One of the more entertaining things about the frozen yogurt wars is the constant insistence of originality. Pinkberry and Red Mango are usually considered the originals (in some order) and to our delight, the Fillmore's Jubili has already claimed dubious designer "firsts" in San Francisco. Now, Canadian fro-yo chain Yogen Fruz has announced that it will enter the U.S. market and open a San Francisco location in May. The international chain that dubs itself "the world leader in the frozen dessert category" claims that it predates Pinkberry and Red Mango and has 1,100 stores in over 20 countries—a curious stat since they told Eater LA that they were in 80 countries back in September. Anyway, they currently have 150 franchises planned in San Francisco, LA, Chicago and Orlando, with up to 1,000 anticipated in the next decade. All kinds of PR color follows:
Yogen Früz Enters Chicago with First Four Potential Stores, Starting at WoodfieldAnd boom go the yogurt wars.
1,100-Store Chain Targets 1,000 U.S. Locations over Next Decade
TORONTO, ONTARIO — Yogen Früz, a frozen yogurt chain with 1,100 stores in over 20 countries, is launching a bid for a major scoop of the American fro-yo market with the opening of its first three stores in Orlando, Chicago and San Francisco slated next month and its first Los Angeles location scheduled to debut in mid-March. A total of 30 locations is expected to open across the U.S. this year, introducing Yogen Früz’s signature create-your-own yogurt/fruit blends to American consumers.
Up to 1,000 U.S. outlets are planned by 2018, with 150 units already planned by master franchisees in the Orlando, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. Locations will range from small kiosks to mid-sized inline stores and 800 to 1,400 square foot sit-down outlets in strip plazas, shopping malls and regional shopping centers.
Blend It, Top It & More
The menu is anchored by Yogen Früz’s “Blend It” — a combination of low-fat, non-fat or no-sugar-added frozen yogurt and any of 16 varieties of flash-frozen fresh fruit mixed in the company’s proprietary machines while customers watch — as well as a “Top It” option featuring plain yogurt with a choice of 18 toppings from fruit to granola, carob chips and Cap’n Crunch. Other menu selections include dairy and non-dairy smoothies, fresh fruit cups, and parfait-style breakfast yogurt layered with fresh berries.
The low-fat and non-fat yogurt as well as the dairy smoothies are packed with added probiotic cultures that have been shown to promote a healthy digestive system, improve mineral absorption, fortify the immune system, manage lactose intolerance and even help lower cholesterol. Yogen Früz has more than 17 million live probiotic cultures per gram compared to as few as 69,000 for other brands, making a healthy snack alternative even healthier.
“New frozen yogurt vendors are sprouting as fast as new mobile phones, but none of them have Yogen Früz’s combination of menu variety, probiotic benefits, critical mass and market experience,” said Aaron Serruya, who started the company with his brother Michael in 1986. “We’re entering the U.S. market with distinct advantages that we believe will allow us to quickly dominate the space.”
· Yogen Fruz [Official Site]