Ready to get the most out of your concessions menu? The best way to ensure high profitability
on your concession stand or food truck is to use high-margin ingredients that offer versatility and
mass appeal. Below you will find a variety of ingredients (along with tips for using them) that
have the potential to generate 50% – 70% profit. At Allen Associates, we aim to help businesses
succeed by offering high-margin items that add significant profits to your business.
These concessions stand ingredients have a lot in common:
● They are versatile. Each ingredient provides multiple uses and a blank canvas for
adding novelty items to your menu.
● They appeal to the masses. Crowd-pleasing favorites that simultaneously never go out
of style and can keep up with emerging food trends.
● They have a long shelf life. Purchase bulk quantities for longer storage without the risk
● High margins. All of these ingredients can be purchased at low cost and can easily be
turned into profitable, well-selling menu products with minimal labor costs attached.
High-Margin Concession Ingredients (and How To Use Them)
Did you know that popcorn is the most popular snack in the U.S.? Popping corn is
alarmingly cheap and almost entirely hands-off to prepare. It can store for a very long
time and takes up very little storage space. And talk about versatility! Of all the benefits,
the popping expansion (from kernel to fluffy popped corn) is the key to higher profits.
There are different grades of popcorn sold in the U.S. and the better the hybrid or grade
of popcorn the larger the expansion of the corn. The better the expansion the higher the
profits. Simply put, it takes very few unpopped kernels to ultimately fill a customer’s
container at the point of sale.
With the right equipment, you can make traditional buttered popcorn or kettle corn. But
with such a high margin, you can easily veer into new flavor territories, building an
exciting popcorn menu for your customers – you could offer everything bagel seasoning,
furikake, garlic herb, hot wings, or salted caramel. You could set up a popcorn seasoning
bar in place of condiments or even create your own seasoning blends.
Weaver is the only brand we carry because of its high product standards. Popcorn
Portion Kits make your life easier with popping corn, oil, and flavacol portioned for kettle
size. It is far and away the easiest way to make great-tasting popcorn consistently.
- Slush/Shaved Ice
When the bulk of the ingredients is ice, this concession stand staple is high on the list of
high-profit margins with the added bonus of mass appeal. SLUSH PUPPiE is the iconic
brand that consumers crave and always rave about. Instantly recognizable with more
than a dozen standard flavors and new innovative flavors released yearly, SLUSH
PUPPiE provides the brand, quality, and variety consumers desire. Ingredients
consisting of only water (frozen) and flavorings, purveyors stand to make a gross profit of
72%! Appeal to parents and schools looking for more natural options with JUiCE100,
made from apples and white grapes, and fortified with vitamins A, C, D, and E, Calcium,
Sno-Kones with their bright, colorful flavor syrups are beloved by children, but did you
know there is a whole world of exciting shaved iced possibilities out there to appeal to a
wider, more adult audience? With a Sno-Kone machine added to your repertoire, you
● Think outside the syrup bottles. Matcha! Cold Brew! Chai! Limoncello! Any of
which could be enhanced with a splash of sweetened condensed milk. I’m not
drooling, you’re drooling.
● Go global! Nearly every country around the world has its own traditional shaved ice
desserts that social media platforms are bringing to the mainstream. The South
Korean Mango Bingsu is having a moment right now. It’s traditionally made by
layering mango shaved ice with fresh cubed mango and condensed milk. Halo
● Halo Halo is a fun, refreshing, layered shaved ice dessert hailing from the
Phillippines and served in clear containers so consumers can marvel at the
distinct layers of shaved ice, fresh fruit, crispy cereal, and evaporated milk.
● Granita is to Italy as Sno Cones are to America. Requiring just three ingredients
and minimal equipment, you will be just as happy to serve it as customers are to
purchase it. Granita is a frozen fruit dessert made from fresh fruit and water,
blended and frozen until icy, flaked with a fork, and then frozen again. The result
is a delightfully crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth fruit ice not many will be able to pass
This humble tuber has a whole lot going for it. French fries, poutine, tater tots, oh my!
With the right storage environment, whole fresh potatoes can be kept at 45˚F to 50˚F for
up to three months. It’s essential to check for mold, soft spots, or sprouting before
placing large quantities of potatoes in storage as one bad potato can ruin the whole lot.
Check them regularly and store them in a well-ventilated receptacle, not plastic bags.
● Nacho Fries or Tots! A portion-controlled Rico’s nacho cheese dispenser allows
you to provide customers with the perfect amount of nacho cheese while
maintaining high-profit margins. Want to expand those nacho offerings? Tater tots
or crispy fries served alongside a portioned cup of dippable nacho cheese, or top
them as you would tortilla chips, layered with nacho cheese, chili, green onions,
jalapenos, and sour cream!
● Baked potatoes with local specialty toppings or loaded with the classics. Oh, and
did we mention nacho cheese?
● Poutine – the beloved Canadian treat of French fries, gravy, and cheese curds.
Take it up a notch with breakfast poutine (put an egg on it!), pulled pork poutine,
or a local specialty (we’re looking at you meat hot sauce!)
- Hot Dogs
Is there anything more mouth-watering and fun-inducing than the ubiquitously American
hot dog? As far as purveying meat is concerned, you cannot get higher margins than
what hot dogs provide. No one will scoff at being offered the traditional beef and pork
variety in a soft bun with the usual three toppings, all of which also have extremely high
margins and great shelf life. But will they scoff at novelty hot dog options either?
Definitely not. The hot dog is the perfect canvas for featuring local specialty cuisines or
serving up your own unique twist. A tour of different flavors from around the world or
famous U.S. cities – sauerkraut, kimchi, cole slaw, baked beans, Cincinnati chili, local
meat hot sauces, and nacho cheese sauce.
Find a FOOD AND BEVERAGE DISTRIBUTOR to help you get the most out of your
concession stand. Allen Associates has been in the business of helping our concession
purveying customers Grow and Prosper for over 75 years. The name of our game is
profitability. From pre-portioned nacho cheese dispensers to slushies to highly
expanding popping corn (and so much more), we’ve got the products and equipment to
ensure you will get both happy customers and higher profits. We do this by incorporating
our Core Values of Family, Integrity, Passion, and Excellence into our work every day.
These Core Values guide us in doing business the “Allen Way” – turning ordinary into
EXTRAORDINARY! If you need help with ideas to grow your concession business,
explore our website and get in touch today!