Thursday, February 17, 2011

Adding New Flavors

A couple of weeks ago I shared with everyone over at the Facebook page that I can make custom lip balm flavors. I asked, "If you got to have your very own flavor, what would it be?" I got some great suggestions—a few of which I actually have made and some that are even in stock, but many other flavor ideas that sounded delish! Here were some of the favorites:

coffee (I have made a Mudslide lip balm with coffee flavor, and a Pumpkin Latte as a seasonal balm...I think there's one left at 50% off.)cinnamon (This would be our Red Hot lip balm.)cherry coconutpomegranate/vanilla/orange
cherry vanilla (which is Cherub Kisses...we have a few more in stock, too!)Vermont maple syrup
lemon-lime
toasted almond
nutmeg/cardamom
sugar plum - a seasonal flavor, but currently out of stock.
watermelon
Yesterday afternoon I asked for Birthday Flavor suggestions. What would be YOUR Ultimate Birthday Lip Balm Flavor? This time there were even more comments, with some fantabulous suggestions (some hilariously un-lip balm friendly, such as Jessica's Eggroll or Crab Rangoon!). Here we go:

Red Velvet
Peanut butter/chocolate
Tiramisu
Strawberry Shortcake
Chocolate cake with buttercream frosting
Hot fudge sundae
buttercream frosting (Our birthday cake balm is vanilla cake with buttercream frosting. Wedding cake has a similar flavor.)
Italian Cream Cake (vanilla cake with pecans and coconut...yum)
German Chocolate
Yellow cake with butter frosting (I think birthday cake would be the closest balm to this)coffee cakepraline pecanspice apple butter
caramel mocha
apricot maple
lemon tart (I make a Lemon Drop balm that's sweet and tart like the candy...or cocktail)
coconut cream
spice cake
lemon cakecoconut cake
chocolate cherry
lemon, orange, lime sherbet (layered)
carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Brainstorming flavor ideas is so much fun, but of course there's a lot more involved with adding a new flavor to my product line. Even if it's a Limited Edition or a custom one-time flavor, I generally:

- make tiny batches of each new balm, adding flavor oils by the drop until I have the blend just right. I can choose from dozens of flavors in my lab, but sometimes I need to special order new ones for a custom lip balm flavor.
- Once I have the flavor "recipe" figured out, I have to design a label (or often two labels—one for a jar and one for a tube balm).
- Part of creating labels is taking pictures, and that means buying (or baking) goodies, mixing up "cocktails" or other beverages (here's a secret: they're always non-alcoholic), or visiting the candy store for scrumptious props. Want to read about how I tortured my children with cupcakes trying to get one perfect picture for a label? Yes, sometimes it takes days to get that picture the way I want it. (And now that I'm looking at this photo again, it may be time to make more cupcakes...) You see why this takes me so long!!

- Each new flavor is tested on human volunteers (and sometimes their kids and very occasionally even their dogs, though this is never intentional and has never resulted in anything worse than minty fresh dog lips! Or Fuzzy Navel flavored pooch kisses! Honest!). If it passes, it's photographed and added to the website.

Thanks to my friends on Facebook, I have lots of new ideas for flavors and I'll be trying some in the coming months. If you ever have an idea for a new flavor, please share it here or over on our Facebook page. What do you think? What would your Ultimate Birthday Lip Balm taste like?

2 comments:

  1. It does take a lot of work to get a new product "just right". Photography is such an integral part of the process - especially if you hope to sell online!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is, isn't it? Such a big job, too.

    ReplyDelete

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