President Ronald Reagan declared July National Ice Cream Month in 1984. He also specified that the third Sunday in July, which is July 19 this year, is National Ice Cream Day. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, Reagan touted ice cream as a fun, nutritious food that deserves to be celebrated, and it still is. So how will your grocery store take advantage of this national holiday?
Stock up on old favorites
Strawberry, chocolate and vanilla ice cream will never go out of style. But all kinds of other flavors have entered the ice cream arena over the years and have turned into staples in every grocery store freezer and ice cream parlor menu. Make sure that your store has flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough, mint chocolate chip, moose tracks, pistachio and black raspberry so customers can find their favorites. Revamp your product signage to call attention to these classic flavors. You may also want to offer month-long coupons.
Provide new creations
No one said you have to stick to the basics when it comes to ice cream: Try branching out with creative new flavors that you think shoppers will be interested in trying. You could put a seasonal spin on your offerings with things like peach cobbler, apple pie or blueberry ice cream (July is also National July Belongs to Blueberries Month). Or, get a little exotic with hibiscus, green tea or chocolate chili pepper ice cream. Whatever flavors you add to your selection, be sure to provide samples for your customers. You’ll need appropriate food service equipment to keep it cold, as well as labels so shoppers know what they’re tasting.
Many people can’t or don’t eat ice cream made from cow’s milk, so offer a few alternatives to those who are lactose intolerant or follow a vegan lifestyle. Almond, coconut, soy and hemp milks are all tasty options that you may want to explore, and they work with many of the same flavors as traditional ice cream.
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