Commercial slush machine buying guide

Slush drinks first appeared in the UK in the 1970’s when the Slush Puppie brand was brought in from Amercia. Slush or also known as slushies unique appeal is its semi frozen consistancy which cannot be recreated in a can or bottle.  Slush drinks have never lost their appeal and are in as high a demand as ever and likely always will be.

Buying a slush machine requires investment and will be in the region £1000 and £3000, however payback can be incredibly quick and machines can go on working for many years. There many good reasons to sell slush and the main one is profit, which is much higher than it is for soft drinks in cans and bottles. Add the value of increased footfall, add on sales and customer loyalty, retailers are on to a winner.

Which machine should I buy?

Firstly – How does a slush machine work?

Machines use ordinary 13amp plugs and do not need a water supply. Slush syrups are mixed with water and poured into the slush machine. When the machine is switched on it will turn the liquid into slush and regulate itself across the day. They are put into nightime mode overnight and switched back on the following day. The newest machines can handle this automatically too. The slush has a very long shelf life in the machine, around a month, so its very unlikely there will be any waste.

These steps will help you choose the right machine for you:

Step 1 – Which capacity?

Slush machines are generally known as compact which hold around 6 ltrs per tank or regular which hold around 12ltrs per tank.  Capacity matters because slush machines with very few exceptions have to be filled manually. It’s a matter of how busy an outlet is likely to be. For guidance a 6 ltr tank will hold 20 x 300ml drinks and a 12ltr 40. However re-filling (topping up) is best to be done when it is around 1/2 full. Then the machine will take around 10mins to recover.

Step 2 – How many tanks

Machines can have 1, 2 or 3 tanks. The general advice is get as many tanks as you can accomodate in the space you have. More flavours give the consumer a wider more interesting range of choices especially when you consider that most consumers want to mix their flavours up. The added benefit is the more tanks the easier it is to keep them filled.

However even if you are resticted by space or budget, this should not hold you back you can still make great sales from even a single tank, compact machine.

Step – Which supplier

Slush machines are hard working, they work all day every day and hopefully for many years and if they stop, you lose money until they start again. The advice is to find a reputable supplier with the best machines and equally important is their level of customer care. When you need help, you need to know its on hand.

Warranties are so very important too. The cheapest machines are usually return to base warranties and should be carefully thought through. Imagine your machine stopping and to get it fixed you have to send it back. The lost revenue alone will likely be far more than the money saved on the initial purchase price let alone the inconvenience.

Anthing else I need to know?

All slush is not the same and your customers will vote with thier feet. A great tasting slush that holds it’s colour and flavour to the very last drop can be achieved, but not by choosing the cheapest versions.

With slush machines and slush drinks, price is not everything, value for money is!

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Market developments

Slush machines have been fairly similar in how they work for the last couple of decades. However in 2022 Carpigiani GBG, the worlds leading manufacturer for many years launched a groundbreaking new model. Snowshock have exclusive distribution of the VAir, which they have badged ‘The Expert’. You can find out more about the Expert here.

View V Air

You can find further advice from Snowshock on choosing your slush brand here.