Thursday, 30 June 2011

OC Social Media Strategists Converge on Social Media Day.

Big Train Attends #SMDAYOC.

Well over 500 people attended the 2nd Annual Social Media Day in Orange County, California this year. As folks celebrated social media around the world, Big Train took a break and hung out with many of the social media gurus of southern California.

SMDAYOC

Social Media Day at the OC Register

The event was hosted at The Orange County Register‘s headquarters in Santa Ana. In addition to a number of panels with guest speakers, several Big train social media strategists and marketer friends like Debbie Miller, Marieke Hensel, Tanya Salcido, Marcie Taylor, Kirsten Wright, and others were on hand to meet one on one with business leaders in the OC. Carolyn Kramer, Product Manager for interactive advertising at the Orange County Register was also on hand.

Big Train tested out the OCR’s new iPad app (this writer’s favorite way to get the news). The link can be found here

Several popular Food Trucks like the Lime Truck and Chomp Chomp Nation were on hand including Carl’s Jr’s massive mobile kitchen.

Chomp Chomp Nation

Singapore Fusion Gourmet

Carls Jr. was promoting their new Hand-Breaded Chicken Fillet sandwich. Can’t wait to try it! (Psst Carls Jr we have some SICK (good) beverage mixes you oughta test in your labs.) Carls Jr’s Massive Food Truck pitchin’ New Chicken Fillet Hand-Breaded Sandwich.

Carls Jr Food Truck

Carls Jr Food Truck

Here is the future of blogging, Marissa Angelina, the 9 year old CEO of TinyTechie.com, a blog  for kids.

TinyTechie.com

TinyTechie.com CEO

If you’re a company with a solid brand and are looking at how social media can make an impact in a big way, follow the great folks at Pretzel Crisps. One of the key sponsors of the event, Pretzel Crisps are really making a name for themselves across the country and certainly in the southern California area.

Pretzel Crisps

Pretzel Crisps

Big Train ran into many OC social media leaders including Jeffrey Friend.

Jeffrey Friend

Jeffrey Friend Checkin out #SMDAYOC

Thank you Orange County Register for hosting this event again. Until next year, cheers from Big Train.  Click here for more details about the event.

OC Register Hosts Social Media Day

OC Register Hosts #SMDAYOC

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Top 10 Social Media Articles from Mashable.com

top social media articles mashableIn honor of Social Media Day, Big Train has scoured the pages of Mashable.com, the top news source for all things social media, to find the 10 best stories from their website. Whether they’re interesting, shocking, silly or just plain funny,we’ve found recent articles from the past two weeks (except the first, but it’s still fun!) that are all about social media.  So, if you can pull yourself away from tweeting and updating your Facebook for a few minutes, we hope you enjoy the links :

1. Here are some fun ways to customize the new-ish facebook profiles: CLICK.

2.  Apparently grandparents want to play Farmville, too. YIKES.

3.  If you tried to rob a bank and ended up in a police standoff with a hostage, what would you do? Facebook about it, obviously!

4.  Take advantage of social media to help navigate through the current job market. You’re using it all day anyways!

5.  What caused the food truck phenomenon? Social media, lower overhead and lots of hungry people! YUM.

6. Sometimes people get a little too personal with social media. Then they lose their job.

7.  How to run your blog without getting sued: TIPS.

8.  Because even if these celebrity twitter accounts aren’t real, they’re still real funny.

9.  Does the seemingly invincible Facebook have some competition on the way? Could Facebook become the same virtual wasteland as Myspace?

(EXTRA: Video walk-through of Google+)

10. Speaking of, the rise of social media and fall of Myspace: CLICK.

For further up-to-date social media news, visit Mashable at their website. Have any questions about Big Train? Visit our website or call us toll free at 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724).

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Big Train Reviews – Bloggers – FrugalFamilyTree.com

big train review frugal family tree
Someone couldn’t keep their hands off of our coffees!

 Big Train Reviews: 

 We recently sent a few flavors of our Blended Ice Coffee drinks to the Frugal Family Tree, a website which reviews various products and holds sample giveaways for businesses. Confident in our mixes, we sent them our Caramel Latte, Coffee, Kona Mocha, and Java Chip. Here’s what they had to say: 

 It’s hard to find a good blended ice coffee drink. 

 I cannot live without coffee. Seriously I am a beast if I do not have a few cups everyday. But here in California it can be so hot even early in the morning making a hot cup of coffee is out of the question. Starbucks is way too expensive and the one near me I swear they water the drinks! I complain but no one seems to care. Their blended coffee drinks taste like ice more than coffee!   

Big Train’s Blended Ice Coffees are a hit!  

   I recently had the opportunity to try a few of the Big Train Blended Ice Coffee drinks and oh my they are good! I love iced and blended coffee for the summer mornings and for after dinner. They cool you off and taste delicious! Their mixes were great! You can make them cold with ice or hot for the winter. They can be mixed with milk or coffee too. I love having options! I tried the Caramel Latte, Java Chip (my favorite one!) Coffee and Kona Mocha. I really enjoyed the great  flavor and the chocolate pieces in the Java Chip were really good. I love that Big Train is a California company and trains are a huge hit in our house so it was a perfect fit.    

 The perks of using Big Train? 

Making your own coffee drinks at home is definitely one of the great ways you can be frugal and still indulge! Have you tried or wanting to try the new McDonalds Strawberry Lemonade drink? Well I have a great recipe from Big Train to make your own DIY Strawberry Lemonade drinks at home. Here is the recipe from their blog. You can be serving these all summer for you and your kids!  

Big Train can be made and sold at your local coffee shop!  

 I like smaller coffee shops where you can try new stuff and feel like your barista is your friend! Ask your local coffee shop to start carrying Big Train Coffee and Big Train Chai products!   

Drink Reviews by FrugalFamilyTree.com
FrugalFamilyTree.com tasting Big Train Drink Mixes

 Big Train thanks Frugal Family Tree for their review and we’re so glad you guys enjoyed the mixes! If you’d like to read more of their posts or have something of your own reviewed you can contact them at FrugalFamilyTree@gmail.com. Visit their contact page for more information. You can friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter  

If you’re a Big Train customer and you have some pictures and stories you’d like to share, please let us know via Facebook, Twitter or email us at leahlangford@bigtrain.com.  

Have any questions about Big Train? Visit our website or call us toll free at 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724).  

 

Monday, 27 June 2011

Big Train Reviews – Pensacola, Florida – Wilkinson’s Tea & Coffee Emporium

Big Train Mocha Frappe Drinker Jessica

Wilkinson's Tea & Coffee Emporium customer, Jessica, enjoying a Big Train Mocha Frappe

Big Train Reviews:
What do customers think about Big Train?  We recently interviewed Big Train customer and small business owner Patsy Lato about her experiences with our company and products. Patsy, of Wilkinson’s Tea & Coffee Emporium, first contacted us through an email, with nothing but lovely things to say:

“I am a very small tea & coffee shop located in Pensacola, FL, open only 6 months, still getting my sea legs so to speak, with the Big Train frozen/iced products. They are selling like mad, with this 105 degree heat. I recently suddenly ran short of Vanilla Blended Iced Coffee mix, called and received it the NEXT DAY, free shipping. In all my dealings since starting my company nearly 5 years ago, I have yet to see customer service of this high caliber. I pray it continues as such. Thanks for being such a huge help to a small shop owner (I am only one person, so delays and setbacks are most unwelcome by me!). “

We were thrilled to read such a sincere and positive email, so we emailed her back to ask a few more questions! Here’s what Patsy had to say:

What do you like about owning your own coffee & tea shop?

I love the customers and friends I make, and how no two days are the same. Due to its compact size the shop is very intimate with close quarters seating  that encourages conversation between tables. Lots of friendships are made here, and lots of interesting stories are told.

How does Big Train fit into how you like to run your business?

Big Train makes my job easy with the drink mixes and concentrates, and has brought in a whole new segment of the population looking for something other than coffee or tea. Many folks come in and say they heard I make a heck of a good smoothie.

So you started your company 5 years ago but have only had the store open 6 months? Did you have another location before?

We have been operating a coffee roasting factory and selling mostly wholesale and through our web store for over 4 years. We recently decided we needed a retail presence, so we crossed the Alabama border into Florida and opened our store in Pensacola where there is much heavier traffic than in the small town of Brewton where our factory is located. And Pensacola has beautiful beaches! :)

Big Train Review - Pensacola FL - Wilksinsons Tea & Coffee Emporium

Big Train served at Wilksinson's Tea & Coffee Emporium Pensacola FL

What are your personal favorite Big Train drinks and what do the customers seem to like?

I combine the Mango and Strawberry flavored smoothie drinks and it has become a customer favorite as well. I also love the Mocha Frappe. They are so rich and comforting on these horribly humid days we’ve been having.

What are your impressions on the newly instated On-Track-Rewards program?

I love the On-Track-Rewards program, just filled out the form and became eligible for the free case of product. The hardest part is going to be deciding which product I want next. In this day and age of unsatisfactory customer service, this is a refreshing option to be rewarded for being a loyal customer.

__________________________________________________________________

Big Train can’t thank Patsy enough for her support and kind words about us, we’re just happy we can make life a little easier for our customers! If you’re ever in the Florida area, stop by and say hi to Patsy at:

Wilkinson’s Tea & Coffee Emporium
6601 N Davis Hwy #49
Pensacola, FL 32504
FAX 866-849-5290
Website: http://www.wilkinsonsusa.com/

You can “like” them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WilkinsonsUSA.  We wish them nothing but luck with their growing business and look forward to being a part of it! If you’re a Big Train customer and you have some pictures and stories you’d like to share, please let us know via Facebook, Twitter or email us at leahlangford@bigtrain.com.

Have any questions about Big Train? Visit our website or call us toll free at 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724).

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Win a FREE Blender During Big Train’s Summer Smoothie Spectacular!!!

blendtec EZ Blender

Blendtec's "EZ" Blender

Do you love summer? What about smoothies? How about FREE stuff?? Big Train® has combined all of your favorite things for our very first Summer Smoothie Spectaular!!!!  Every week during summer, we’re going to be giving away a free Blendtec blender, along with a free case of Big Train smoothie mix and even more free samples! While some companies may have you jumping through hoops in order to win prizes, we’re making it easy! All you have to do is go to http://www.bigtrain.com/real-fruit-smoothies and fill out a short registration with your name and contact information. That’s it! No purchases are necessary to sign up and win.  

Get your small business geared up for summer with some high quality equipment (thanks again Blendtec!) and the refreshing, fruity blast of Big Train’s smoothie mixes. With so many flavors to choose from, the hardest part of this giveaway will be deciding on your prize! 

big train summer smoothie spectacular

Join our Summer Smoothie Spectacular!!!

The flavors include: 

  • Strawberry Sensation
  • Lemon Cooler
  • Mango Madness
  • Banana Banana
  • Wild Berry
  • Pineapple Coconut
  • Passion Orange Guava
  • Peach Pizazz
  • Pomegranate Blueberry
  • Cranberry Raspberry
  • Naturals Strawberry
  • Naturals Mango
  • Vanilla Smoothie Mix (NSA available)

The best part is that all of these flavors can be experimented with and mixed together to create your own signature taste! The Vanilla Smoothie mix is especially great as a base and mixed with our Fruit Tea Smoothie Blast flavors, fresh fruit and/or juices.  Get creative and keep your customers on their toes. We also have our Add-A-Boost Supplements that can be added to the smoothies, offering your customers the option of an extra energy, immunity or vitamin boost!   

Don’t wait, Sign up today!!! The contest ends August 15th. Good luck and have a great summer :)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Big Train® Announces New OnTrack™ Rewards Program

big train on track rewardsLake Forest, CA (PRWEB) June 14, 2011

Big Train®, a leading manufacturer and distributor of premium drink mixes, announced its new customer rewards program today. The new loyalty program, OnTrack™ Rewards, provides Big Train business customers a new way of earning points which can be redeemed for free products.

OnTrack™ Rewards is available to U.S. businesses that purchase Big Train products. By joining the program, customers can:

Redeem points for free product
Participate in private Members-only events
Influence product development
Gain access to special offers
Receive the latest point of purchase marketing materials
Obtain advanced notice of new Big Train products

As an incentive to join the program, Big Train is offering 1,000 free points, worth one free case of product. To join the OnTrack™ Rewards program, a representative of the company that buys Big Train products needs to register at http://www.OnTrackRewards.com.

big train ontrack rewards

Big Train On Track Rewards

“We’re excited about Big Train’s new loyalty program”, says Adam Moore, President of SeriousSips.com, a distributor of Big Train products. “As a wholesale supplier of beverage products, we’re always looking to strengthen our customer relationships, reward loyalty, and improve the overall customer experience. Big Train has done a wonderful job designing its OnTrack Rewards system. This will most certainly be a value-add for our business and our customers.”

“In February, we looked at numerous loyalty tracking solutions but nothing quite fit the bill”, says Jim Wendt eCommerce Marketing Manager for Big Train. “What we wanted did not exist. We partnered with Apptivo, to create a new online loyalty system from scratch that was as easy to use as it is to administer. Apptivo exceeded our expectations.”

“We are thrilled to have teamed up with Big Train to create a new loyalty system”, says Bastin Gerald, CEO and Founder of Apptivo. “We look forward to continuing to work with Big Train to build on this program to provide even greater value to its customers.”

Based upon Apptivo’s Loyalty Management solution, The OnTrack™ Rewards system is innovative in several ways. Big Train can control the reward products and all related attributes. Through a custom user interface, Big Train supports customers that buy and serve Big Train products in addition to distributors. Several customizations were made to meet Big Train’s unique business and workflow requirements. The system also includes a dynamic certificate delivery process that controls and tracks the redemption and expiration of certificates and rewards, while providing an easy to use purchase reporting mechanism, and administrative control process.

For more information on Big Train’s OnTrack™ Rewards program, please go to http://www.ontrackrewards.com or contact Big Train at http://www.BigTrain.com or call (800) BIG TRAIN (244-8724).

About Big Train, Inc.

Founded in 1991, Big Train has grown to be a leading manufacturer and distributor of premium powdered and liquid concentrate beverage mixes serving the specialty coffee, foodservice and retail industries in the US and abroad. Headquartered in Lake Forest, California with a manufacturing facility in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, Big Train is known for high quality beverage solutions that are great tasting and easy to prepare. Big Train offers a wide array of products including blended ice coffees, coffee-free blended crèmes, chai teas, fruit smoothies, kids’ beverages, hot cocoas (hot chocolates), powdered soft serve, low carb beverages and flavored syrups to more than 20,000 customers including independent and small chain coffeehouses, bakeries, foodservice operators and its extensive international distributor network. For more information, visit http://www.bigtrain.com or call 800-BIG-TRAIN (that’s 800-244-8724). Or follow @BigTrain on twitter http://www.twitter.com/bigtrain or like Big Train on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bigtrain.

About Apptivo

Apptivo, headquartered in Fremont, CA provides a cloud platform of online software applications for small to medium sized businesses (SMB’s) to manage all aspects of their business. With over 40+ free web-based business apps covering CRM, Sales Force Automation, Marketing, Project Management, Invoicing, Help Desk Management, HR Management, eCommerce and more, Apptivo’s software as a service (SAAS) platform is used by businesses worldwide to improve efficiency, productivity, customer loyalty, drive sales and lower costs. For more information, check out http://apptivo.com. Follow @apptivo on twitter and like Apptivo on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/apptivo for the latest news, applications, and special offers.

Source

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Corduroy American Apron: The Essential Flag Day Attire

corduroy american flag apron

Our Personalized Corduroy American Flag Apron!!!

Today is Flag Day, and here at Big Train® we were discussing how to properly honor the occasion. The general consensus was that the flag should go up, and beverages should be had. This led us to the topic of barista attire, and what better way to celebrate our nation’s flag than by fixing your favorite Big Train drinks for friends and family in a Corduroy American Flag Apron! The durable nature of the cloth is a great metaphor for our country, holding up and staying strong through even the toughest situations.

Thanks to the genius of the people at Zazzle,  you can customize your own Corduroy American Flag apron! For the color of the apron choose between white, yellow and khaki, and it’s even up to you which picture you use! Whatever you think would be best fitting to pay tribute to the high waving mascot of our country, go for it. From everyone here at Big Train, Happy Flag Day!

Have any questions about Big Train? Visit our website or call us toll free at 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724).

Monday, 13 June 2011

Low Calorie Drinks That Actually Taste Good? Big Train® Turns Your World (And Your Diet) Upside Down!!

For the average fitness guru, in order to achieve the ideal weight and overall health, there are certain sacrifices that need to be made. Unfortunately, often times those sacrifices come in the form of lavish food and drinks. That’s why Big Train makes beverages that satisfy both your taste buds and your diet. With our wide selection of mixes and flavors, you’ll never have to settle for an unsatisfying low cal drink again!

low calorie drinks mocha blended ice coffee

Mocha

Naturals ™ Blended Ice Coffees. The rich smooth taste of Naturals have less than 5 grams of fat and 280 calories per 16 oz serving. They’re high in fiber, no trans fat, no hydrogenated oils,  Kosher certified and have a 12 month shelf life (no refrigeration needed). These better-for-you beverages taste far more decadent without the guilt. They come in Mocha, Caramel Cafe, Coffee and Vanilla Cafe.

low calorie drinks big train natural smoothies

Our Natural Smoothies in Mango and Strawberry

Naturals ™ Real Fruit Smoothies. This line of all natural smoothies are made with real fruit, juice and green tea. With just 220 calories per 16 oz drink, Big Train Naturals real Fruit Smoothies are fat free, contain 100% daily Vitamin C allowance and contain no  fructose corn syrup.

low calorie drinks chai

Have your low cal chai any way you like - hot, iced or blended!

Big Train® Chai Tea. Almost every flavor of our powdered chai (with the exception of decaf spiced, chocolate and raspberry) has only 3 grams of fat, no trans fat, no hydrogenated oils, kosher certified and has a 12 month shelf life. And if you’re a carb counter we even have our low carb spiced chai with 2.5 grams of fat and 11 total carbohydrates per serving! Refresh your body and soul with the creamy blend of honey, vanilla, black tea and exotic spices.

low calorie drinks sereno organic chai tea

Sereno: Our organic liquid chai mix!

Sereno Organic Chai. Our Sereno Organic Chai is an organic liquid concentrate that is all natural, non dairy, gluten free, Kosher certified and has an 18 month shelf life. This low calorie drink also has 0 grams of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium with only 19 grams of carbohydrates her serving!

low calorie drinks big train mocha blended ice coffee

Our low carb & easy to use powdered mix

Low Carb Blended Ice Coffees. With only 2 grams net carbs per 8 oz serving, no added sugar and a rich, creamy taste, Big Train Low Carb Blended Ice Coffees allow you to get your BIG fix while maintaining your low carb lifestyle. These diet-friendly BICs come in Caramel, Mocha, and Vanilla Latte.

Low Carb Hot Chocolate. With only 4 grams net carbs per 8 oz serving and a rich, decadent taste, you can enjoy our low carb hot chocolate with a clean conscience!

low calorie drinks brownie mix

Big Train's delicious and low carb brownie mix!

Low Carb Snacks. If you’d like a healthier snack to go along with your beverage, Big Train also provides low fat, Low Carb (0-8 net carbs per serving) Baked Goods. They are all natural with no trans fat, kosher certified and have an 18 month shelf life. It includes Chocolate Chip Brownie Mix, Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix, and Peanut Butter Cookie Mix.

low calorie drinks big train skinny minnie powedered soft serve

Skinny Minnie low carb powdered soft serve

And REMEMBER Big Train also has our low fat and low carb soft serve Skinny Minnie and Wow Cow to satisfy all you frozen yogurt and ice cream lovers out there.

Have any questions about Big Train? Visit our website or call us toll free at 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724).

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Big Train® Invades the 2011 Coffee Fest in San Diego

coffeefest expo 2011 big trainIn 1992, a group of professional coffee brewers gathered together in Seattle, Washington to make and sell coffee for the everyday consumer.   What began as a simple festival would soon transform into one of the most prominent gourmet and specialty beverage retail trade shows, and in 1998 that’s exactly what happened. Coffee Fest became an expo for retailers, distributors and manufacturers to get together and make their businesses better through increased knowledge and higher quality products.

coffeefest 2011blendtec

Our friends Kady Wade and Matt Best from Blendtec mixing a Big Train® beverage

On June 3rd through the 5th, Big Train® was lucky enough to take part in the 2011 Coffee Fest in San Diego. Although we didn’t have a booth this year, Big Train® has been exhibiting products at this unique trade show for more than 10 years. What sets this expo apart from other coffee exhibitions, is that while most of them focus more so on whole bean coffee or roasting, the Coffee Fest shows feature everything needed to start a coffee shop; from whole bean coffee, drink mixes and brewing equipment (i.e. Blenders from Blendtec as seen on the right) to supplies like flavor syrups, cups, straws and lids. They even have cash registers and mints! Because there is such a variety in what’s being sold, it also leaves the door wide open for many different kinds of new and innovative products being introduced into the market, another highlight of attending.

Here are the upcoming Coffee Fest dates:

Coffee Fest Hawaii 2011                                            Coffee Fest Seattle 2011
July 08 – 10, 2011                                                         September 23 – 25, 2011

Coffee Fest New York 2012                                      Coffee Fest Chicago 2012
March 09 – 11, 2012                                                    June 06 – 08, 2012

From a business standpoint, attending Coffee Fest is beneficial for someone starting a specialty coffeehouse or a food service location because there is everything you need in one show – a one-stop shop. For those already in the business, it is a chance to see what new products and services are available and seeing ways to improve current systems. So if you’re involved in the industry, make a point to familiarize yourself with this worthwhile event

Have any questions about Big Train®? Visit our website or call us toll free at 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724).

Monday, 6 June 2011

Frozen Hot Chocolate Recipe: Go 20 Below with Big Train® and Never Look Back

big train frozen hot chocolate recipe

YUM.

 When we think of hot chocolate we imagine fighting off the cold nights with a toasty fire and a warm brew in hand. Sadly, with summer just beginning, those days feel a long ways away. But what if you could have the best of both worlds? What if you could have that same rich, chocolate taste at the perfect temperature for those hot summer days? With Big Train’s 20 Below Frozen Hot Chocolate, you CAN have it all. 

AND it’s easy to make! In a blender, simply add the powdered mix with 5fl oz of chilled coffee, milk or water, and 12 oz  of ice. Blend until smooth and VOILA! You’ve just created a sinfully delicious treat (and you don’t have to share!). 

Big Train’s 20 Below line also plays well with others. Adding it to our Black Cherry Blended Creme mix makes for a fabulous chocolate black cherry frappe. Use your imagination and come up the drink you’ve always dreamed of. And of course, adding a little whipped cream never hurt anybody! 

To celebrate this delectable dessert, Big Train® is having a sample giveaway. Starting NOW, the first 20 people to follow all of these instructions will be mailed a free sample of our 20 Below Frozen Hot Chocolate or 20 Below White Chocolate drink mixes. Good Luck! 

  1. “Like” Big Train® on Facebook and/or “Follow” us on Twitter
  2. Post on your Twitter and/or Facebook wall: “I want my free sample of @BigTrain 20 Below Frozen Hot Chocolate!”
  3. Email us at leahlangford@bigtrain.com with your preferred flavor and mailing address.
  4. Open up your package, mix and ENJOY! Oh, and please post pictures of you enjoying Big Train’s Frozen Hot Chocolate on our Facebook page.

What’s your favorite frozen hot chocolate recipe? 

Have any questions about Big Train®? Visit our website or call us toll free at 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724). 

UPDATE: Our 20 Below Frozen Hot Chocolate sample giveaway is now over! Thanks to everyone who particpates and stay tuned for our next promotion.

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