What is an FCB?

What's an FCB in the soft drinks world?

What is an FCB?

An FCB is a mixture of flavoured syrup, water and carbon dioxide that is frozen in a pressurised chamber by a specialist machine creating a fine slushy drink, aerated with carbon dioxide.

FCB’s have been popular in the United Stated since the 1960’s, some common brands in the are Slurpee (7 – Eleven’s own brand), Icee and Froster which is sold in forecourts across the country. For convenience stores in the Unites States FCB’s are a common product, as the profit margins are higher than bottles and canned drinks and demand is high.  The cost of the equipment, although around $14,000 is easily recouped, its a ‘no-brainer’ to retailers who embraced drinks and food to go many years ago, long before the UK saw the potential.

Although the UK has been slow to catch on, the market is waking up. Until now FCB’s have been available in selected outlets like cinemas and theme parks and supply is nowhere close to meeting demand. UK Convenience stores can meet that demand with immediate results.

Things are changing as Food to Go in the UK continues to grow and UK retailers have ramped up investment over the last decade, adopting new ways of increasing sales. Coffee machines and drinks to go are increasingly seen as a way of driving footfall, diverting sales away from lower margin cans and bottles and improving profit. Owners are far more likely to invest in something like an FCB machine today than they were just a couple of years ago.

The industry feel the market is now ready and since 2020 a small number of convenience retailers have entered the FCB market with Fizzee retailers who have a good eye for new, profitable products that sets them apart from their competitors.

These are early days but companies such as Snowshock with their Fizzee brand anticipate growth will continue for at least the next two decades.

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Just for fun

The fictitious Squishee is the FCB seen in the Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart ran by Apu.