Saturday, April 25, 2009
Fro-yo Trade Show Coverage (4/23 at Taylor Freezers)
Fro-yo girl here. I swung by the frozen yogurt trade show at the Taylor Freezers in South San Francisco. It was such a thrill to see the warehouse area with Taylor equipment and parts. Taylor has special events (check http://www.taylorfreezers.com) like gelato school (and maybe fro-yo school?)
The fro-yo show brought together the key suppliers of the fro-yo industry. And yes, there was free fro-yo (from YoCream, Rainbow’s End and Sambazon) and fro-yo toppings (TR Toppers, Nell Davis Old Fashioned Ice Cream Company).
A bit about the vendors:
* TAYLOR: If you’ve ever had soft serve anything, you’re sure to have seen their soft serve equipment. I’ve heard that they have a market share of 80 – 90%.
* YOCREAM (http://www.yocream.com/): Founded in 1976, YoCream is the leading supplier of the frozen yogurt mix. I met Barbara R., their key account manager. A true fro-yo industry legend and veteran, she once represented Honey Hill Farms. Her son, Jason R., represents another fro-yo brand, Rainbow’s End. I’m hoping to go to Portland, OR for a YoCream factory tour and to see their brand new retail store which opened last month.
* LOLLICUP (http://www.cupdepot.com/): I thought they might bring boba/pearl tea samples but they didn’t. I learned that Lollicup is the leading manufacturer of cold/hot paper food containers (under the Karat brand). They supply 90% of fro-yo businesses and offer custom logo cups. I saw cups with the logos of Tuttimelon, Chill, Whimsical, Yogurt Bar, and many more.
* SOUTHWEST TRADERS (http://www.southwesttraders.com): The leading distributor offers one stop shopping for quick service restaurants (including frozen yogurt shops).
* TR TOPPERS (http://www.trtoppers.com/products.html): TR Toppers offers chopped and non-chopped candies, baked goods, and other toppings, including Reese’s™ Peanut Butter Cups, cheesecake pieces, sprinkles, yogurt chips, Kit Kat, etc.
* SMOOTHEZE and SUMMIT PREMIUM GELATO (http://www.srfoodgroup.com/product.html): They offer healthy smoothie mixes (just scoop, add water and blend) and premium gelato. I saw the free gelato but I didn’t try any – I’m all about the fro-yo.
* SAMBAZON (http://www.sambazon.com/): They brought a tasty acai fro-yo to the show. Sambazon is the first company to import certified Organic Acai from Brazil to the US.
* NELL DAVIS OLD FASHIONED ICE CREAM COMPANY: They offer toppings. At the show they had Dae Doo Food Co. pastel mochi and fruity jelly cubes, along with candy toppings. I always wondered about those Korean jelly cubes (I’ve seen them at Kukje). I don’t think I’d like them on fro-yo.
Attendees included fro-yo luminaries as Roy L. (Mr. Tuttimelon) and the owners of Icebee, Yumygurt, etc.
You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.