Case Study

High-Quality Fudge Delivers Strong Per Capitas Year After Year

Down Arrow

Calico’s Fudge Program Comes Up Big With +16% Revenue Growth

The Need

A 100-year-old well-known amusement park had put a focus on increasing the number of season pass memberships in recent years. A Calico customer for 37 years, the park’s mission is embodied by two mottos: “Fun for all" and “We take fun seriously.”

The park, one in a North American chain of unique destination attractions which has ranked in the top 10 amusement parks by attendance, places great importance on maximizing per capita spending (dollars spent per guest). This key metric requires category buyers in this industry to apply a no-nonsense rigor when selecting merchandise for their stores and concessions to achieve their financial goals and optimize per capita spending.

It’s All About Per Cap Spending

With the goal of increasing season passes in mind, the park looked to balance repeat visitor growth with steady per capita spending. The park's buyers began evaluating the product mix and came up with a new focus: to highlight products that would continuously drive per capita spending to repeat guests throughout the season, and minimize the risk of product overexposure.

Asking More From The Product Mix

When selecting items to meet this objective, additional key criteria were considered, including:

  • Incorporating their values of creating fun that’s larger than life, and producing enduring family and social connections
  • Creating signature items that visitors cannot purchase anywhere else
  • Capitalizing on current consumer tastes and trends

 

“Fudge Is A Big Factor In Our Per Capita Performance. If You Took That Out, It Would Be A Big Impact.”

Retail Merchandise Manager
Large fudge display counter at a prominent North American amusement park

The Solution

The park buyers focused on the Consumable Product Category to meet this challenge.

They decided to put more focus on their branded fudge, purchased from Calico and made fresh on-site, because it was the #2 consumable item in the store within the park and the #4 consumable item in the store outside of the admission gate. In addition, fudge met many other important criteria, including:

  • Its reliability in generating repeat purchases
  • Provides an interactive experience for park visitors who can watch the fudge being made and have an opportunity to sample
  • Allows the park to own the product under their brand’s name, while reinforcing that it’s freshly made on-site
  • People always want to buy, both for themselves and as gifts to take home for friends and family

Calico worked with the park to ensure the park’s fudge would perform as a reliable anchor item, yielding high profits, high margin and high per capita performance. The efforts took into consideration the park’s ability to consistently deliver an outstanding product and customer experience.

Calico Provided:

  • A repeatable and reliable process for teams to deliver outstanding fudge, batch after batch
  • Staff training and retraining each season
  • Customized flavor innovation to differentiate the fudge and keep the offering new and exciting (e.g. fudge flavors designed to include other food items the park is known for)
  • Alternative merchandising options for different store locations throughout the property (e.g. packaging and display options to sell in other store outlets where fudge isn’t being made)
 

The Results:

>16%
REVENUE
GROWT*

2ND MOST
POPULAR
FOOD ITEM

37 YEAR
CALICO
CUSTOMER

The Flavor, Quality And Consistency Of Calico’s Fudge Has Proven Itself As A Consumable Item That Is Appealing To Day Visitors, And Generates Repeat Purchases For Season Pass Holders.

The park now generates more than half of its revenue from repeat customers. Calico’s fudge program is an integral part of that success, with a 16% growth in dollar sales of fudge during the first season of focus as season passes grew. Fudge contributes close to $400,000 in revenue each year.

“We see people come back and get fudge,” states the Retail Merchandise Manager. “Fudge is a big factor in our per capita performance. If you took that out, it would be a big impact.”

“If your attraction sells fudge and it’s not from Calico, reach out and ask for samples,” suggests Dave Mitchell, former Corporate Procurement Buyer.

Calico focuses on its customers’ success and doesn’t just sell ingredients.

*Within the Park