Summertime Sizzles with Gourmet Food Gift Baskets
Instead of the expected bottle of wine or chips and dip, encourage your customers to give gourmet food gifts at all those backyard barbeques and family reunions this summer. Gourmet food gift baskets with a little different twist make great hostess gifts this time of year and having your store fully stocked is sure to boost your summertime sales with some unique items your customers will love to give (and keep!).
A gourmet food gift basket can include popular items, like hot sauces, hot pepper jelly, dried fruits, barbeque sauces, drink mixes and rim dippers. But the old stand-bys are still welcome additions, like salsa, jam and jellies. Make it easy for customers by offering a variety of gift basket sizes or gift sets of specialty gourmet items. Barbeque grilling tools, an oven mitt and gourmet sauces make a thoughtful gift for an avid griller. Tie a red bandanna to the basket to give it that summertime sizzle.
Show your customers a variety of products and package them in fun and creative ways that capture their attention as soon as they walk in the door. Find lots of gourmet food vendors with an abundant of unique product choices at FGmarket.com
With Southwest cooking all the rage, try a Midwest take on the Southwest. Try some of Pepper Creek Farm’s pepper jelly, drink mixes and salsas. A family-run company in Lawton, Oklahoma, Pepper Creek does things the old-fashioned way – small batches, homegrown ingredients and family recipes. Their gourmet food offerings include jellies, like Green Chile Pepper Jelly, Mint Pepper Jelly and Red Bell Pepper Jelly, as well as an array of barbeque sauces, like Hickory Maple and Honey Mesquite. Their variety of dip mixes are sure to please any hostess with a ready-made spice blend for a quick dip or topping. Choose from Dilly Dip Mix, Jalapeno Cilantro, Spinach and Toasted Onion, just to name a few. These beat the standard cheese and pre-packaged dips and are a hit with family and friends.
Pepper Creek’s drink mixes are a must for a summertime gourmet food basket. Flavors range from Chocolate Martini to Pomegranate to Watermelon, and they also have rim dippers to go with them for that extra special touch. A drink mix, rim dipper, cocktail napkins, fresh lemons and limes make a great gourmet food gift basket.
Cibolo Junction Food & Spice Company has some great offerings of gourmet food in the Southwest genre. They pride themselves on offering the highest quality New Mexico food products, like Mango Papaya Salsa and Raspberry Peach Salsa, which are popular, sweeter alternatives to hot sauces. But they excel at those, too. Along with their hot sauces like North of the Border Smokey Joe’s Chipotle Salsa and Scorch-Way Hot – Salsa, their Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly and Margarita Marmalade are a welcome addition to a Southwest gourmet food basket.
Pair Cibolo Junction’s salsas with some tortilla chips, a margarita mix, fresh limes and margarita glasses for a “thank you” gift that’s sure to impress at your next summer party.
Also in the Southwest genre, but from the Napa Valley, are award-winning hot sauces, dessert sauces and drink mixes from Dave’s Gourmet. Their Hurtin’ Habanero Honey Mustard is a five-time world winner, and they offer a variety of gourmet salts that are a hit with cooks everywhere. Their dessert sauces include Apple Pie & Ice Cream, Gingerbread Cream and Chocolate Orange Spice, which add that gourmet touch to a cold bowl of ice cream (or just a spoonful out of the jar!). Their drink mixes offer a welcome change from the standard beer and wine served at many backyard get-togethers. With flavors like Mango Margarita, Insane Mary, and Dave’s Original Bloody Mary, these are sure to be a hit on the hot days of summer.
Instead of welcoming new neighbors with a store-bought apple pie, line a basket with a red and white checked napkin and include a jar of Apple Pie & Ice Cream dessert sauce and a half-gallon of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. What a welcome!
Comfort Foods, Inc. specializes in authentic flavors of the Southwest, as well as the elegance and gourmet taste of fine dining. Choose from dip mixes, spices and seasonings, salsas and sauces, bread and dessert mixes, and soup mixes. Creamy Potato and Green Chile Soup paired with Jalapeno Beer Bread makes an easy and comforting meal. And dips such as Cilantro Lime Dip and Peach Salsa add a new twist to tortilla chips. Their gourmet selections include Tuscany Peasant soup, White Cheddar Asparagus soup, Asiago Parmesan dip, Sun-dried Tomato dip, and Cherry Vanilla Scones mix. Any of these are sure to catch customers’ eyes when assembled in a gourmet food gift basket.
A gourmet food gift should include a variety of flavors and textures, so for a sweet addition, pair some of Orchard Crest Farms’ hand-dipped chocolate dried fruits, hazelnuts, full fruit preserves and luscious syrups with some southwestern items. They use choice Oregon fruits at their peak, like blueberries, strawberries, Dried Royal Anne Cherries and cranberries. Their fruit preserves and syrups are made from fresh ripe Oregon fruits and berries, and their homemade trail mixes and snacks are made from time-honored traditional recipes. For a twist on an old favorite, try their specialty Hazelnut Toffee for that extra crunch.
Prepare a brunch gourmet food basket with a good quality pancake mix, English muffins, and several syrups and preserves. A pint of fresh blueberries or blackberries will round out this gourmet gift basket.
By offering your customers a wide variety of gourmet food items and showing them how to package them for the ultimate “Wow!” factor, you can increase customer service and satisfaction this summer.
Browse through the Gourmet Food vendors you’ll find on FGmarket.com for fun & unique gourmet food products that can spark your creativity and ignite your sales for gourmet baskets and foods this summer and throughout the year.
Contributor: Jill Evans