Remember the excitement you felt at hearing the ice cream truck coming down the street on hot summer days as a kid? Begging your parents for a few dollars for that sweet treat. Your mouth watering in anticipation. Even now I still get a little excited at hearing that familiar melody. And you can never get too much ice cream, as far am I’m concerned. And, nowadays everyone can enjoy as you can find it made with non-dairy ingredients. No more worrying about lactose intolerance and digestive issues! Ice cream has a huge market, given its massive popularity. So, if you want to cash in on your sweet tooth, then keep reading. We’re here to show you how to make money selling ice cream.
How to Get Started
If you’ve never made your own ice cream, now ‘s the time to start. Modern appliances make it super easy. They come in a few different styles and sizes, depending on how big a batch you’re making.
Try out at least a few different recipes and choose your favorites. Be as creative as you want. Then choose a few you think will be really popular. There’s lots of competition out there, so you’ll want to find a way to make it unique too. What is it about your ice cream that makes it stand out? Is it made using specialty ingredients, like goat sheep’s milk? Or maybe it’s a totally new flavor.
Fine-tune Your Recipes
Once you’ve made your selections take more time to perfect your recipes. See if there’s anything missing. Adjust the texture. Play with the amounts of the ingredients. Test out your creations on friends and family. Think of them as focus groups and get feedback until everything is just right. You’ll be facing stiff competition.
Next, you’ll want to decide on your strategy will be. You’ve got a few options. Are you willing to risk going it alone for more the chance of greater success? Do you want try partnering with large manufacturers for a cut of their profits? Or, would you rather sacrifice the chance to make more money by limiting sales to smaller events?
Start Your Own Brand
Setting up your own operation carries the most financial risk, but it also has the greatest potential reward, if you’re successful. You might need some outside investment to get going. And there’s no guarantee you’ll make it big. But you won’t be under anyone else’s control. Smaller brands have made it to the top of industry. Just look at Ben & Jerry’s. It’s going to take lots of hard work and publicity to make it to the frozen foods section in the grocery store. There’s plenty of competition from independent producers fighting for shelf space too. Connect with the right people and you’ll better your chances.
Approach the Competition
Try teaming up with the big names for a safer alternative to doing it yourself. Create new flavor profiles that you think people will like. Then offer to sell your recipes to the big names, like Breyers and Haagen-Dazs. They might even hire you to dream up future concoctions. Joining the competition is definitely a safer bet, but you might not meet with much success. It’s like sending a demo tape to a record label. And there’s nothing stopping the opposition from stealing your ideas. As long as they’re not using your exact patented recipes, they can freely use it as inspiration for their own creations.
Partner with Restaurants
Approaching local restaurants and cafes is a good idea if you’re looking for more control. Offer to supply them with your desserts in exchange for a share of their sales. You’ll probably have more luck with smaller businesses at first, because the large ones won’t be interested in dealing with such a small-time operation. That’s better for you too as it’s harder keeping up with capacity on such a large scale. Gradually though, you can expand and branch out.
If you really want to keep things small, then stick to selling ice cream at street fairs and other special events. You might need to obtain a food vending license to sell at certain locations. This option is less stressful but results in lower returns. But it can be more fun too as you get to engage with people and just enjoy yourself. You should be careful managing your supplies and inventory though. Working with food can be tricky. It spoils quickly and you can risk blowing your margins.
Open an Ice Cream Shop
This is another relatively easy, less stressful alternative than some of the other options. Opening your own little ice cream shop lets you be in control, without a massive investment. You can spend more on setup costs if you want to go all out, but it’s up to you. It also helps if you have a friend or relative to work with. One of you working up front, while the other manages things behind the scenes. People like supporting local small businesses. And if your successful, you could eventually expand your business and really make a name for yourself.
Ice cream is more than just a nice treat in the hot weather. It never gets old and is popular all year-round. And it’s a great potential money-maker as well. Sales will keep going up as new flavors are constantly popping up. So, why not be a part of it?
Would you rather just keep eating ice cream without all the work? Don’t worry! We’ve got other easy ways to make a living. Check out our list of easy ways beginners can make money online.