3 Easy Ideas for Expanding Your Ice Cream Business Year-Round

Expand Your Season with Year-Round Treats

When the ice cream business slows in cold weather, you have three options: close up shop and wait for spring, carry on the same as ever and be grateful to the loyal few who brave the snow, or try something totally new. Your customers still want a sweet treat in the winter, as well as a reason to leave the house. Why not be the one to satisfy their cravings?

Depending on demand, you should still offer either your full menu of ice cream flavors or a just a select few for your diehard fans. It’s worth adding some seasonal variations too, such as pumpkin spice for fall, candy cane for the holiday season, or red velvet for Valentine’s Day. But winter is the time to think outside the cone! Try these ideas to keep the foot traffic coming all year long.

  • You’re already in the business of making waffle cones – it’s not a big step to add a Belgian waffle bakerDecadent and indulgent, Belgian waffles are not difficult to make and can be customized with a variety of toppings, many of which you may already have on hand. Offer this delicious dessert with strawberry sauce and whipped cream, vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of hot fudge, or get more creative and find unusual combinations. You can even make savory snacks like pizza waffles if you’re feeling daring. Find plenty of fun waffle ideas on our Pinterest board.
  • Fudge is a longer-lasting option that’s nearly irresistible when placed in a display case. Having a selection of flavors available for customers is easy with Gold Medal’s Sweet Selections® Fudge Mix. Offer traditional chocolate, vanilla, and peanut butter, and expand into deluxe flavors like maple walnut, chocolate swirl, and praline pumpkin spice.
  • Save some prominent shelf space for gourmet popcorn. Caramel corn has been a favorite treat since the 1800s, and there’s a reason people still love it. The unmistakable aroma and delicious sugary crunch conjure happy childhood memories. Decorative tins of regular, caramel, and cheese corn also make great gifts for customers to pick up for loved ones. You can even incorporate it into other desserts!

New products like these will help get you through the winter and can also supplement sales during the rest of the year. Don’t forget to let your customers know you’re trying new things, though! Spread the word through signage, social media, and ads in local papers so people know your shop is the spot to satisfy their sweet tooth.