Concession stands are a vital component of the consumer experience at sporting events, fairs and festivals, and organised fundraisers and other social affairs. Concession stand offerings are the means through which attendees can quench their thirst and feed their appetites while enjoying often lengthy outings. The concession food items that sell best vary depending on the given event, locality, and season; to guarantee the selling power of their showcased foods, savvy concessionaires mix and match their offerings in accord with the particular consumer context at play.
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Ballpark Concessions Best-Sellers
Anyone who's ever root, root, rooted for the home team knows that the food at the ol' ballgame is second in importance only to the game itself. So what concession stands draw the biggest crowds? Over time, ballgame food has been expanded, modernised, and stylised far beyond the world of peanuts and crackerjacks (although these enjoy perpetual status as the cultural staple in game munchies). In fact, many stadiums are now increasingly and successfully showcasing an eclectic, often health-conscious selection of gourmet-quality concession stand options, including sushi rolls, chopped salads, frozen yoghurt, and smoothies.
Of course, the traditional ballpark foods continue to fly the fastest out of concession stands, but the biggest hits these days are actually in the form of innovative remakes of the old reliables -- burgers, hot dogs, pizza, wings, popcorn, and ice cream. These old favourites have been elevated to concession culinary elite with quality ingredients, seasonal produce and flavours, and inventive condiments.
Street and County Fair and Festival Best Eats
Generally, there are two overlapping categories of best-selling concession stand foods at fairs and festivals. The first is pragmatic; smart concessionaires focus predominantly on foods that fair-goers can easily hold and eat while exploring the fair grounds and activities. Grilled ears of corn, corndogs, cones of French fries, wrapped crepes, ice cream pops, candyfloss, and iced lemonade and beer in recyclable thermoses are always among the most practical and popular choices.
Second, fair-based concession stands can make a killing by catering to foodies and tourists with adventurous palettes seeking the most authentic regional and local tastes. Among the best-selling local favories: hoagies and cheesesteaks in Philly, veggie burgers and guacamole in San Francisco, southern BBQ, mac 'n cheese, and baked beans in Memphis, and, for the brave of heart and stomach, Rocky Mountain oysters (a.k.a. bulls' testicles) in Colorado.
Optimal Holiday Affair Concessions
Concession stands at organised holiday and seasonal gatherings and events should highlight food that reflects and complements the theme and spirit of the occasion. For example, for a winter holiday affair, attendees will naturally be drawn to foods and drinks with an enticing smell and warm and cosy connotations, as well as to festive snacks featuring winter holiday flavours or decorations. Accordingly, the best-selling concession offerings are typically items such as hot chocolate with marshmallows or peppermint sticks, hot spiced or spiked cider, champagne cocktails, red velvet cupcakes, Christmas of Hanukkah cookies, roasted chestnuts, roast turkey drumsticks, potato latkes, pumpkin pie, and anything and everything with bacon.
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