Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Creating a Profit with Novelty Drinks

Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino by Bustle.com

(7/11/2017) --- Let's face it, all of us we had tried these novelty drinks at a certain point of lives; we even get involved whenever there is a new novelty item at your favorite fast food join. I got obsessed with the steak doubledillas at Taco Bell and eventually later they became an item in the regular menu; albeit, their breakfast menu sucks a lot.

Everyone remembers the craze that happened earlier this year with the Unicorn Frapuccino (1) that Starbucks released for an extremely short time, that was the preamble of what the summer drinks would become. It seems almost every year, developers at chains develop more crazy concoctions that anyone can ever imagine but at the end these things have one element in common to bring more revenue to the different companies.

There are some interesting aspects about these beverages, from different marketing and commercial perspectives that involves a hybrid use of product placement and social media, by executing some free publicity with some crazy hashtag that will bring more customers in to their different locations. Of course, there is a minor backlash, that it can also bring some negative publicity if an influencer doesn’t like the product.

These hand-crafted beverages bring customers who want to quench their thirst or try something new, but how this drinks that involve sweetness and creaminess often bring sentiments of nostalgia of the childhood in which people enjoyed their summers in a carefree manner; it is imperative to know even in this era where the sales are in a decline (2)

The offers are wide varied in names and product, such as the unicorns, Lucky Charms to Mango Iced Teas, in which the struggle to bring more people and spend on their services has become difficult (3). Imagine you go to any commercial plaza, there is a Best Buy or your favorite supermarket and around it there are plenty of other business. Each business is competing with each other, and the customer is the one who has the ultimate choice.

This is a mere offer and demand game, mixed with some ideologies that borderline into the pseudo-scientific side that consumers can reach with one click in Facebook which can also affect the restaurants and fast food chains revenues. Some people would say there is nothing wrong with an informed consumer but in reality, an informed consumer can be as ignorant as any other consumer that is moved by trends in the market.

Yes, there is nothing healthy within these drinks but with moderation and if you don't have any gastrointestinal or neurological issues, you can still enjoy eating outside. As anything packed with lots of sugar, calories and coloring's, constant consuming of this items of course will bring some consequences to the body.

The game play of this drinks is a mere mechanic to make the customers, regular customers and try to "hook them" into purchasing more than a drink. Think how many times you go inside a restaurant or any franchise location, you ended up seeing a novelty drink and then you think what can goes good with it? Maybe you buy a bagel or something sweet as a slice of cake that surely the place made there or in the case of the franchise it's promoting a local business by offering their products over the counter.

The drinks themselves should be very unique, follow a pattern that it will appeal to the consumers really quickly and they will promote it on social media, as is the niche for a much bigger marketing and advertising field. The creation of this drinks is almost as a piece of visual art, they must be colorful and catchy, they have to conquer the eye first before going straight to the stomach but also on the branding, the companies have to put the time frame on a limited time to influx the people into a frenzy.


  1. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/frappuccino-blended-beverages/unicorn-frappuccino-blended-cr%C3%A8me
  2. http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-the-slow-decline-of-fast-food-in-america-2014-11
  3. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/20/many-restaurant-chains-still-strugglng/96840038/

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Zambia Smokehouse Amazing Place at Busch Gardens

Zambia Smokehouse
(317/2017) --- OMG! I need to try much of the menu of this place in Busch Gardens, is probably one of the best ones in the park. It is just nice to enjoy some smoke meat around the rides and just watch people have fun.

One aspect whenever you live in an area where you can find theme parks and you don't go as a tourist, you have enough time to go and explore every single little detail of each theme park. I guess my next goal when I am more in depth with Busch Gardens Tampa, is to go and finally explore the main parks of Walt Disney World.

Many years ago, I had an idea into creating a blog, where not only I would talk about the rides or the theme park events, but also about the food you can find. Yes, theme park food has a fame of being "bland" or bad, but whenever you have the time to try the menu's you can find some fascinating stuff as well different options to enjoy while you visit the parks.

Another aspect that I always find fascinating is that whenever you go to the theme parks as a local, you can enjoy and see what people are doing. Is kind of odd to say it, but to sit down while enjoying a coffee, snack or something to eat is just fascinating to see what people are doing. I enjoy watching the large groups of tourist or the families that go and spend the day in one section of the park, the teenagers who are riding the coasters for a first time or the elderly who sit and enjoy.

Beverage Menu
Is such a different feeling to go as someone who has no limited set amount of time to know the park in depth. The Zambia Smokehouse, is one of those places that is worth when you live in the area and you like theme parks, to go and eat different items of the menu.

Zambia, offers some of the stuff that can be found around the park such as the pudding's and other sweets, but is the only place in Bush Gardens that offers a smoke option to the food. The brisket from what I heard I know is nice, but I went for the smoked chicken, it was one of those situations I wanted to play safe.

Smoked Chicken with Fries and Bun
The smoked chicken wasn't bad, but I feel it was finished cook on the oven rather than to be smoked; but I won't deny the next time I go I will try the brisket because it looked amazing when I was in line but I already made my mind.

One of the things I enjoy about eating outside is to see the different options, but I do not enjoy where there are some misleading product placement and people are "hooked" into the restaurant by observing an idea that doesn't probably apply fully, in this case having some smoked products outside which they look amazing but the real deal fails on some extent.

The kid menu doesn't seem that bad, it offer some nuggets and smoked turkey, which it doesn't sound bad to try it also. If you go, try to find the meal program that you pay US$20 (aprox) per person and you can eat all day, is per person but is not bad if you are in large groups, but if you are by yourself and spending an afternoon is not worth it, mostly if you are going to eat lunch or dinner without no one else.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Peanut Butter vs. Hazelnut Butter

(03/06/2017) --- I probably like hazelnut better than peanut butter, I always enjoy the flavor of something sweeter, while a good friend of mine that we know each other for a long time and my hubby, just to name two of many people they enjoy peanut butter better than hazelnut, I even scream at people the word "Infidels" whenever they say to me they enjoy P.B. better that Nutella or any of the spin-off that are in the hazelnut butter spreads market.

Yet, some other people had called me a heretic for not having the soul of enjoying peanut butter, but to be honest I can't, is just dry, dry as the love my mother had to me. I do enjoy eating, I won't deny that but sometimes certain products are just way too expensive because of the labels they contain, albeit not for the nutritional value they "supposedly contain" because if we analyze it, "organic", "fair trade" "humanly raised" etc... are just labels that rise the price of the product and they don't contain anything that concrete about the product itself, it just gives the idea that is better for the consumers.

I won't deny, the flavor from Justin's is actually quite decent, even if it contains some of the pseudo-scientific elements that I hate seeing in food, such as fear mongering on biotechnology, but then if a small squeeze bag is on sale I would give it a go; and is probably one of the reasons I know the flavor of the Justin's brand because to be honest I am not paying US$15 for a jar peanut or hazelnut butter, is just way too much and coming from a brand that the parent company is Hormel, which sells products less than a dollar each.

Once Again
I love the logo and the typography from Once Again, is just cute, really adorable. Also I fear raccoons in real life and I wouldn't feel tempted to get close to any trash panda if I see one, I won't deny it I do love them on illustrations as I think they are cute like fluffy kittens.

I am going to do a marketing analysis about this brand on my other site guscalvo.com because it's odd to see a gorgeous logo that emulates children books' illustrations. I wasn't to keen of the flavor, but I will say it was quite crunchy and that is always a winner with me; even when I contacted their customer service online, they replied really quickly (within a 12 hour margin) and they explain what other products they sell and where to find them.

As a marketer, I always appreciate when a company takes their time to reply inquiries, especially with mobile media as I send my questions through Instagram. They replied that on Florida their products can be found on Whole Foods, Richard's Emporium and the Fresh Market; besides, obviously online.

Some of their other products involve peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, tahini and cashew butter. Tahini, has been in my head lately, I feel that I need to go out and find one brand I enjoy, maybe next weekend.

Thank you for reading me,

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin's
  2. https://www.onceagainnutbutter.com/ 

Chia Pods Product Review

Chia Pods
(03-06-17) --- OMG! This things are actually quite interesting, I have to confess I never had one of these things until last week and now I have a small obsession that  I consume at least twice per week.

I get this little things on the supermarket that I work at, of course I am not going to make a reference because I have no contractual obligations to mention them in any of my blogs. Yet, is quite refreshing to find some novelty products here and there in Florida, because as a consumer there is not too much variety for products here in this State.

Chia Pods, where I work and purchase them on some occasions they cost US$2.99 plus taxes which is not bad, because I've seen some other "snacks" that cost twice the most and have more sugar than Oreo Cookies filled with cocaine; but, still the Pod's can be quite fulfilling and flavor wise they aren't that bad.

On a cooking group that I am a member, as well is run by family, I posted the photo that I am using over here on this this entry, and a member said the most amazing way to describe chia seeds covered in gel "I feel I am eating tadpoles" and is not far away from having an overactive imagination. As, after I ate the chocolate one, I started to gaze at the vanilla pod and thought "OMG, she was right, this looks like little tadpoles" probably, at this moment that's what I would think whenever I see chia seeds everywhere.

The company that produces this little cool snacks is located in Australia, it was founded in 2003 by a wheat farmer named John Foss, who wanted to introduce chia into a more commercial enviroment. What is cool about the Chia Pods as a product is that is vegan, kosher and low in sugar and it has different flavors such as the ones you seen on the photo which are vanilla and dark cacao, there are also apple, banana (which is the other flavor I'd seen in real life), coconut and mango.

There are more products which they seem to be quite interesting albeit I haven't seen them here in Florida but I wouldn't hesitate to try them, is something about food if I know I am not allergic too (only things I am allergic are fishes, craw-fish, shrimps, lobsters, you just name it is all the delicacies of the sea).

I would totally recommend this product, it was such an interesting experience and I enjoy it, also it was cheap which is something that I would recommend even more, because it's budget friendly.


  1. The Chia Co (03/06/2017) - Products: https://thechiaco.com/au/products/

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Why I love Mr. Empanada

Little bags of Happiness
(1/02/2017) --- I know I wrote an entry about this place a long time ago; but, it is one of those places that I always recommend to everyone here in Tampa, at least in terms of franchise speaking. It is just lovely to find empanadas and some Latin foods around a business scenario that usually aims to hamburgers, fries and milkshakes.

The idea of having a variety of easy access food, is one of the reasons that is fun to go out and eat around your local cities or municipalities; in fact, the idea of having food in almost every corner is one of the things that I do enjoy food here in the United States. Having food trucks around, little family business and a variety of selection in every supermarket; it is fun to eat and is so nice to enjoy every little finding.

Inside Dale Mabry Store
The enviroment is really casual; almost as a Cuban cafe that can be found in Miami, is just enjoyable to go and sit down for a little inside, or just to sit outside and eat some really good empanadas.

The menu is quite precise as they aim mostly towards empanadas as well some side Cuban dishes as sandwiches and soups; but, the flavor are actually quite amazing with their targeted product, The only negative aspect is that the empanadas themselves can be quite pricey towards the size and volume of what it get to the customers.

Beef Empanada

They have different locations around Tampa Bay such Carrollwood Center, 10023 Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618 but also you can check on their website and see the location that is close to you.


  1. Web retrived: Mr. Empanada - http://www.mrempanada.com/

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Gelato Fiasco Product Review

(12/08/2016)--- Oh my God! this is probably the best gelato that I had in the United States, I even liked better than Talenti, I have really no words or proper adjectives to describe this delicacy because I wouldn't make any justice to the flavor and texture of the body.

I have to confess I saw it for the first time at the Publix where I work, it got my attention because of the elegance of the logo as well the typography. It is such a beautiful minimalist logotype, that evokes old family shields from Europe and the typography is quite similar to find in old printed books.

It is quite strange to find northern products in Florida, or almost anything that is not common to see in Georgia or Tennessee, so being quite of a novelty I didn't hesitate to buy it even if it's a little bit pricey.

Gelato Fiasco (Homepage - About Us)  started in Maine as the founders Bruno Tropeano & Joshua Davis graduated from college; as many product development Gelato Fiasco started as the necessity of bringing that was missing and allocating the proper target demographics. At first the business went door to door and one of the reasons the brand took the name Fiasco as it was a product that was fighting against the trend setters; then, everything took of and new markets started to open.

It is always refreshing to see products as this one in Florida, is quite strange that a State as this one rarely contains variety towards the food proposal, even on the supermarkets you always find the same products or same brands; and seeing something as delicious as this it was an experience that made my entire week.

I wish one of the franchise would open in Tampa or at least in Orlando, it could be fun to visit a place that could offer a different proposal to the gastronomic market; something that is not Cold Stone or Ben & Jerry. In fact, if the Florida economical climate was open to new and small businesses we could have more than the classical franchises.

To know more about Gelato Fiasco (homepage) check their website, it is actually cool and also check on their section of flavors (Homepage - Flavors) because I can assure you "you will try to find if they sell it on your local store"


  • Web retrieved: About Us - Gelato Fiasco: http://www.gelatofiasco.com/our-story/
  • Web retrieved: Homepage - http://www.gelatofiasco.com/
  • Web retrieved: Flavor Vault - http://www.gelatofiasco.com/flavor-vault/

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Busch Gardens Where to Eat Twisted Tails Pretzels

Twisted Tails Pretzles Facade
 12/01/2016 ---- "It is the most wonderful time of the year" I swear I don't believe those words anymore because there is a point at the end of the year where the flux of people just make impossible to travel around freely or go almost anywhere without feeling trapped in a theory of Temple Gradin about cattle.

That is unfortunately the ultimate reality about theme parks, they can be overcrowded on the peak seasons that is quite difficult to travel around; but, whenever is almost any other time of the year is just amazing to go to a theme park when is not crowded.


Twisted Tails Pretzels is in the hub of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, in the heart of Pantopia, right next to Falcon's Fury. We aren't going to talk about Falcon's Fury yet, we are leaving the rides for another series of entries, Today we are going to talk about why pretzels are awesome and why is worth stopping on this joint to enjoy a pretzel or a pretzel dog.

You need to know that finding a good pretzel spot is unique, and enjoying a good pretzel in a nice enviroment can be difficult; but, God! finally deciding to take a chance and enjoy the food after many years of ignoring it because around a decade ago theme park food sucked, in almost every single theme park had overpriced food that wasn't even remote edible.

Yes, the food is still pricey but is one of the spots where the theme parks make much of their profit besides memorabilia and souvenirs. Probably, after living in Florida for almost ten years, I enjoyed some things that I wanted to do when I was a tourist and I have to confess "there are plenty of interesting things to do in a State that is mostly oriented to tourism and it was essentially the idea I got  when I decided to open this blog many years ago"

The Pretzels
The pretzels are just fantastic, probably my favorite one is the Pretzel Dog but the Cinnamon Pretzel is not far behind, One tip of advice I recommend to everyone is to purchase a commemorative mug and buy the refill package for the entire day, it can be on a long run cheaper since the single small drinks cost almost 4 dollars each and the mug is 12, especially on a hot day or when you are eating there you can save some cash towards the fountain drinks.

They also sell small containers of spicy mustard and cheese, that you can put on the pretzels. Also, this food join is the only one I'd seen some commemorative jars to Falcon Fury that I haven't even spot on Emporium or any other place on the theme park; which it could be a good memorabilia to purchase eventually.

One aspect that is cool about this place, is what we mentioned earlier "you can sit below Falcon's Fury and enjoy the riders going up and down, also is one of the best spots with some shade around the theme park.

Pretzel Dog and Chips
Is probably true, knowing a theme park in three days won't be completely possible, because you can miss small shows, food venues, some rides as well some other events and entertainment that the park can offer beyond the rides.

As a ending note, always enjoy what you like and what you love to eat, because that is one of the most wonderful experiences of being alive and travel around.