If you’re the owner of a shaved ice business or you produce shaved ice at a high volume, you may be looking for some ways to save money and cut costs. There is a good solution if you are willing to put in a little extra effort—flavor concentrates. Perhaps this term sounds familiar but you probably don’t know why they matter and how they can make a positive difference.

Let’s start with some basic definitions so you understand what flavor concentrates are all about. There are two different methods of having shaved ice or snow cone syrups. First, there is ready-to-use syrups, which already have preservatives and sugar or corn syrup in them. That means that as soon as you pop open the container you simply pour it over your freshly shaved ice or snow cone and enjoy. The second is flavor concentrates, which have to be mixed with water, sugar and preservatives to produce syrups flavors ready for use.

Like we said, using shaved ice flavor concentrates requires a bit more time and effort but it has some key advantages over ready-to-use syrups. Since mixing concentrates is a more economical way to purchase flavors, you can spend less and cut costs by 70—80% just by mixing them yourself. A single quart of shaved ice or snow cone concentrate will flavor 8 gallons of syrup and one gallon will flavor 32 gallons of syrup! If you have the flavors of your choice, add preserved simple syrup, then you will be fully prepared.

How do you make the simple syrup to combine with your concentrates? Based on the quantity of shaved ice that you expect to produce, you will use a graduated mixing container and add the appropriate amount of warm water. Then, you’ll add the necessary sugar and stir it thoroughly using the mixing paddle, until all of the sugar is dissolved. To complete the process, you have to preserve that syrup. To do this, you will add Sodium Benzoate and Citric Acid, then lower the syrup to room temperature. Remember, this step is absolutely vital, as un-preserved syrup has an extremely short shelf life of only 7 to 14 days, while properly preserved syrup can extend the shelf life to six months.

One of our esteemed shaved ice experts, Gary often says that flavor concentrates are like a bicycle. You can purchase a bicycle already assembled or you can save some money and purchase a bicycle in parts, and assemble it yourself. While this can be somewhat time-consuming, you will feel confident when you ultimately reap the benefits.

If you’ve never used flavor concentrates before, we encourage you to give them a try, then share your results with us. To purchase flavor concentrates or simply find out a little more information, visit our commercial site 1-800-Shaved-Ice.com.