If you’re selling soft serve at your establishment, you’re aware of how profitable it can be and how a soft serve machine can serve as a cash cow for your business. Soft serve comes in two different types: powdered and liquid. Choosing the right product for your business is crucial to ensure that you are getting the most out of your machine and leaving your customers satisfied, while also making as much money as possible. In this article, we’re going to go over a few of the differences between powdered and liquid soft serve which will hopefully be helpful for when you’re deciding which product is more suitable for your business.
PACKAGING & EASE OF USE
Firstly, it’s important to understand how both products are contained. Liquid soft serve comes in a liquid form and is usually packaged in a bag with a spout or a plastic container, such as a gallon jug. This type of soft serve is premixed and ready to use, meaning it can be poured directly into your Spaceman machine. Powdered soft serve on the other hand usually comes in a sealed plastic bag. Powdered soft serve is not ready to use, meaning you need to mix it with either water, milk, or another liquid that the directions suggest. If you are using powdered soft serve mix, it is important to mix the powder and liquid thoroughly to ensure there are no clumps of powder stuck together. To do this, we recommend using an immersion blender and a large bucket. If the mix is not mixed sufficiently, you will risk clogging the machine’s air tube, which will prevent product from entering the freezing cylinder from the hopper, so make sure it’s mixed adequately before pouring the mix into your machine!
Another important point to note is that liquid product will be cold when you receive it and you will need to keep it stored in a freezer until you’re ready to use it. The frozen product will then need to thaw out for about 24-48 hours in a refrigerator before you add it to your machine. This means that when you add it to your Spaceman machine it will already be cold, which is ideal. Powdered soft serve, however, will not be cold when you mix it with liquid. Even if you are using cold water or milk, your mix will still not be as cold as it would be if you refrigerated the mix before adding it to your machine. We highly recommend prechilling the mix in the fridge for a few hours before adding it to your Spaceman machine and keeping a few batches in the fridge for backup, so you have them on hand if your machine hits low mix during busy business hours.
There is typically a price difference between liquid and powdered soft serve that may be a dealbreaker to some. Liquid product usually costs more than powdered product. Since liquid product is not concentrated and has the total volume already, there are additional costs associated with the shipping, distribution, and storage of the product – not to mention the shipping and distribution must be refrigerated. There may also be additional cost due to the higher butterfat content that is found in liquid soft serve. Butterfat is just another word for the milk fat percentage in soft serve. Powdered soft serve is easier to transport than liquid soft serve, since it does not require refrigeration and is concentrated (meaning you add the water, milk, or add-ins at the store location). Don’t forget to add in the cost of add-ins needed to prepare your powder product to your calculations..
TASTE & TEXTURE
Now let’s move on to one of the most important deciding factors – taste! Personally, we’ve never tasted bad soft serve, but it all comes down to personal preference! Liquid soft serve is typically creamier than its powdery counterpart, and that’s again, because of the butterfat content. If you sampled both liquid and powdered soft serve, you would find that the liquid is typically more rich, creamy, and smooth. You can think of liquid soft serve as a more premium product compared to powdered, but not everyone is on the hunt for premium product. Some just want airy and fluffy soft serve, and powdered can certainly deliver that! There are of course exceptions to the rule and some suppliers of premium dry/powder mixes require you to mix it yogurt/milk/cream or other add ins at your store.
Lastly, we want to talk about the shelf life for both soft serve options. The shelf life for powdered soft serve is longer than liquid and does not require refrigerator or freezer space. You can keep powdered soft serve on a shelf for anywhere between 12-24 months, and it will remain good until you mix it with water or milk. Once you mix it with liquid, the product can stay good for around a week in the refrigerator. If you don’t have the refrigeration space for liquid product, powdered is most likely the way to go. You can keep it in a closet or pantry until you’re ready to use it. Liquid product, on the other hand, has a shorter shelf life. Again, this product must stay in a freezer until you’re ready to thaw it out and use it in your machine. Once thawed, this product will stay good for around 7-14 days* in the refrigerator, like powdered product.
*Always check with the supplier and local health code to determine actual times.
We hope this article has helped you to understand the many differences between liquid and powdered soft serve. Both have pros and cons, but depending on your business goals, it’s important to choose the product that will be the most beneficial for you and your customers. If you have any questions or need some guidance, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!