Sep 12, 2022
Mulling spices spur sales at cider mills, farm markets

With apple harvests started, cider mills have a crisp new way to increase sales of their iconic fall drink.

The addition of traditional mulling spices in private label packaging, sold as hot drinks, or given away free as samples hung on the neck of a cider bottle gives customers a fresh incentive to purchase products while increasing mill revenue.

PHOTO: Olde Tradition Spice

Mulling spices have been used for centuries in countries with colder climates to infuse flavor into apple products and to create hot drinks. Recent studies have shown that spices used in mulling, including cinnamon and cloves, may have significant health benefits for many individuals.

One mill has been taking advantage of this natural pairing of cider and spices for many years. Each autumn, not far from the Canadian border in Watertown, New York, Burrville Cider Mill’s thousands of visitors are treated to hot apple cider brewed with Olde Tradition Spice’s mulling spices. Since the Steiner family purchased and renovated the historic mill in the 1990s, they have offered the popular brand of mulling spices.

“We heat up the cider with one of the tea bags of Olde Tradition Spice and we offer hot mulled cider to the customers by the cup,” owner Cindy Steiner said in a news release.

Olde Tradition Spice uses only high-quality spices, with no sugar or preservatives added. The spices are carefully formulated to deliver flavorful consistent results, and are available as single-serve individually wrapped tea bags, industrial size tea bags (for 5-8 gallons of spiced juice or spiced wine), and “neck hangers” single bag samples for bottles of apple juice, cider or red or white wine.

Burrville Cider Mill combines the spices with fresh cider made with the many varieties of apples milled on-site. The hot, mulled cider is a crowd favorite. The mill frequently has customers lined up in its parking lot waiting to come into the storefront gift shop during its three-month season. During that time, it sells thousands of cups of the spiced cider.

Many customers also buy a box of the mulled spices and bottles of apple cider. A private label box is specially printed by Olde Tradition Spice with the name and details about the mill on the packaging. The boxes are display-ready when they arrive.

“We sell a lot of mulling spice to customers. We are only open three months of the year, and we sell 25 to 40 cases and there are 24 boxes in a case,” Steiner said in the release.

Olde Tradition Spice also offers value-added neck hangers for apple juice and apple cider bottles with a free tea bag sample of the mulling spices.

Locally sourced food growers and processors have the perennial challenge of dealing with a short window of time to produce and market their product to the public. For apple growers and pressers, the hard deadline of harsh winter weather means that every day of their open season needs to count. Having a product like mulling spices which increases sales and is valued by their shoppers is a great help.

Olde Tradition Spices

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