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Sweetening the bottom line.

Toroni, Monin, Da Vinci, Dolce, Stirling, Stasero, Essenza D'Italia, Lorann... these are names of new players stirring up sales for the specialty coffee industry. For trendsetting retailers and restaurateurs, these players are significant because they represent manufacturers of flavored syrups, the hottest trend in specialty coffee since flavored beans.

So many flavored syrups are now entering the marketplace, all with exciting packaging and advertising. The colorful ads are appetizing enough to sip the page, the bottles and labels are so uniquely attractive and the drink recipes so inviting that making a decision to buy could be quite confusing. Flavored syrups mean more sku's and decisions. And, there are so many options... size, style, flavors, packaging material?

First things first. Should flavored syrup be among your product mix? Yes. Flavored syrups will enhance your sales, customer base, and maintain or increase your presence in your market.

Deciding on which flavored syrups to carry is entirely subjective. After talking to the players, their advise to the retailer is to order samples and make your decisions based on your store needs, product quality, price, shipping, availability, flavor selection, packaging, and support material. The following are some facts from the experts.

Torani syrups, manufactured and bottled by R. Torre & Company of San Francisco, is responsible for the current popularity in the U.S. Linda Gerard, marketing director, R. Torre & Company, reports Torani maintains a "lionshare of the flavored syrup market in the Seattle area and is headed eastward."

"What Torani has done for flavored syrups," says Rodger Owen, president, Bucks County Coffee Company, "is what Kleenex[TM] did for tissue paper. Adding Italian sodas and flavored specialty drinks to the menu gives retailers an opportunity to keep sales going all year around. Not only do the syrups add to the product mix, their display inspires customer's curiosity and communicates that we offer specialty flavored drinks. Often, customers will order a specialty drink based on the color of the syrup," he continued.

Gerard addresses the bottom line advantage of flavored syrups in an excerpt from "In Good Taste", the newsletter of the SCAA. "Syrups represent a high turnover and allow retailers greater margins than a case of fine wine. Customer demand is another strong reason for syrups, she added. Specialty drinks using flavored syrups taste good and customers now expect to see them on menus in coffee cafes." Colorful tent cards, posters and bottles invite customers to try flavored drinks.

Commenting on the increasing sales of Stasero products, Dane Poul ton, sales specialist, sees flavored syrups as a trend, but not a fad. He suggest tasting syrups just like you would cup coffees. Look for aroma and flavor. Make sure the flavor that says raspberry tastes like it and not something else. Is the flavored latte too sweet? Is the intensity of flavor lost within the specialty drink?

By offering these flavored drinks, your customer base increases to include something for the whole family. Another market that is being tapped in a big way with this trend is the increasing demand for non-alcoholic drinks.

Already capturing this trend in France and 37 other countries is Monin. Originating in France, Monin targets the nonalcoholic market with their "mocktail," a combination of Monin flavored syrup and cocktail mixer.

"Quality," stresses David Souza, managing director, eastern division, Roma Marketing, marketers of Monin, is a primary consideration when making a syrup selection. Monin syrups have a higher fresh fruit concentration, which means customers use less syrups for their drinks, increasing profit," assured Souza.

While Souza reports the concentrated level of Monin can be used in making granitas, Torani has introduced a formulation specifically to meet the "bric" requirement called Torani granita. If serving flavored ices such as with the granita machine, be sure to quiz the manufacturer on the correct measurement of syrup as it differs among manufacturers.

According to Heidi Brownson, national marketing director, Stirling, "bric" refers to the measure of solid content to water. Brownson continued to relate that Stirling's bric measurement is 62, which is much higher than some competitors with a 32 bric.

Poulton reports Stasero is sweetened with corn (fructose) syrup and can be poured directly into a granita machine without any change in bric or formula.

Whether using alcohol or staying with non-alcoholic flavors, Tom Buck, director of marketing for Stearns & Lehman's Dolce syrups suggests the creative use of his products inspires alternatives to after-dinner drinks.

One of Dolce's creations is an after-dinner dessert of caramel chocolate coffee topped with whipped cream. One of the newer syrups entering the market is Essenza d' Italia. Jim Yates, owner and creator of these syrups, has a background in the beverage industry and saw this trend as a natural addition to the retail product fine. He emphasizes the ease of using the syrups, having put the directions on the back of each bottle. Ease of pouring is another consideration. Most manufacturers either created a special roller bearing pour spout, or provide some type of pouring accessory to avoid waste and assure proper measurement.

Flavored drinks are just one of the many uses of these syrups. Their creativity continues to unfold as users find new markets. Doug Gerber, vice president, sales & marketing for Da Vinci, reports interest is heating up the baking industry. Chefs are calling for Da Vinci syrups in creating everything from creative sauces for duck to blueberry muffins. Da Vinci gives consumers an opportunity to try syrups through marketing them directly to consumers with gift packs. He also sees the gift basket industry as high users of the smaller bottles. Dolce and Torani also offer the smaller consumer bottles.

While most drinks using corn or cane sweetened syrups have a calorie count of between 60-80, there are no fats or cholesterol. And, there are options for those who cannot tolerate or prefer no sugar. Flavor Mate, marketed by Dolce, is a consumer product. These flavored extracts offer a variety of flavors to customers who either can't have or choose not to use sugar based sweeteners. Flavor Mates also flavor cream cheese, whipped toppings and muffin batter, to name a few options.

Lorann Oils offers still another choice in non-sweet flavorings. Marketed through office coffee service, Lorann's marketing consultant, Charles Nicholson, promotes his product as the alternative to flavored brewed coffee sitting on the hotplate.

"We offer a pump system with Lorann's non sweetened flavoring that dispenses just the right amount of flavor for one cup. That way, if the employee doesn't like what is being brewed at the moment, he has an option. Each eight ounce dispenser flavors 400 or more cups of coffee," said Nicholson. Flavored packets are available to retailers to promote for "at home, dining out or to take m the road," says the promotional literature.

Distribution is a consideration where availability and shipping is concerned. Within this consideration, manufacturers have ready answers to questions about plastic or glass packaging and bacterial contamination. Gerber promotes Da Vinci's glass bottles claiming that plastic is not imperious to oxygen. "DaVinci's products are bottled at a temperature that will ensure a two year shelf life after opening," reported Gerber.

Although refrigeration is not mandatory after opening, Buck recommends refrigerating Dolce's products (which come in either plastic or glass) to prolong the shelf life. Concerning bacteria, Buck remarked on the pH stabilization for bacteria control. He also mentioned minimal sugar crystallization once the product is exposed to air is limited to a small area around the pour spout.

Obviously, there are many considerations when selecting a syrup. All manufacturers have qualified facts and reasons for helping you make a decision. But, what about your flavored coffee beans? Are flavored syrups going to take their place? Do you still need them? Lamar Bagley, vice president, Royal Cup Coffee Company, sees flavored syrups and flavored coffee beans as two different markets. "Flavored syrups present another opportunity to increase specialty sales and build our market with upscale, quality products. Flavored syrups add additional excitement which leads to increased consumption and more people drinking specialty coffee," Bagley noted.

Even if you've already been ordering syrup, stay open to adding more flavors or making a change. Like cupping coffee, sample these syrups. Make a promotion out of it. Invite your customers to experiment with new flavored specialty drinks ... you'll have your decision made plus new recipes and happy customers.

Hudson Valley Coffee Biega So. Calif., LTD. National Sales
 Atlanta Coffee Roa
Lisa Goldstein Phil Biega Bob Link
 Dick Ringgold
Castleton, NY Irvine, CA Overland Park, KS
 Atlanta, GA
PH: 800-637-6550 PH: 310-378-1999 PH: 913-381-2440
 PH: 800-929-7035
FX: 518-766-9789 FX: 320-791-1189 FX: 913-341-3488
 FX: 404-591-5243
Europro Imports, Inc. Ice Maker Sales & Service Desert Java
 Robert King, Inc
Mark Seidel Tony Brooks Dan Kretschmer
 Bob King
Baltimore, MD Oklahoma City, OK Tucson, AZ
 Breckinridge, CO
PH: 410-732-2880 PH: 405-685-1200 PH: 602-744-7696
 PH: 303-453-9287
FX: 410-732-2881 FX: 405-685-9529 FX: 602-294-5926
R.S.V.P. International Barrie House Coffee Taysa Brand, Inc.
 Michaelo Espresso
FX: 206-547-8227 FX: 914-664-3665 FX: 901-373-7091
 FX: 208-548-0767
Gourmet Coffee Roasters S&T/Economy Coffee, Inc. J & J Distributing
 Cora Italian Speci
Dick Sewell Rick Rosen Ron Sills
 Jason Curslo
Walled Lake, MI Parma, OH Ronan, MT
 Countryside, IL
PH: 313-669-1060 PH: 800-878-6479 PH: 406-644-2900
 PH: 708-482-4660
FX: 313-669-1111 FX: 216-267-9228 FX: 406-644-2900 (SAME)
 FX: 708-482-4663
International Beverage Jason Beverage Systems Daymar Corp.
 Udinesse Caffee US
Bob Slater Bud Jason Phyllis Shroyer
 Randy Taylor
Columbus, OH S. Windsor, CT San Diego, CA
 Eugene, OR
PH: 614-451-3968 PH: 203-289=-7478 PH: 619-444-1155
 PH: 800-992-9424
FX: 614-459-2717 FX: 203-528-1613 FX: 619-444-1985
 FX: 503-687-6429
Lisser & James Rothschild Goston A-Vend Country Coffee Company
 Mid-America Coffee
Kate Wise Bernhard Goston Ray Johnson
 Steve Hammerstrom
Ontario, Canada Victoria, Australia Tyler, TX
 Omaha, NE
PH: 800-668-8877 PH: 61-3-842-1187 PH: 800-346-5459
 PH: 800-597-7376
FX: 416-738-8878 FX: 61-3-842-3708 FX: 903-593-2699
COPYRIGHT 1993 Lockwood Trade Journal Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:flavored syrups
Author:Brown, Suzanne J.
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Aug 1, 1993
Previous Article:Trends in flavors and packaging.
Next Article:A look behind the bulk coffee revolution.

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