Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Freshii at Target California



Fro-yo girl here. Earlier this month I reported that the Target store of the future test market, which includes remodeling and healthier café concepts, had expanded to California.

Target started testing the new healthier café concepts in October 2015 in Chicago and Minneapolis. Nine Freshii locations opened inside Target.

The new Target pilot program called LA25, involves store enhancements at 25 stores in Los Angeles, including better lighting, mannequins and a department store like feel in the apparel area, more beauty department specialists and healthy fast casual café concepts like Freshii and Which Wich sandwiches.

I’m not sure how many Target locations in Los Angeles have a Freshii inside but the Pasadena location does have Freshii, and so does the one in Brea. The Freshii at Target locations in the Midwest are listed on the Freshii website and I assume they’ll add the California ones soon. https://www.freshii.com/target/

I’ve eaten at Freshii in Chicago and San Francisco but I haven't eaten at one in about 3 years. They offered original tart frozen yogurt back then and every time I had it the texture was suboptimal…the last time I went to one in San Francisco, the yogurt machine wasn’t even working.

This is from my old review of Freshii Chicago (from 2010): "They have fat-free, probiotic fro-yo but it's only one flavor (plain) and one size (large, 12 ounces). The price includes your choice of two toppings (choose from fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, candy, cookies, granola, sunflower seeds, honey and coconut). I don't think they had mochi.

* Plain fro-yo with strawberries and blueberries ($4.99): The fruit was fresh and the fro-yo flavor was decent (sweet aftertaste, very refreshing, icy, soft, a bit lemony/tart) but the texture was horrible. It was already melted when I first received it and turned to soup in a few minutes. They served melted fro-yo. Yuck!!!"

Once they opened in San Francisco I tried the food a few times. It wasn’t good. Those San Francisco locations have closed for good and it wasn’t just because the frozen yogurt wasn’t good. The food was really bland. It’s all cooked ahead of time and they assemble it to order. The sauce or salad dressing adds the flavor.

Now back to the present day, the food seems a little better now at the Freshii inside Target. The portion seems larger with more veggies. Maybe I just ordered something better than before? They have salads, wraps, bowls, burritos, soups, smoothies and juices. The frozen yogurt is different now – they no longer offer plain tart but it’s now a much creamier faintly vanilla flavor from Island Oasis. There’s only one size (still) and it comes with two toppings for $4.99. But if you get something off the kid’s menu, it comes with frozen yogurt plus one topping. I prefer plain tart to what they’re serving now.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* FRESHII at TARGET: 777 Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

New Angry Bird Spoons Arrive at Menchie’s: Pig



Fro-yo girl here. I’m not familiar with Angry Birds but I am a froyo spoon collector and it’s an exciting day when a new batch of limited edition frozen yogurt spoons is released. The latest Angry Birds spoon design features Pig. He looks like a pig but I guess he’s a bird without a beak? Oh wait, he isn’t a bird. He’s the enemy of the birds who tries to steal and eat their eggs.

Judging from the size of the spoon, Pig is a successful egg stealer. He’s one big (wide) spoon. The back of the spoon looks like the mirror image of the character on the front. His favorite froyo is Rich ‘n’Nutty Pistachio.

Menchie’s will release five limited edition spoon designs featuring different characters from the Angry Birds Movie. There will be a new spoon released every week. Here’s the schedule:
  • Red (May 15)
  • Pig (May 22)
  • Bomb (May 29)
  • Matilda (June 5)
  • Chuck (June 12)
That’s three more spoons to collect. I found the other Angry Birds cup design. Menchie's will release two new Angry Birds inspired flavors in June: Strawberry Greek and Fresh Lime Sorbet.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Last Stop of Yogurtland’s Flavor Quest, Kiwi Raspberry Sorbet (New Zealand)


Fro-yo girl here. The last of this year's new Yogurtland Flavor Quest flavors was released today, Kiwi Raspberry Sorbet, inspired by the flavors of New Zealand. It’s the only sorbet featured in this year’s Flavor Quest.

The flavor card description says, “Grab a spoon and your sunnies to experience the New Zealand Kiwi life with this flavor-packed sorbet. We blended real raspberries and kiwifruit to create a naturally sweet and crisp combination from down under.”

* Kiwi Raspberry Sorbet: Both kiwifruit and raspberries are naturally tart and that’s why I like them. This sorbet isn’t tart though; it’s quite sweet. The two fruit flavors taste muted…especially the kiwi. It tastes like a sweet berry sorbet.

Suggested toppings: Keep it light with popping boba and fresh fruit

Kiwi raspberry sorbet should be available for two weeks or while supplies last. Remember to keep collecting stamps in your passport for your Yogurtland visits. The more stamps you collect, the more free froyo you can earn. Join Real Rewards to participate.

The next big Yogurtland promotion will start this July and it has something to do with Nintendo.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Annabella Bufala Milk Yogurt Review



Fro-yo girl here. Annabella Creamery is the world’s first 100% free range, grass-fed water buffalo products. The line includes organic, grass-fed buffalo milk cheeses and yogurt. The products are made in Colombia on sustainable family farms and flown to the US for distribution.

I spotted Annabella bufala yogurt at Gelson’s for $2.29 on sale (regular price $2.99). The yogurt is made from 100% bufala/buffalo milk sourced from grass-fed buffalo in Colombia. One serving of Annabella’s honey yogurt is 6 ounces with 230 calories, 10g of total fat and 31g of carbohydrates (sugars 22g, fiber 8g). When compared to cow’s milk, buffalo milk is richer; it has higher fat and calcium content but lower cholesterol and lactose. Buffalo milk also has a much longer shelf life than cow’s milk. Annabella’s yogurt has no preservatives and is non-GMO.

Ingredients (honey): Pasteurized water bufala milk, wild honey, naturally milled sugar cane, live active cultures

Available flavors (at Gelson’s): Honey, Plain, Strawberry, Blackberry

* Honey: The yogurt texture isn’t as thick as Greek yogurt (perhaps it isn’t strained). The yogurt had a strong honey and cream flavor. It tasted much sweeter than I expected and it’s rich without being sour. The tang is very mild. I think it would make a great dip for berries but it was too sweet to eat by itself.

* Blackberry: The blackberry flavor was blended throughout with a few seeds left in. It tasted like berries and cream. This flavor was a bit tangier because of the tanginess from the berries and it also has less sugar (7g) than the honey variety.

This is a full fat indulgent product that would make a good dessert yogurt.

4 out of 5 stars

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Angry Birds Movie Spoons Arrive at Menchie’s





Fro-yo girl here. Froyo spoon collectors, make room in your drawer for a new batch of collectible, limited time only froyo spoons from Menchie’s. Menchie’s will release five limited edition spoon designs featuring different characters from the Angry Birds Movie. There will be a new spoon released every week. Here’s the schedule:

  • Red (May 15)
  • Pig (May 22)
  • Bomb (May 29)
  • Matilda (June 5)
  • Chuck (June 12)

For the promotion they also have four new flavors: Strawberry Smoothie Sorbet and Freshly Squeezed Orange Sorbet in May and Fresh Lime Sorbet and Strawberry Greek in June. Top them with Angry Birds fruit snacks. I picked up one Angry Birds cup design and still need the other one.

Is it just me or does the Red spoon look funny because when you turn it over, you don’t see the back of Red? I'm not used to seeing a face on both sides of the spoon.

Some of the flavors are designated as the favorite of certain Angry Birds. Matilda’s favorite is Strawberry Smoothie Sorbet, Red’s favorite is Freshly Squeezed Orange Sorbet, Bomb’s favorite is Vanilla Snow and Chuck’s favorite is Pure Chocolate.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Yogurtland’s Flavor Quest Continues with Peanut Butter Parfait NSA



Fro-yo girl here. Attention peanut butter lovers, the latest Yogurtland Flavor Quest flavor arriving in stores today is Peanut Butter Parfait NSA. I know several people that have been looking forward to this new flavor. I like peanut butter frozen yogurt as well, so my hopes were high even though it’s a No Sugar Added flavor. I usually avoid NSA flavors and sorbets.

The Peanut Butter Parfait flavor is part of the Yogurtland Fourth Annual Flavor Quest. The flavor was inspired by the flavors of the US. The flavor card description says, “Enjoy a taste of true Southern comfort food without the guilt. Adding rich vanilla to real peanut butter, it all combines for a delicious spoonful of flavor.” It’s lowfat and gluten free.

* Peanut Butter Parfait NSA: I tasted the vanilla and the peanut butter. The peanut butter flavor was muted by the vanilla flavor. It tasted like their French Vanilla NSA flavor combined with the peanut butter flavor. The texture was smooth but not quite as creamy. It tasted as sweet as their regular, non-NSA flavors but it had a slightly bitter aftertaste that I haven’t noticed in the regular flavor.

Suggested toppings: Shortbread fingers, whipped cream, peanuts, peanut butter sauce

I really like the regular Yogurtland Peanut Butter flavor. The peanut butter flavor is noticeable but it doesn’t completely overwhelm the flavor of the yogurt. Peanut Butter Parfait isn’t as good as Peanut Butter.

Every Thursday will feature a new froyo flavor. The flavor will run for two weeks or while supplies last. Collect a stamp in your passport for every visit. The more stamps you collect, the more free froyo you can earn. Collect five stamps and get 5 free ounces. Collect ten stamps and you’ll be rewarded with 10 free ounces. Join Real Rewards to participate.

Next up: Kiwi Raspberry Sorbet (New Zealand) on May 19

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Target and Freshii Expand Test Market to California



Fro-yo girl here. Frozen yogurt is everywhere, from large cities to small towns it’s a global phenomenon. Frozen kefir, like yogurt, is a cultured milk product, but it's relatively hard to find (though that could soon be changing - read on). Both contain live and active cultures. Kefir has a higher probiotic count and more types of probiotic bacteria though and the consistency tends to be thinner (it’s often sold as a drink). Kefir contains beneficial yeasts that yogurt does not.

Lifeway describes the difference between yogurt and kefir as: “Lifeway Kefir contains 12 live and active probiotic cultures and is fermented for 14-18 hours after pasteurization. This results in more CFU per serving (7-10 billion) compared to most other commercially available cultured dairy products, including yogurt. The probiotic activity is what produces kefir’s signature fizz, which is why we delightfully refer to it as the Champagne of Dairy!”

The few times that I’ve had frozen kefir, it had an icier texture. It was tangy and tasted like frozen yogurt but the texture wasn’t as pleasing. Granted, so few places offer frozen kefir that the machine settings might have been responsible for the iciness but from what I’ve experienced, frozen yogurt is better than frozen kefir – though the taste is similar the texture of frozen yogurt is superior. I’d say that frozen kefir doesn’t taste as good as the best frozen yogurt but it doesn’t taste different enough from yogurt to make a difference to the consumer. However, if the consumer understands and cares that kefir is healthier than yogurt, it might make a difference for a segment of frozen yogurt consumers. Right now it’s difficult to find frozen kefir other than at the supermarket but that could change.

Target and Freshii announced a partnership late last year. Target is rebranding some of its cafes (it's unclear how many will be remodeled and rebranded) with Freshii opening locations in nine test markets in Chicago and Minneapolis. California will be the next test market for Freshii. With 1,700 Target stores with cafes, you could be seeing frozen kefir 

much closer to you. Update: The Freshii inside the Target on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, CA is open but it doesn't have frozen kefir. Froyo is on the menu (though the machine wasn't ready to serve any during my visit).

I spotted a Freshii inside the Old Town Pasadena location and it looks like it's about to open. The soft serve machine was there and frozen kefir was on the menu.

Lifeway’s Starfruit Café serves frozen kefir in the Chicago area. Freshii switched from frozen yogurt to frozen kefir at some locations last summer, including in the Chicago area. Some Argo Tea locations in Chicago offer Lifeway frozen kefir.


Other frozen kefir purveyors outside of Chicago include:
  • deKefir: 333 Bay St., Toronto, Canada
  • Swirls Frozen Kefir, Unit 195A SM Mall of Asia JW Diokno Blvd., Pasay, Pasay City, Philippines
  • Vanilla Jill’s, 298 Blair Blvd., Eugene, OR
Treat Petite was a frozen kefir shop in New York City that closed in 2012.

Lifeway’s frozen kefir products are distributed in the US, Canada, and the UK and can be found using the store locator: http://lifewaykefir.com/where-to-buy/

Babushka produces frozen kefir and is available at markets in Australia: http://babushkaskefir.com.au/find-us/

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.