CHILLS & THRILLS

The approaching summer months are the ideal selling time for tropical beverages, especially daiquiri mixes., but we notice more movement during the summer months," said Roger Burkes, senior vice president at The Mad Butcher, Pine Bluff, Ark. Burkes said his chain also advertises the daiquiri mixes more during the summer months, further aiding sales.Daiquiri mixes are available in two primary forms:

The approaching summer months are the ideal selling time for tropical beverages, especially daiquiri mixes.

, but we notice more movement during the summer months," said Roger Burkes, senior vice president at The Mad Butcher, Pine Bluff, Ark. Burkes said his chain also advertises the daiquiri mixes more during the summer months, further aiding sales.

Daiquiri mixes are available in two primary forms: frozen and shelf-stable ready-to-pour.

The shelf-stable varieties are generally packaged in quart bottles and are available from several manufacturers, including Daily's, Vernon, Pa., and the Holland House division of Mott's, Stamford, Conn. Consumers usually combine these products in a blender with rum and ice to make a frosty treat.

Minute Maid Co., the Houston-based division of Coca-Cola, manufactures a line of Bacardi frozen daiquiri mixes, under a licensing agreement with the Miami-based distiller. Minute Maid's flavors include strawberry daiquiri, pina colada, rum runner and margarita, which are distributed on a national basis, and banana daiquiri and peach daiquiri, which have widespread distribution in the Southeast and Upper Midwest.

According to Information Resources Inc., Chicago, the Bacardi brand accounts for virtually all frozen daiquiri supermarket sales. For the 52 weeks ended Dec. 29, 1996, sales were $41 million, a decline of 5.1%.

"Our frozen daiquiri mixes are doing very well. They are actually over-achieving," said Jim Lefebvre, director of purchasing at Stanley Stores, Bay City, Texas.

"The frozen daiquiri mixes seem to have a year-round hold. Because they are cold they sell well during the summer months and around the holidays," he said. "However, the shelf-stable items are pretty slow. Sales on these items are seasonal and only do well in the fourth quarter, around the holiday period."

Suren Avedisian, director of operations at Omni Foods, Newton, Mass., said that while his sales of daiquiri mixes pick up around holiday periods and summer months, overall they have been on a long-term decline.

"They have gone down in activity over the years, as general hard liquor consumption has decreased. We continue to see decreases in mixers, but our sales of beer and wine have been on the upswing as consumers move more to those types of products," he said.