Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tip #130: Use Nutter Butters to Make Seasonally Themed Treats

Nutter Butters are a delicious treat all by themselves. This week’s tip is to take this beloved favorite cookie, dip it in chocolate and create seasonally themed products throughout the year. Below are a few ideas but the possibilities are endless. Therefore, let these ideas just be a starting point for your creativity!



Ice Cream Cone


Flip Flops

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tip #129: Host a Pinterest Party at Your Store

Have you heard of a Pinterest party? Based on ideas found on the online idea-sharing board, Pinterest, it’s a chance for “pinners” to get together for a time of crafty fun. They get the chance to bring ideas to life that they’ve found on Pinterest.

Hosting a candy-themed Pinterest party at your store is a great way to get new potential customers in your store and to showcase that your products make great gifts and crafts. You can choose some great pins from Pinterest and then create a space in your store to allow customers to get crafty.

After a quick Pinterest search for candy themed gifts and crafts, we found the following ideas to get you started:

Lollipop Bouquet
Jelly Bean Bracelets
Candy Chicks
Candy Ornaments
So, how do you host a Pinterest party? There are a variety of ways! You could make it an all-day event; customers can drop in at their leisure to make a fun candy themed craft. Or, make it a more formal event that requires signing up ahead of time. Of course, which way you decide to do that will help determine your craft. A simple craft is better for drop-ins and a more involved craft is better for the latter. Either way, provide a coupon or shopping discount for purchases made in your store by anyone who participates in the party.

Happy Pinning!

P.S. We're in St. Louis this week for the RCI Annual Convention & Industry Expo. Check out photos on our Facebook page throughout the week!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tip #128: Use a Heat Gun to Quickly Melt Wafers for Seeding

This week’s tip is quick and easy and may save yourself a headache as you temper chocolate in small batch tempering machines.

Are you using chocolate wafers as seed for your tempering unit? Before putting them in the feed of the tempering machine, quickly (don’t overheat!) use a heat gun on them to form one large clump or block of wafers. By doing this, you will help keep the wafers from sneaking through the blade and over-tempering your chocolate.

See? Quick and easy!

This week’s tip was shared during our Chocolate Boot Camp education course. RCI will be hosting a Creams, Fondants & Fudges course August 5-7 in Dayton, Ohio. Visit retailconfectioners.org/events to stay up-to-date with RCI's education course offerings in the coming year.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tip #127: Spark Creativity with a Mind Map

Looking for ideas to get the creative juices flowing? This week’s tip is to use a mind map to spark creativity!

What is a mind map? It’s a diagram used to visually outline information. Typically it begins with a word, image or phrase in the center and then other ideas and images branch out from the center across the page.  One of the key benefits of a mind map is that an idea doesn’t have to be full or complete or even in sentence form in order to be displayed. The idea is that the process of a mind map resembles how your brain actually works!

Tips for an effective mind map:
  • Start with a large piece of paper (Give your brain room to think!)
  • Use images, not just words
  • Vary the size, color and alignment of your images and text
  • Keep topics and labels short (Think big picture.)
Mind maps are useful tools for individual creativity and also can help to get creative ideas flowing among a team of people. In your next team brainstorming session, consider using a whiteboard or oversized Post-it to map out ideas as they’re given and see where mind mapping can take you! If you prefer tech tools to paper versions, check out MindMeld or Mindmeister.

P.S. There is still time to register to join us at the RCI Annual Convention & Industry Expo! Register online now to meet fellow confectioners and suppliers June 16-20 in St. Louis.