In any given two week period, according to research by NPD Group, approximately 40% of Americans will eat ice cream. That is a pretty significant potential customer base. However, as we come into the winter months, there will also be a slight decrease in ice cream consumption. Many ice cream retailers close down for the winter season and consumers simply do not consider it as a dessert option. How can you get ice cream back on their mind and into their shopping cart?
Careful placement where they are already shopping
Most grocery stores set up their aisles to promote sales of certain items. These might be items that are not selling frequently or items that need to quickly be pushed off of the shelf, to make way for new ones. Placement of ice cream and ice cream supplies can push sales, even during the winter months. Place the ice cream dessert cups nearby other frozen items, like pizzas and breakfasts that are still getting sold during the winter months. Also, place the ice cream containers at the beginning of the aisle, so consumers are required to walk by them.
Smaller packages for sale
During the hot, summer months, it makes sense to buy ice cream containers in bulk. The consumer is likely to eat most of it within a couple of weeks, if not days. Many consumers will also purchase it to serve at summer BBQs and backyard parties. In the winter, consumers do not expect to consume as much. Move to smaller ice cream packages that the customer can justify purchasing. Even individual gelato cups or frozen yogurt cups are a great option.
Offer incentives to purchase new items
You don?t have to offer free ice cream to customers to gain attention. Instead, consider discounting ice cream containers. Another effective sales tactic is to offer a discount on ice cream with the purchase of another item, such as chocolate or caramel sauce. You can also offer discounts on items the consumer will need with the dessert, like colored spoons or ice cream cups. About 90% of U.S. households regularly indulge in a sweet, frozen treat. Make sure you are showing them why they should choose your ice cream and ice cream supplies.
Sell in bulk discounts
Because bulk sales decrease during the winter months, it can actually be very effective to sell in bulk discounts. You will still have some customers that purchase their one gallon of ice cream every week. If you put up a sale that offers a buy one, get one half off, most consumers will also purchase the second ice cream gallon. This pushes product off the shelves and prevents you from having to throw out expired ice cream that was never purchased. This is a good method for ice cream flavors that are simply not selling. According to a recent survey of International Ice Cream Association member companies, vanilla remains the most popular flavor among their consumers at 28%. Pushing other flavors with a sale can help you produce income.
Although many Americans continue to consume frozen snacks during the winter months, most stores do see a decline in sales. If you have a large inventory of ice cream containers that you do not want to spoil, make sure you are placing them within easy reach of consumers. Additionally, offer incentives and discounts for buying more than one container of ice cream. Finally, remember to also include dessert toppings and dessert supplies in the sales. You can gain additional income by selling supplies that do not go bad.