffee, it comes out a strange gray color. Somehow, cold coffee looks and tastes better when cream is added before serving. The flavor is especially enhanced when using flavored coffee. (Although many really good cold coffee beverages are made with non-dairy creamers, I don't have alot of personal experience using anything but milk or cream).

Basic Recipe

A good, basic recipe for Coffee Coolers is to brew 1 pot coffee (approximately 60 ounces) using 3 ounces freshly ground flavored coffee, add 2 cups cream and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly, chill, and serve over ice. (Adjust any of the ingredients according to personal taste).

This is a basic cold coffee recipe and is great served over ice or can be jazzed up a bit. Try mixing it half and half with frozen yogurt or ice cream for a Mocha Shake, serve it with a scoop of frozen yogurt or ice cream for a Mocha Float, add your favorite liquors (Frangelico, Kahlua, or Bailey's is especially good) or just top with whipped cream. For more of a coffee soda taste, try adding sparkling water.

If you serve Coffee Coolers and also have an espresso machine, you've got even more ammunition for keeping your sales up during the summer. A good example of a company serving cold espresso drinks is the Starbucks retail chain.

Starbucks has long impressed me with their classy marketing but recently I visited my first Starbucks store when in Chicago for the National Restaurant Show. I asked the counterperson if they served Granita Latte's and was told no, but that any of their freshly made espresso drinks tasted great over ice. I was impressed first of all with the suggestive selling technique but even more by the fact that I was told that any of their espresso drinks were good hot or cold.

Coffee sales do not have to drop off during the summer - not if you're inventive. It takes more promotion, and more training time with employees, but remember ... if it was easy, everybody would do it.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Lockwood Trade Journal Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:includes recipe; cold coffee drink marketing
Author:Surdivant, Shea
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Article Type:column
Date:Jul 1, 1991
Previous Article:Decaf-environmental problems.
Next Article:The marketing mix.

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