Hawaiian Shave Ice Pointer #4 (Flavor Quantity)

This section will tell you the basics on how to make a good Hawaiian shave ice! Please feel free to ask questions you may have regarding local shave ice and shave ice in general.
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ShaveIce
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Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:12 pm

Pointer #4
Its all about flavors!

Tip number 4 deals with flavors. For new shave ice business owners, it is hectic enough already finding the right location, getting the machine, practicing shaving the ice, and the last thing you need to worry about is to figure out what flavors to get, where to get it, and how much to carry. Well here I will provide you with a brief explanation and recommendation regarding flavors.

~Number 1- Amount of flavors to carry
The answer to this question depends on what type of business you have and your man power. For starter businesses, I would normally recommend no more than 10 flavors. Regardless of the type of business you may be opening, it could be a store, fund raiser type, mobile, or private party, this rule is pretty standard for beginners. First off, you do not want to start off with too many flavors than you cand handle right off the bat. Unless you are guarantee sure that all the flavors that you will be purchasing be big sellers, we would say start off with less and slowly add on.

For store owners we recommend to carry at least 15 flavors. Shave ice stores are not mobile, and in order to have a good customer draw, you need to give them a good variety and combination since there will be all types of people from different places going to your store.

For mobile businesses that do fund raisers and carnivals, we would recommend no more than 6 flavors. Big events draw big crowds, and you do not want to be bogged down with a long line because customers are not able to decide which flavor they want. Remember that the more options you give, the more think time there is, and therefore the slower it is and longer the line.

For private parties operators, you could choose between 6-12 flavors. Since private parties have a set amount of people, you would not need to worry about the long line problem and you would be able to offer a greater variety.
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ShaveIce
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Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:35 pm

Number 2 - What flavors to carry

The answer to this question goes right after you figured out what the demographic profile your area has.
If your business is new, it is better if you first test the market to see what the demograhic profile of the the people in your area are and what type of flavors they normally prefer. Different places prefer different types of flavor. For example, in Hawaii popular flavors are strawberry, banana, vanilla, lychee, passion fruit, watermelon, melona, li hing mui, coconut. Towards the mainland, we sell alot of the berry flavors like blue berry, black berry, raspberry, boysenberry, and cherry. Adults and kids have differnt tastes as well. Kids would prefer a flavor like bubblegum or cotton candy as opposed to a more adult oriented flavor like raspberry or tangerine. Once you figure out your customer base and what flavors are frequent sellers you can go ahead and order more of that particular type of flavor.

Number 3 - What size should I initially buy? 4oz, pint, or quart?

For local customers we usually recommend to start with pints, since locals can just come by our store to pick up the flavors, they have flexibility when it comes to trial and error. For our mainland customers, the size they start with is really up to them and depends on their budget. They may start with 4oz sample sizes to do their trial and error, and then work up to quart or gallon size concentrates once they know the good sellers. Just remember that you do not want to order a flavor in a large quantity even though it may seem cheaper at first. A flavor that sits idlely is wasted inventory and not good for both the owner and the flavor since they do have a shelf life.

If you really want to start up with a bigger order since it is cheaper inititally, we would recommend you to purchase larger sizes for fail safe flavors. Flavors such as strawberry, banana, vanilla, are fail safe in terms of sales meaning that no matter where you go, those flavors are accepted. You could then order smaller sample sizes of other flavors while you test the waters.

Number 4 - Now that I got my flavors, how much should I make per batch?

A rule to the thumb is to make as much as you would need for the next couple days. Making flavors is like cooking, the fresher it is the better it tastes. We are against making large batches of flavors each time and having it sit for the weeks to come. Not only does this increase the chance of spoilage but also affects the freshness of the flavor. As troublesome as it may seem, freshly made flavors will pay off for your business in the long run.
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Forum for Hawaiian shave ice, shave ice supplies, shave ice flavors, and shave ice machines.
ShaveIce
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Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:35 pm

Number 5- Special formulas?

In Hawaii, a common practice is that shave ice stores combine flavors with their own special secret ingredient. If you have tasted shave ice stores around Hawaii, many of them add their own flare to the flavor that produces a distinct taste. Like expert chefs, two dishes may be called the same but taste totally different. This process of formulating your own niche is purely optional.

Number 6 - There are so many shave ice flavor companies out there, who should I buy from?

This is one question we get fairly often. A customer may buy all of our supplies, but when it comes to our flavors they ponder. What we normally tell our customers is that what company of flavor they choose depends on many factors. It could be particual preferences, tastes, service, support, costs, and etc. Each company's taste differs from that of the next. Some company have strong taste while others have a more mild note. Even flavor colors may vary between companies. However since this is a Hawaiian Snow forum, I would obviouslly recommend our brand of flavors. I am not saying that our flavors are the best out there, but we can guarantee you that our flavors have been around for over 20 years and used by many shave ice stores out there as well as having a very loyal and satisfied following. In the end, it to each his own, and every shave ice store owner will have their say to what the best flavor is out there.
www.shaveiceshaveice.com
Forum for Hawaiian shave ice, shave ice supplies, shave ice flavors, and shave ice machines.
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IceMan326
Posts: 396
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:43 pm

Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:40 am

Very well said. I love HAWAIIAN SNOW! :D
I love Shave Ice, period. :D
ShaveIceSupply
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Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:21 pm

Good job on the write up!
Providing quality shave ice products in Hawaii and all over the mainland for over 20 years. Visit http://www.shaveicesupplies.com.

For current deals and offerings, visit the promotions and prize giveaway forum at www.shaveiceshaveice.com!
capitalist
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:05 pm

Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:55 pm

Flavors are just as important as texture of ice in my opinion. The criteria I use for deciding which flavors to carry are:
1.) Taste
2.) Color
3.) Thickness
4.) Ingredients
Believe it or not, choosing the right flavors to carry can make or break a shave ice store.
sakuragi2012

Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:46 pm

The thread topic is indeed very well detailed post, kudos my friend and God bless TS. :geek:
haoleshaveice

Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:26 pm

Ton of great advice. Thank you for the write up. Could you please give some examples of what might be added to create your own special formulas? Thanks.
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