Wait, ice cream with Ranch flavoring?
Hidden Valley Ranch Ice Cream is one of Van Leeuwen’s seven new spring flavors. Most of the flavor alliances seem logical, such as Sweet Maple Corn Bread, Blood Orange Chocolate Chip, Carrot Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Honey Graham Cracker and Limoncello Cake. The majority of us could settle down with a cone of any of those flavors.
But Ranch? It makes sense, according to a tip from Rachel Garrison, Associate Director at Hidden Valley Ranch.
“Top your scoops with crushed pretzels or potato chips for a perfect salty crunch,” Garrison advised.
Unlikely Alliances That Have Worked
For centuries, apple pie has been served with a melted topping of cheddar cheese in England. In Italy, a favorite snack is a piece of prosciutto wrapped around a piece of melon.
Maybe it’s time from a piece of hot apple pie, topped with the melted cheddar cheese, along with two scoops of Ranch Ice Cream?
With unlikely alliances, you never know until you try. For example, pineapple on pizza. Who knew?
Small Business Owners and Unlikely Alliances
Small business owners have two ways to forge unlikely alliances:
- As Van Leeuwen did, they can take an existing product and change it. Think about all the things that become pumpkin spice flavored in the fall.
- They can partner with another small business owner. For example, what would a specialty craft shop owner have in common with a niche candy maker? Nothing, on the surface. But have the candy maker supply the snacks for the knitting or quilting class, and the customer experience improves for all.
Why Do It?
There are reasons to go outside the box, and either revamp a product or cooperate with another business.
- It can be an attention getter. As Van Leeuwen and Hidden Valley Ranch did, they made an announcement. Major news outlets seized the story. It was mentioned as a short news item on broadcast media and made the rounds on social media. On their own, the six other special Spring flavors probably wouldn’t have garnered that much interest, but the other new flavors are riding on the coattails of the Ranch Ice Cream.
- It can help two or more unrelated businesses tap into each other’s customer base. They can cooperate for a single event, or form a long-term cooperation. For example, in Farmington, Maine, a local business person purchased a grocery store when it went out of business. Now, the space is occupied by about a dozen entrepreneurs, who rent a space to sell their hand-crafted items. They take turns staffing the store and processing transactions. On their own, the entrepreneurs were unlikely to have afforded a downtown storefront presence.
- Small business owners can always benefit from networking. As one business cooperates with another, ideas and knowledge are exchanged.
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