PRE-PACKAGED TO GO SLUSHIES ARE ABSOLUTELY BOOMING NOW!!!!!
Wineries all across the country are experiencing the To Go Slushie phenomenon. It literally exploded during the pandemic. Since most tasting rooms were closed at that time, the only way wineries could sell products was for take out or curbside pickups or deliveries. This situation spawned the To Go Slushie explosion. I'm proud to say that we were among the pioneers of this trend.
"Even though we're closed we're still selling that slushy mix like crazy!!! Can we have four more bulk boxes of slushy powder and a total of 200 empty red pouches?
TWO WEEKS LATER.......
"We sold 950 twelve oz. servings of slushies this weekend!!!!!!! Can you please send 4 bulk boxes of slushy mix?
Years ago in 2010 when I started selling my Vino Slush wine slushie mix I told my winery customers that my ingredients were formulated in such a way as to allow them to make pre-packaged wine slushies "To Go". And there are several huge advantages to selling them FROZEN or at ROOM TEMPERATURE as opposed to the version right out of your machine.
I explained that instead of a customer only drinking your wine slushies at your winery, they can now also enjoy them at home any time they like. This means that instead of a customer buying only one slushie (or maybe two) to drink on site, they might also now buy another half dozen more to take home if you had a large selection to offer them (and maybe a volume discount).
KEY TO SUCCESS WITH PRE-PACKAGED TO GO SLUSHIES!
The key to success with the To Go Slushies is based on one simple procedure.
PRE-PACKAGE THEM BEFORE YOU SELL THEM!
(Don't sell them right out of your machine.)
And build up a large selection of slushie
flavors in advance to offer your customers.
There are three big problems with a regular To Go Slushie that you pour right out of the drink machine and hand them to your customer.
PROBLEM ONE - The customer has the opportunity to drink it on the way home. You do NOT want your customers to drink and drive.
PROBLEM TWO - The slushie will melt on the way home.
PROBLEM THREE - You only have the opportunity to offer your customers the flavors of slushies you have in your machine at the time. Obviously a very limited selection.
HERE'S HOW PRE-PACKAGING THE SLUSHIES
SOLVES THESE PROBLEMS.
SOLUTION ONE - You have two options here. You can FREEZE the slushie. Or sell them thawed at ROOM TEMPERATURE.
When you FREEZE the slushie, they can't drink and drive because it's frozen.
Or if you sell them at ROOM TEMPERATURE , they won't want to drink and drive because it's not frozen - it's just luke warm juice.
SOLUTION TWO - If you are selling it frozen, by the time they get home the FROZEN slushie should have thawed just enough to be ready to be consumed. It won't be completely melted so they can drink it right away if they wish (or stick it in their freezer). So frozen would be your first choice if you have the freezer space.
Or, if you are selling them thawed at ROOM TEMPERATURE, all they have to do is stick them in the freezer when they get home. They won't be able to drink them right away until they freeze, but if you are short on freezer space it's an easy, acceptable alternative .
SOLUTION THREE - So, both of those problems listed above are eliminated. Now here is the easy way to improve on the limited selections of flavors of slushies - all because they are PRE-PACKAGED. It's easy to add thousands of more dollars of profit to your bottom line - just because your To Go Slushies are PRE-PACKAGED - either frozen or thawed. Here's how you do it.
TO MAKE A LOT MORE MONEY you need to offer many more flavors of slushies other than the ones you have in your drink machine on any given day. The more flavors you have for them to select from, the more you are going to sell. So, to easily accomplish this, simply do the following.
You just pour the slushie from your frozen drink machine or a blender into a disposable cup or container with a lid or a disposable pouch and stick it in your freezer, or if you are lacking freezer space, store them at room temperature in any handy storage area. You could also stick a label on the container or pouch with your logo, name, flavor and other info. (You at least want the flavor listed.)
Then let's say on Monday you have two different flavors in your machine. Make up a half dozen slushies of each flavor and stick them in your freezer or storage area. Then the next time you change flavors, make up another half dozen slushies of each flavor and do the same.
Keep continuing to do this every time you change flavors until you have lots of different flavors stocked up. Now you have a large selection of PRE-PACKAGED slushie flavors to offer your customers - every day!
Now, how does this make you extra money? Two ways!
ONE - The first way is because you have a large selection of flavors to offer, your customers are going to order more To Go Slushies. Your take out sales are going to grow. You have to promote it though.
- You and your staff should mention verbally that you have To Go Slushies available.
- You should have a sign posted to promote the To Go Slushies.
- And you should show them a list of the different flavors you have available. They can take their time studying the list to decide which ones they want. (If you tell them verbally they won't be able to keep them all straight in their heads. And they will be too embarrassed to ask you to repeat the list and you will lose sales.)
You can even use frozen slushies to offer samples of all the different flavors you have. Thaw one of each flavor until it's thawed enough to be sampled at the proper consistency. Then keep it in the refrigerator to keep it from completely thawing. If it finally does thaw too much (until it's just juice) simply stick it back into the freezer and start over with a new frozen one again. Just keep rotating them in and out of the freezer or refrigerator as needed. As you already know - sampling sells!
Now, to increase the volume of your To Go Slushie sales you need to put the "customer's incentive to buy" into overdrive! This is critical. You do this by offering a deep discount on the price of your To Go Slushies.
For example if they buy three or more To Go Slushies, they get them for half price or 25% off, or they get another one FREE or whatever the special deal might be. And it doesn't have to be three. It could be four or more, or five or more, etc. The better the deal, the more you will sell. (Be sure to advise the customer that the To Go Slushies cannot be consumed at the winery when purchased with the special promotion.) You could also offer half price To Go Slushies only during your slow periods of the day or evenings.
TWO - Now, at first glance discounting your To Go Slushies may seem foolish. True, you are not going to make as much profit up front by discounting. Where you are going to make more money is on the "back end".
When you do this discount pricing, several things come into play. One is you are going to do more volume, that's for sure. That's probably going to make up for a major portion of the "lost " income. The better the discount the greater increase in sales. Half price deals are the best.
In a few months time word will spread like wildfire about your winery's half price To Go Slushies or whatever your special discount is. And if the special discount is stupendous people are going to be buying not only for themselves, but for their friends, neighbors, family, etc. Your winery will become "the place to go" for To Go Slushies. (One of my winery customers told me one of his customers recently ordered 12 To Go Slushies).
And everything I have learned from my winery customers says doing this will not hurt the sales of your on-site regular slushie sales at your regular price. No need to discount those slushies.
HERE'S THE "BACK END" - So, what else comes into play when you discount your To Go Slushies and it increases your take out volume? Remember, when one of your customers buys six or eight FROZEN To Go Slushies (mostly due to the discounted pricing) They are going to be tasting several flavors of your wines that they may not or probably would not have tasted at your winery. Especially in the form of a slushie.
The more exposure you have of customers tasting your slushies and therefore tasting your wines, the more they are going to come back to buy more of your wines. And don't forget for every new slushie flavor they like they are not only going to buy more of your wines, but they will also buy more of your take home pouches of your wine slush mix. This all adds up to more sales.
So, the "Back End" is that discounting your To Go Slushies prices increases your volume of take out sales which in turn dramatically increases the volume of your wine sales and take home pouches of your wine slushie mix. All of which more than makes up for the smaller profits of the discounted To Go Slushies. The bigger profits are on the "back end", not the discounted slushies.
The To Go Slushies have become a block buster money maker at wineries throughout the country. Even through the pandemic many of my customers have had the biggest year in terms of gross sales since they have been in business. Some have been up 50% over previous years - and it's all been because of the To Go Slushie mania.
The To Go Slushies are being packaged and sold in individual serving sizes, all the way up to half gallon and full gallons in jugs and special pouches. One of my customers even has their wine distributor selling the thawed To Go Slushies.
If you are not on the bandwagon, you should get on it. There is no easier way to increase your sales than with To Go Slushies. And make sure they are the PRE-PACKAGED versions!
Now, here are some ideas from some of my customers......
When the Coronavirus came upon us, wineries were forced to shut down except for take out and home delivery. I knew that my winery customers needed as much sales as possible to survive during this difficult time, so I sent out an email to all of them alerting them about this option. (Obviously, you can sell to go slushies year round during normal operations too.)
Shortly after sending out the email I heard back from one of my wonderful customers:
The freezer idea was brilliant! We've been doing a ton of those right now. We're doing delivery on them.
I followed up with Mark to get some additional details
- He is using 12 oz. cups with the lids from GFS. He puts a sticker over the straw hole to "seal" it from leaking.
(There are many other kinds of cups and containers with lids on the Internet. Ice cream cups - pint size maybe - with lids are more insulated and therefore would take longer to thaw, plus, since they are made of paper instead of plastic, labels or stickers would stick to them much better. There are also special plastic pouches especially made for liquids available on the Internet. These are especially good for half gallons and full gallon sales.)
- He does not brand the cups or lids with logo labels although it's easy to do so.
- He charges $6.00 each, the same price as he charges for regular slushies served on site.
- If they are completely frozen they take about 20 minutes to start to thaw.
- He's selling a LOT OF THEM. They are a huge hit for him at his winery.
(This type of packaging would not be good for
selling the thawed version. They would leak.)
The pictures above shows a little different approach from another of my customers. He sells a large version of his frozen slushie - a 32 oz. jar which is equal to four of his in house regular 8 oz. slushies. He sells them for $18.00 each, which means the customer gets four slushies for the price of three. One FREE slushie!
He buys the jars and lids from Uline. He buys 126 containers for $200.00 (food grade) and received them within 24 hours. He even shrink wraps around the outside of the lid to prevent leakage.
Here's another good idea from one of my customers.
They sell their mug with their logo on it that also has a screw on lid. The transparency of the clear glass highlights the color of the slushie and makes it look fabulous. The screw on lid prevents any leakage and the logo makes for a very classy presentation.They sell the mug for $2.00 and the drink for $6.00. Customers bring back the mug and have it refilled over and over again. Free ongoing marketing - a great idea!
This customer sells a 15 ounce slushie for $9.00. This larger size of 15 ounces allows you to make an even larger profit per serving.
And here's another great idea below from the same customer.
KIDDIE SLUSHIES also 15 oz.
The picture below shows a fantastic way to market your To Go Slushies. Tight fitting lids, colorful and allows the pretty colors to show through. And the logo puts this in a class by itself.
Here's another idea that might strike your fancy!
Here's a new idea from another customer. My customers are very creative.
Yes, they actually serve a full half gallon wine slushie served in a milk jug for $25.00! The owner orders the empty jugs from a dairy supply source. Another variation of this would be to use transparent jugs (kind of a frosty coloring) that would allow the colors of the slushies to show through.
Here's another take on the half gallon version from one of my customers. They sell this half gallon slushie for $42.00!
Now, the latest craze is offering giant sized half gallon and full gallon slushies. Some use empty milk jugs and some use these handy spouted bags made just for this purpose. Search for "spouted plastic drink pouches" on Google.
And although the item below is not a To Go Slushie, it is a great idea for take out / pick up service.
Make sure sure you promote your wine slushies TO GO on your website, Facebook page, emails and customer lists.
PLEASE NOTE: Not all slush mixes are the same. My Vino Slush wine slush mix has a formula that works as a frozen wine slushie, a thawed wine slushie and as well as a regular wine slushie right out of your machine. For best results, set your frozen drink machine on its coldest setting.
If you want to deliver frozen slushies (along with your wines) to your customers you can transport them in an ordinary ice chest using reusable freezer packs. This way they will only thaw very little by the time you get to your customer's house.
WINE SLUSHIES TO GO: Using my Vino Slush can become a huge hit for your winery also. They are a year round concept that is easy to implement and and can add thousands of dollars to your gross sales year after year. I am happy to have been a pioneer for wine slushies many years ago. Very few people had ever heard of them when I started selling my Vino Slush wine slush mix in 2010. Now, I'm paving the way for the next big trend with wine slushies - a take home product made from your own wines in a variety of flavors that is easy to up-sell.
It's popular. It's profitable. It's a WINNER! Try it.
And by the way, don't forget during cold weather you can also sell HOT MULLED WINE TO GO using our WINE MULLING SPICES. It works with any kind of wine also!
Thank you to my customers for the pictures shown above and their stories. Continued success to you, my friends!