Partnering with PreGel: A Quick Look at How Quick-Service Can Only Get Sweeter

PreGel has been creating fine frozen dessert ingredients for more than 45 years. The Italian-based company is known in the industry as the company that brought the frozen yogurt revolution to the U.S. PreGel America sells products to all segments of the food service industry, with dedicated staff focused on the quick-service sector, says Jillian Hilliard, marketing manager.

“We provide specific specialty dessert products to the industry. PreGel makes semi-finished products to which end users just add water or milk to get a quality frozen dessert. We work closely with clients to customize flavors for them or create private labels,” says Hilliard.

“We develop new recipes and flavors all the time. We have a training facility where our chefs work with clients to create new flavors. We take a customized approach to meeting the needs and challenges our quick-serve customers bring,” says Anna Pata, the company’s sales director.

“We really pride ourselves on a product that tastes the way it should—if we have an Alphonso mango flavor, then the product should taste like that,” says Hilliard.

“We are also proud of the efficiency and ease of use of the product. Since many of our products are semi-finished, we give clients an opportunity to hone the process and create recipes, really making it their own.” And because the bases and flavors are shelf-stable, users don’t need to find room in cold storage for the product.

“We take a customized approach to meeting the needs and challenges our quick-serve customers bring.”

“PreGel is not just about selling semi-finished products,” continues Hilliard. “It is about providing the entire experience. We teach clients how to sell the product, too.” At PreGel’s Professional Training Center, chefs teach users how to get the best product from a wide range of frozen dessert machines. Courses range from a one-day soft-serve class and beginning gelato class to a variety of pastry and novelty classes, including seminars for professional chefs. Topics include business basics, hands-on training, and even marketing ideas for promoting the product.

PreGel’s sales team has technical training to help trouble shoot in the field. “We don’t want to be just an ingredient provider,” says Pata. “We want to be a partner to companies we work with.”

Hilliard says studies show Americans are spending more money on desserts, and the dessert products created with PreGel ingredients are affordable luxuries. “Desserts are an easy day-part to add. We have easy-to-produce Pronto Pastries—just add milk and/or cream to get creme brulee or a molten chocolate cake, for example. Allow it to set or bake, and it’s ready to serve. This is true value-added product, and the up-sell is that you can offer great desserts and expand the menu without adding a lot of upfront investments in extra machinery or skilled labor,” says Hilliard.

“We want to help clients grow, and in terms of manufacturing, research and development, we need to stay ahead of the curve,” says Hilliard. “We also have to ask ourselves how do we diversify our product line in a way that is smart and innovative for the quick-serve sector? We always want to provide new and exciting products for our clients. We will continue to talk to our customers and challenge ourselves to find the next big thing.

“In the quick-serve sector, this might mean something as simple as playing with a recipe to find the right mix for a customer. The next step could be developing a private label and working with the client to present an entirely new product. We exhaust all our resources to give our clients the products they are looking for.”

For more information about franchising opportunities with PreGel, visit