Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More Pinkberry Coverage, Meet the VP of Brand Management

Fro-yo girl here. I recently had the chance to chat about fro-yo with Suzanne Ginestro, VP of Brand Management at Pinkberry. Suzanne previously was the head of Brand Marketing at Red Bull and held various roles at Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream.

What's it like managing the Pinkberry brand? It's a dream job for Suzanne, who loves fro-yo (and her kids do as well). She had the experience of managing a lifestyle, image-oriented brand at Red Bull and knew the ice cream category well. Pinkberry allows her to draw from her previous brand management experiences.

What can we expect from Pinkberry in the future? They're always working on the next fro-yo flavor and new toppings, as well as ways to create a "unique, distinctive consumer experience." However, they won't come up with too many flavors at once because they want to be more thoughtful about their approach and ensure they put out the best, highest quality flavors possible. She calls it "thoughtful innovation." For example, when they introduce a new flavor, they've also given thought to the toppings that would go well with that new flavor. They consider taste and texture.

When it comes to customer service, they emphasize humility and connecting with customers. They want to make sure that customers "get what they're looking for." For example, if someone doesn't like their fro-yo, Pinkberry is happy to reswirl. The unlimited toppings policy encourages people to try new toppings, even if they just want a little of that topping.

What's your favorite cup of fro-yo? Her tastes are seasonal and she makes her creations sound amazing. For summer, it's watermelon fro-yo with watermelon puree, fresh watermelon cubes, raspberries and bing cherries. For fall, it's coconut fro-yo with all-natural honey almond granola, fresh mango and blueberries.

Thanks, Suzanne!

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

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pinkberry Sunnyvale Grand Opening Pink Carpet Coverage

Fro-yo girl here. I was in Sunnyvale this evening, observing all the pink carpet activities at the Pinkberry Sunnyvale grand opening celebration. The setting: pink carpet leading into the store, a white tent set up outside for VIPs and t-shirt giveaways (for those signing up to be Pinkberry Groupies), Pinkberry staff bringing samples to the crowd on round orange trays, and a dj with pink glittery headphones. Guests were treated to a mini cup of fro-yo (choice of six flavors: Original, Watermelon, Pomegranate, Coconut, Chocolate, Mango).

My name was first on the VIP list (yay!) VIPs could skip the long line and enjoy endless cups of Pinkberry fro-yo (all six flavors) with toppings served in the tent. The staff members were very friendly and welcoming, especially Matthew and Pete (Pete's been to every Pinkberry location in the US). I was also thrilled to be there with Tracy T., who is Pinkberry obsessed (she wants to serve Pinkberry at her wedding). Sadly, we missed out on the free t-shirts (they looked similar to the Santana Row Pinkberry shirts). I was there early enough but just assumed I would automatically get a shirt.

I found out that the Santa Clara location could be open in less than a month...

Congratulations Pinkberry!

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

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Tuttimelon Fro-yo Flavors: Strawreo and more

Fro-yo girl here. The magical fro-yo flavor elves have been busy at Tuttimelon lately. Last Sunday, they introduced Strawreo (strawberry cookies n' cream). I also heard about the CupCakes flavor. I was surprised to see other "new" flavors at the Irving St. location. I tried a couple and my favorite new flavor is definitely JAPANESE YOGURT.

* Japanese Yogurt: yes, it tastes like Yakult. It's quite sweet but also tangy. It seems less sweet or just more palatable than Yakult in drink form. It's similar to yet different from Original Tart. I think it's sweeter than Original Tart. What an innovative flavor!
* Strawreo: I'll give them points for creativity and the cute poster. I've never heard of a strawberry cookies n' cream before. It tastes more like cookies n' cream than strawberry. I think I prefer regular cookies n' cream
* Mixed berries tart: it's decent but not one of my favorite Tuttimelon flavors

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

* TUTTIMELON IRVING: 2045 Irving St., San Francisco, CA

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pinkberry Sunnyvale Grand Opening Event Invitation

Fro-yo girl here. I just received the official Pinkberry Sunnyvale invitation images. Come by to sample free Pinkberry this Saturday from 6 PM - 10 PM. I'm excited to see that pink carpet and to take part in welcoming Pinkberry Northern California store #4.

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

* PINKBERRY SUNNYVALE: 122 E. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Runny Fro-yo is Gross

Fro-yo girl here. The other week I was in Chicago eating fro-yo and I received a melted cup of fro-yo from freshii. The fro-yo was too soft to even hold a swirl. In a few minutes, it had become fro-yo soup. The flavor wasn't bad actually, but the melted texture was plain disgusting. When it comes to fro-yo, texture ranks second only after taste. There's nothing worse than runny, too soft fro-yo. I like smooth, firm fro-yo that doesn't melt right away. Other fro-yo textures that I don't like include:

(1) gritty and or chunky/lumpy fro-yo
(2) airy, fluffy fro-yo
(3) overly icy

I seem to run into better texture at full-service shops (maybe because they have fewer machines to look after?) but there are some self-serve chains that seem to consistently have good fro-yo texture. I'd like to recognize Yogurtland and Menchie's for good quality control.

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

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Grand Opening Celebration: Miam.Miam Lounge

Fro-yo girl here. I just received my invite for the launch party at miam.miam lounge this Thursday (Sept. 16). Fro-yo will be 50% off all day, housewares are 25% off and they also have other festivities lined up. The invite says the following: "Please join us on September 16th to celebrate the launch of our first concept store, Miam.Miam Lounge - where we bring our award winning industrial designer's vision to life...swing by from 7-9 PM to meet the designers, enjoy yummy eats and beverages while seeing the entire product line." They'll have a raffle drawing for Miam.Miam products every half hour. Sounds like an evening of fro-yo fun.

Congratulations miam.miam!

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

* MIAM.MIAM LOUNGE: 5856 College Avenue, Oakland, CA

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pomegranate the Favorite Fruity Tart Flavor, Red Velvet the Flavor of the Year

Fro-yo girl here. I recently asked you, the readers, which tart fruity flavor was your favorite. I chose flavors that were fairly common. And the results show...that pomegranate is the clear winner with 41% of the vote. Blueberry tart was the second most popular with 19% of the vote, followed by mango (14%), pineapple (11%) and lychee (8%).

I know quite a few people who like pomegranate tart fro-yo the best, so I wasn't surprised that pomegranate took top honors. Two years ago, I named pomegranate tart as the fro-yo flavor of the year. Last year was the year of acai and this year it's looking like red velvet fro-yo is the flavor of the moment. YoCream came out with red velvet fro-yo this year but red velvet is popular all around - especially at cupcake shops. Even The Cheesecake Factory has a red velvet cake cheesecake.

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

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pinkberry Sunnyvale Opening on September 25

Fro-yo girl here. Pinkberry is coming to Sunnyvale! The official store announcement says, "Pinkberry will be open for business at 122 East El Camino Real as of Saturday, September 25! Sunnyvale will be serving Pinkberry’s six distinctive flavors (Original, Pomegranate, Coconut, Chocolate, Mango and a Featured Flavor that rotates seasonally), along with new Swirly Whip, Fruit Bowl and Take-Home offerings!" The grand opening pink carpet event will be Saturday, September 25. Yes, there will be free Pinkberry and a special guest DJ appearance. Stay tuned in case I get additional details.

I haven't tried the Swirly Whip yet. It's an exclusive whipped cream topping.

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

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Future Fro-yo Shop Pictures: FreshBerry Fremont

Fro-yo girl here. About a month ago, Beautiful Brands International announced that they would open their first self-serve FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt Cafe in Fremont. I drove by to check out the location and didn't see much inside. The walls are pink and green. I didn't see any fro-yo machines or evidence that much construction had taken place. There was one paper sign in the window announcing that FreshBerry was coming soon.

The shop isn't in Pacific Commons but is across the street in a smaller shopping plaza. It's close to YoSwirl which I heard has gone downhill since the ownership changed.

FreshBerry also plans to open a location in Union City, CA.

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

* FRESHBERRY FROZEN YOGURT: 5625 Auto Mall Parkway, Fremont, CA

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Yogurtland Blood Orange Tart Fro-yo

Fro-yo girl here. I'm really excited about the new blood orange tart flavor at Yogurtland. Here's a picture of the blood orange tart poster and the flavor sign. They have another sign that encourage you to swirl the Chocolate Twilight and Blood Orange Tart flavors together.

Blood orange tart is quite creamy, on the sweet side, juicy (it's made with blood orange juice) and not that tart/tangy. I thought I detected a bitter note but honestly it could have been leftover from the cough drop I just had. The color is so pretty.

I just noticed that the Yogurtland lids have their logo on them too. They used to have plain lids but at some point they switched over to cuter lids.

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