Sunday, November 28, 2010

Menchie's Silly Bands

Fro-yo girl here. I now own my first silly bands (rubber band bracelets) and they're fro-yo ones of course. They're from Menchie's. Each pack contains 12 random silly bands. There are 40 designs in all and they come in Menchie's colors: white (glow in the dark), green, magenta, and dark pink. A pack is $3.50. My pack had spoons, a strawberry, Menchie Man head, yogurt cup with fro-yo, and the Menchie's logo. These would make such a cute stocking stuffer for fro-yo fans. The bands were introduced on October 10 (10/10/10) and they're available for a limited time.

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

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yogurtland Spoons

Fro-yo girl here. Happy Thanksgiving to all fro-yo fans and fro-yo people! As we prepare to spend the day with friends and family (and hopefully fro-yo will be part of your day), I'm contemplating Yogurtland fro-yo spoons. On a recent trip to Yogurtland, I immediately noticed that the spoon felt different. I took the spoon home to compare it to my other Yogurtland spoons.

The new spoon is darker pink and it feels thinner. The logo is more shallow and the edges aren't as smooth. It has the same biodegradable logo as before. The old spoon had a better feel.

When I attended the 50th anniversary of Sanrio event in Santa Monica, they gave me one of the older spoons.

I have a spoon that's even older with the old Yogurtland logo. I wish I had more of the first generation Yogurtland spoons but I have a couple in pink and in green. Of course I still have my Yogurtland Tokidoki spoons - those are the cutest fro-yo spoons in my collection.

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

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Whole Foods Fro-yo Report

Fro-yo girl here. When I read that the new Whole Foods in San Jose would feature Straus organic soft serve fro-yo, I knew I had to see it for myself. The fro-yo is a bit hard to spot (look for it at the Coffee Bar). They had one flavor and one size (plain tart) with 7 types of toppings (no mochi). Seasonal fruit was listed as a topping and when I asked about it, they only had blueberries. The market is filled with fresh fruit and they can only offer blueberries? Shocking.

Fro-yo prices: $2.99 without toppings, $3.99 with toppings

They didn't have a proper fro-yo cup. The fro-yo was served in a gelato cup with a gelato spoon. Very disappointing. It wasn't that good either - the texture wasn't smooth enough and it was overly icy. Also the person doing the swirling did not have good swirling skills.

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

* WHOLE FOODS: 1146 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose, CA

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Fro-yo Maker Toy: Girl Gourmet Chill Treats Dessert Maker

Fro-yo girl here. This week's Target Weekly Ad features Girl Gourmet Chill Treats Dessert Maker, on sale for $18.99. I went to Target to investigate. The Dessert Maker comes with the green plastic dessert maker, vanilla & chocolate mousse packets, toppings, a scooper, mixing bowl cups with lids, spoons, etc.

The "fro-yo" comes in three flavors: chocolate mousse, vanilla mousse and strawberry mousse. The fro-yo pictured on the package does not look appetizing. The main ingredient is non-dairy creamer but yogurt powder is also an ingredient. They say it works for ice cream and sorbet as well.

Each refill is $4.99 ($3.99 on sale) and the toppings bar kit is $9.99. While I'm curious, I'm not willing to actually eat what comes out of that dessert maker. I'm afraid to give it to my niece even.

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

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More Pictures from Sanrio 50th Anniversary Celebration

Fro-yo girl here. So this post isn't about fro-yo but the pictures were taken at an event with fro-yo. Also, one of the pictures is of Tokidoki and that's a fro-yo connection too (who can forget Tokidoki Loves Yogurtland cups, spoons, t-shirts and signs?). The Tokidoki characters are friends with Sanrio characters and Yogurtland. My Sanrio pictures were too cute not to share with others.

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

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sanrio 50th Anniversary/Small Gift L.A. (and yes, fro-yo)

Fro-yo girl here. Today was the first day of Small Gift L.A., the Sanrio extravaganza of super cuteness.

Yogurtland was there (!!!) so I had to check it out. First, it's inside an airplane hangar and when you walk inside (free admission, parking is $10), the place just seems unbearably cute. There are enormous inflatable Sanrio character heads hanging from the ceiling, a Sanrio ferris wheel (yes, it works), Hello Kitty Smart cars (yes, you can sit inside), games (you have to buy tickets to play) with Sanrio prizes, arts & craft booths (e.g., character sand art), food trucks (today these were Phamash and The Flying Pig), Beard Papa cream puffs (with a special Beard Papa/Hello Kitty bag), Sanrio art gallery, pop-up store and a Sanrio miniature golf course. It's cuteness overload!

So back to fro-yo, Yogurtland had 2 machines (so four flavors) and 6 toppings, you could get as much as you could fit into a cup for $5. The signs had Sanrio characters and there was a giant fro-yo cup with fro-yo that you could stand inside.

Fro-yo flavors:
* Hello Kitty's Fresh Strawberry
* Keroppi's Plain Tart
* Chococat's Dutch Chocolate
* My Melody's Red Velvet Cupcake Batter

Toppings: Strawberries, rainbow sprinkles, sour worms, brownie bites, peanuts, M&Ms
It was so cute to see the characters holding a cup of fro-yo. Awww, if only they had Sanrio character spoons.

We had to wait an hour to get into the store but they came by and gave us candy, bookmarks, and invites to the Sanrio parties (I Love Nerds, 80's Prom). The store has 50th anniversary special merchandise, Tokidoki Sanrio t-shirts, other clothing, stickers, plush toys, pillows, bags, etc. The big red bows were very popular and many attendees wore Hello Kitty clothing. Some even had whiskers and red bows!

The celebration continues in Santa Monica till 11/21.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.
* Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy National Vanilla Cupcake Day/Cupcakes in Fro-yo Cups

Fro-yo girl here. My cupcake friends have told me that tomorrow, November 10, is a major holiday, National Vanilla Cupcake Day. I'm sure that vanilla cupcakes will be on the minds of many tomorrow (and rightly so). I don't have a good picture of a vanilla cupcake at the moment, but I do have a picture of a cupcake in a fro-yo cup (taken in a fro-yo shop that happens to sell cupcakes).

Remember that fro-yo and cupcakes go well together (e.g., I have seen cupcake pieces as a fro-yo topping, fro-yo placed in the middle of a sliced up cupcake or on top, and cupcake flavored fro-yo) and enjoy the day.

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

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New Fro-yo Concept from Straw Hat Pizza

Fro-yo girl here. Did you know that Straw Hat Pizza now has fro-yo? They launched their new self-serve fro-yo concept, Tower 27 Yogurt, inside the new Straw Hat Pizza location in Walnut Creek, CA. It has a California theme, like their pizza (which they call Genuine California Pizza) and they emphasize "6 flavors, 27 toppings, endless combinations." It's part of the rebranding and redesign of the 51 year old company. They are said to be evolving into a family dining restaurant. I missed out on the free pizza and free fro-yo during last month's grand opening celebration.

What is Straw Hat Pizza thinking? According to the president & CEO of Straw Hat, "the option of the frozen yogurt co-brand is designed to make the concept that much more attractive as a franchise investment. The Tower 27 brand is estimated to take only about 500 square feet of space." - Restaurant News. Adding fro-yo increased revenue by $20,000 a month at the test store. Tower 27 Yogurt stand-alone stores are a possibility.

During my visit to Tower 27 Yogurt, it struck me as a typical self-serve place, only with fewer options than some of the other fro-yo self-serve chain stores. It fit in well with the other self-serve areas of the shop (soda, salad, pizza buffet). There was nothing unusual about the flavors or toppings.

Now I'll have to find a way to check out Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's fro-yo concept, Aspen Leaf Yogurt.

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

* TOWER 27 YOGURT: 3116 Oak Road, Walnut Creek, CA

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fro-yo Consumption Increasing?

Fro-yo girl here. I recently asked readers the following question, "How does your current fro-yo consumption compare to this time last year?" And the results are in. It appears that fro-yo consumption is not declining. Only 10% of respondents said they're eating less fro-yo now compared to a year ago. The majority, 57% say they're eating more fro-yo now than a year ago and 23% are eating about the same amount as a year ago.

This seems to bode well for fro-yo shops. They may be attracting new clientele and/or maintaining current customers. Yet most of the shops that I visit seem to be emptier this year vs. the same time last year. That could be because the Bay Area market is oversaturated, whereas there's still room for growth in other areas of the country. Some chains are shrinking and the number of fro-yo store closings has risen. YoCream fro-yo sales continue to rises and experts predict rising fro-yo sales...but of course competition is increasing as well.

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