Saturday, May 6, 2017

Innovations in Dessert Delivery

Recently, groups of protesters marched in streets across the nation on behalf of science. And, as many of them know, standing up for a cause must never stop at a march or a Facebook update or a post to one’s ice cream blog. We must champion scientific innovation and vote with our dollars. For that reason, I present to you a an adaptation of a Powerpoint report I did at work on the Innovations in Dessert Delivery, some of the most important scientific studies being done today in service to humanity.

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Trends come and go in the world of sweets: cupcakes are not as hot as maple bacon doughnuts are not as hot as cronuts. But sometimes innovative product delivery can be just as effective for boosting sales as innovative products.

Once upon a time, someone (possibly Albert Doumar) imagined a method of eating ice cream that eliminated waste and was good for on-the-go. Over a century later, the ice cream cone is part of ice cream culture both domestically and internationally.

Here are some of the interesting trends in how dessert is delivered to the consumer. Some still involve a customer service medium:

Made-to-order: This in-store trend has been big for a decade now, whether regional doughnut chains like Duck Donuts and Fractured Prune, a global chain like Cold Stone mixing whatever you like into the ice cream flavor of your choice or an Asian cream puff chain that focuses on natural ingredients. spreading to America, Beard Papa's.

Serve yourself: Taking a page from those tasteful soft-serve sundae bars at buffets, frozen yogurt chains are letting customers choose how much froyo and toppings they want, combining as many flavors as they want. All the people behind the counter have to do is weigh the customer's custom sundae and collect their money...and clean up the mess that soccer team made of the birthday cake/cotton candy twist machine.

Delivered to your home: Cookies straight to your door, for those late night, um, studying sessions. Originally founded with college campuses in mind, working adults can see the benefits of Insomnia Cookies' late-night delivery, too.

Others eliminate customer service altogether:

Vending machine: Ice cream vending machines have been casting their glow on airport breezeways for years now, but now regional chains are entering the market. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams now has an ice cream vending machine in the Columbus, Ohio airport and Ted Drewe's has one in the St. Louis airport.

ATM: Just as cupcakes are a cutesy dessert that has cashed in on style-before-substance nostalgia, the Sprinkles' Cupcake ATM seems a perfect method for a not-quite-adult to delight in their empty calories while getting their dessert in a method that's like Fisher Price Talking Elmo ATM meets Easy-Bake oven, all so willing consumers can stand in line to be treated like the insipid children that they are. The ATM is even bright pink!

Gumball machine: Playing the nostalgia card in a different way, New York's Baked by Melissa created cupcake gumball machine for events rental.

One has to wonder the next innovation to be imagined and made real by dessert scientists. What do you think it will be?

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