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Snow Cones, Shave Ice, and Slushies: The Right Frozen Treats for Your Concession Stand

When you think about ice, you may picture a few cubes floating in your drink. Yet, ice can actually be so much more. When it takes the form of frozen treats like Sno-Kones®, shave ice, or slushies (Frusheez®), ice can become quite the money maker. Not only do these treats provide a cool and refreshing break on a hot day, but they also offer numerous advantages businesses appreciate. Let’s take a closer look at the world of icy treats.


Why Sell Frozen Treats?

Whether you’re an established business or just starting out, adding frozen refreshments to your menu is a smart move. Here’s why:

  • First, frozen treats are simple to prepare and serve. With the right equipment, your prep is minimal. Using a Sno-Kone machine or ice shaver is relatively easy. And a slush machine essentially does all the work for you.
  • Costs per serving are minimal. The syrups or mix, cups, and straws typically amount to less than a dollar per serving.
  • The low costs mean attractive profit margins. Some profit margins are as high as 90%!
  • Snow cones, shave ice, and slushies are popular with all ages, making them highly marketable.
  • There’s a fun factor with frozen treats and they are a staple at summer events, community pools, carnivals, fairs, and amusement parks.


All About Sno-Kones

For over 70 years, Sno-Kones has been the household name for icy treats. Essentially, it is flavored syrups poured over crunchy ice. The ice is shaped like balls and served inside of cone cups. Using a Sno-Kone machine, the ice is crushed in advance, which makes it easy to serve a large number of customers quickly and efficiently. Snow cones are extremely affordable, making them a great option for schools, churches, and sports concession needs.


Sno-Kone machines come in a variety of options to meet any location’s needs. Shave single servings with the Shavette up to 1,000 pounds of ice per hour with the Shavatron. Our most popular model is the Sno-King, known for its eye-catching blue molded plastic cabinet and highly durable design.

The flavor options for Sno-Kones are abundant. The all-time best sellers are cherry and blue raspberry. But customers enjoy the variety of flavors such as tropical coconut, pineapple, or key lime. Other well-liked varieties are root beer, bubble gum, or tiger blood. Plus, there are fruity favorites including strawberry, watermelon, and grape too. There’s something for everybody! Operators can choose from ready-to-use syrups or concentrates, depending on their preference. (Shop Sno-Kone supplies here.)


The Story Behind Shave Ice

Shave ice is often thought of as the more refined version of icy treats. The ice is shaved to have a soft and fluffy consistency and served in a cup with a spoon straw. Each serving is shaved individually, as opposed to snow cones. The fine consistency of the ice holds the flavor well and gives an attractive presentation. Perceived as a more “adult” treat, shave ice is typically priced higher than snow cones, giving it a more substantial profit potential.


When choosing an ice shaver, there are a lot of factors to consider. Among them are the texture/output and long-term reliability of the machine. Gold Medal’s preferred ice shaver is the BluBear®. It includes features that are important to operators, like variable shave settings and a heavy-duty, but quiet motor. For high-volume venues, the Olde New Orleans Block Ice Shaver can hold up to a 12-lb block of ice.


Shave ice is known for its wide variety of flavor combinations. Some are tropically inspired, like blue Hawaii or mango. Others are from the sweet side including vanilla, pink lemonade, or cotton candy. Flavor concentrates allow operators to feature their own preferred signature flavors. (Explore the Hawaii’s Finest line.) As an added attraction, you can mix in ice cream or other ingredients for a complete frozen treat experience, such as orange cream, strawberry cream, or coconut cream. Find the recipes here.


Get to Know Slushies

As a high-volume beverage option, slushies perform very well. Frusheez are produced inside of revolving machines designed to keep the liquid at the proper temperature and freezing capacity. The machine also acts as a visual merchandiser that catches customers’ eyes. In terms of costs, Frusheez is slightly higher than snow cones or shave ice, but the prep is automated, allowing you to serve high quantities easily. Frozen slush is popular across all ages. And for bars and restaurants, you can also consider adding alcohol for adults.


Frusheez frozen slush machines come in single, twin, and triple bowl. The large capacity 3.7-gallon bowls display the product. Some models come with lighted signs to enhance the appearance.


Frusheez mix is available in half-gallon jugs and is ready to use. You can choose from fruity flavors like fruit punch or lemon to seasonal favorites like apple cider or sweet tea. Margarita, piña colada or strawberry daiquiri can also be paired with alcohol added just before serving. Many operators enjoy creating layered drinks using multiple flavors. (If you like frozen drinks, you may also enjoy these recipes for mocktails and slushes.)


Whether you choose Sno-Kones, shave ice, or Frusheez, you’ll enjoy the benefits of quality Gold Medal equipment and endless flavors to satisfy your customers. To learn more, see profit potential estimates, and get product recommendations, download our Guide to Frozen Treats. It is an overview and handy reference for evaluating your options. Then make sure to get connected with a representative who can demo the equipment, consult on your unique needs and budget, and give you insider tips for success.