As the days get shorter and colder, customers naturally look for the yummy comfort of hot drinks, such as Ghirardelli's hot cocoa. Having premium products on the menu helps restaurants stand apart from competitors. What's more, Ghirardelli's products provide sweet decadence that customers will want to come back to experience again.
While the delicious taste of smooth chocolate can help brighten the winter days a little, restaurants can extend that value by incorporating Ghirardelli's Dark Chocolate Sweet Ground Powder or Hot Cocoa Mix into additional offerings year-round. With simple ways to add Ghirardelli into current recipes, restaurants can create excitement and increase variety to the menu without creating a burden for operators or staff.
Premium products attract customers
Ghirardelli has strong brand recognition with customers, with 92% brand awareness. Three out of every 10 households recently purchased the Ghirardelli brand. It's no wonder. Premium ingredients offer a better experience — and not just for consumers, said Chris Eklem, Vice President of Professional Products at Ghirardelli. "Starting with high-quality ingredients, it takes less effort for operators to deliver great taste in the finished dessert or beverage."
Offering premium products creates a halo effect for the restaurants, Eklem added. "It can change the way consumers view the restaurant — turning a value meal into a premium one." Technomic research found that consumers are willing to order more food and pay more if a restaurant were to offer Ghirardelli items, Eklem said. Additionally, 81% of consumers surveyed said they would think the restaurant served higher-quality products if it offered Ghirardelli's products, and 70% of consumers said they would be more likely to recommend a restaurant that offered the products.1
Why Ghirardelli excels in satisfying the sweet tooth
Although having premium products on the menu attracts customers, the quality and taste of those products are what will keep customers returning. Ghirardelli is known for both. Its chocolate's cocoa beans are 100% traceable and verified, Eklem explained. "We're committed to the highest quality standards, and we produce chocolate from bean-to-bar or bean-to-chip at our San Francisco Bay Area facilities. Our beverage products like hot cocoa and frappe mixes also use non-GMO ingredients and deliver a decadent experience without artificial flavors or colors." Eklem added that these aspects are increasingly important to the discerning consumer.
Keeping the menu fresh but simple
Restaurant operators and teams juggle a lot of responsibilities, often while short-staffed. At the same time, they must tweak the menu to keep it fresh and exciting for consumers. The key is to offer easy-to-execute options that don't compromise on taste or the customer experience, Eklem said. They also need versatile products for multiple uses. To that end, restaurants can do a lot with Ghirardelli products, he added. "Serve Ghirardelli hot or cold and keep things fresh on the menu while still minimizing the number of ingredients used."
One specialty coffee customer kept their menu fresh by running a promotion on National Mocha Day that featured Ghirardelli Chocolate Sweet Ground Powder as an add-in, Eklem said. "By referencing our partnership and the Ghirardelli ingredient on social media and other channels, they saw over 100% lift on mocha sales."
Easy ways to incorporate Ghirardelli's hot cocoa into existing menu items year-round
With simple tweaks, add variety to the menu with Ghirardelli's hot cocoa mix or chocolate sweet ground powder:
- Mix Ghirardelli hot cocoa mix with espresso or hot coffee to make a quick, velvety mocha.
- Blend Ghirardelli's hot cocoa mix with ice and milk or water for a frozen treat.
- Add Ghirardelli's hot cocoa to espresso or hot coffee and serve over ice for a refreshing iced mocha beverage any day.
- Decorate beverages and desserts with a dusting of hot cocoa mix or sweet ground powder.
- Add a sprinkle of cinnamon to the hot cocoa mix for a taste of Mexican hot chocolate.
- Add sweet ground powder as an ingredient in pancakes, brownies or milkshakes.
Hot cocoa isn't just for cold, snowy days anymore. Customers look for different ways to get their chocolate fix year-round. When restaurants add Ghirardelli to recipes, they give the customers the indulgence they seek. At the same time, they attract new and returning customers by elevating their menus and brands with minimal effort.
- Technomic, "Ghirardelli Brand Equity Study," 2020.