Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best Froyo Swirl of 2015

Fro-yo girl here. This year I reached a personal high of 200 cups of froyo consumed in one year. The quest for the Unlimited Cup at Yogurtland and some other Yogurtland challenges based on the number of visits during a set time period encouraged my increased froyo consumption. I also went on several trips and that also leads to greater froyo consumption.

Cups that I consumed, a yearly comparison:
  • 2015: 200 (plus a cup or two that I’ll have after this post)
  • 2014: 139
  • 2013: 138
Don’t believe it? You can see all my 2015 froyo cups consumed on my Pinterest board, 2015 Froyo Consumed by FYG.

I looked at all my cups of froyo that I swirled this year to find my best swirl of 2015.

And the best swirl is…a cup of Caramel Macchiato froyo with whipped cream, salted caramel bits, toffee and mochi from Yogurtland, swirled at Yogurtland Pasadena (415 S. Lake Ave.) on January 27, 2015 during the Yogurtland’s 2nd Annual Fan Choice Awards. Caramel Macchiato froyo won the Best Beverage category. It was delicious and I hope it comes back.


What I like about this swirl is that the swirls are clearly defined and uniform, with the swirls gradually getting smaller and ending in a nice upward peak. The toppings do not obscure the frozen yogurt but actually complement the swirl in terms of color. Also the whipped cream helps to fill up the cup.

There were many nice looking swirls from which to choose.

Here are a few others that I really liked:


Matcha green tea froyo w/ strawberries, pound cake and strawberries from Yogurtland (such a classic combination) 


Vanilla malt froyo w/ toffee, whipped cream & wafer roll cookie from Yogurtland (love that Sweet Treats teddy bear spoon, the whipped cream swirls look so pretty)



Candy clouds & plain tart froyo w/ strawberries, frosted animal cookies & mochi from Yogurtland (the red color of the spoons complements the froyo and toppings)

It was interesting to look back at all my cups of froyo to see which flavors and toppings I selected. I found out the following:

  • 27.5% of my cups weren't swirled by me (I went to a full serve froyo shop, most often it was Pinkberry)
  • 19% of my cups didn’t have any toppings (I prefer froyo to toppings)
  • 37.5% of my cups contained fresh fruit (if I had a tart flavor or went to Pinkberry, I almost always selected fruit, but sometimes tart flavors aren’t available or the fruit doesn’t look fresh)
  • 70.5% of my cups had a single flavor (I don’t like mixing flavors)
  • 4.5% were dairy-free (I like my dairy)
And, yes, I go to Yogurtland all the time.


Want to make your swirl look nicer? Read IFYA's Froyo Swirling Tips and get plenty of practice. Practice does help because you need to swirl with precision but also have a relaxed wrist.

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, December 28, 2015

Yogurtland's Flavor Pandamonium is Coming






Fro-yo girl here. Did you go to Yogurtland today looking for their new promotion? It hasn’t started yet but it’s scheduled to start next Monday, January 4.

Yogurtland’s Flavor Pandamonium represents a partnership with DreamWorks new movie, Kung Fu Panda 3. There will be five flavors: Po’s Cookies and Cream, Mei Mei’s Dragon Warrior Passion Tart, Bao’s Cherry Tart, Tigress’ Big Pop Sorbet and Master Shifu’s Honey Graham. There will be a new cup design and five new collectible froyo spoons (thanks Zelda Zonk for the tip!) I spotted five collectible Kung Fu Panda/Yogurtland keychain designs ($2.99 each).

The promotion will run from January 4 – February 28, 2016.

It appears that Yogurtland’s Fan Choice Awards have been discontinued (sad face).

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, December 22, 2015

Favorite New Froyo Flavors of 2015


Fro-yo girl here. I’m not sure how proud I should be but this year I’m going to exceed my froyo consumption from previous years. Last year, I consumed 139 cups of froyo. This year I’ll hit 200 cups of froyo consumed in one year. So yes, I’ve eaten lots of froyo and since I live in SoCal now, most of that froyo has been consumed in and around Los Angeles.

Every year I look forward to trying new froyo flavors. New flavors in 2015 included Southern Pecan Pie (Menchie’s), Pumpkin Spice Latte (Orange Leaf), Pear (Pinkberry), and Candy Clouds (Yogurtland). Which new flavor was my favorite? I decided to pick two, one from an independent froyo shop and another from a chain.

Vanilla Harmony from Yoga-urt in Glendale, CA: It’s vegan froyo made with almond milk. They make their own almond milk and add live and active cultures. I love how you can taste the almond milk and how it tastes fresh, less processed and more natural.

Pinkberry’s Raspberry White Chocolate: Lemon Lime Pinkberry was a close second. Pinkberry turned 10 this year and I have a new found appreciation for their flavors. Raspberry white chocolate surprised me because it was tarter then I expected it to be and the hint of white chocolate added a sweet mellowness. You can really taste the raspberries and the white chocolate was the perfect complement.

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

* YOGA-URT, 1407 ½ W Kenneth Rd., Glendale, CA 91201

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.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New Holiday Dessert Fair Flavor at Menchie’s: Fresh Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookie


Fro-yo girl here. The last of the new “Holiday Dessert Fair” flavors, Fresh Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, was scheduled to launch in stores yesterday but I had some difficulty finding it (they planned to put it in that evening).

I confess that I despise raisins, so I was afraid of the new flavor. However, I do like oatmeal and oatmeal cookies so I was also curious. Fresh Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookie froyo is made with real cinnamon, oats and raisins. One thing I don’t like about raisins is that the flavor is intense and concentrated. Because the raisins are in teeny bits in the froyo, there wasn’t a huge burst of raisin flavor (a good thing). I could taste raisins but also other flavors, raisins were just one component. The flavor was creamy and comforting. It did taste like it was supposed to. If you have a sweet tooth, I bet the Cinnabon icing would complement the flavor, because I remember how oatmeal raisin cookies were often iced.

Recommended toppings: White chocolate chips, Nilla wafers, cheesecake pieces, Cinnabon icing

For some reason the South Pasadena Menchie’s is still out of Alvin spoons. Both the Menchie’s in Monrovia and Alhambra have Alvin spoons.

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, December 15, 2015

Froyo Shop Openings and Closings in California 2015

Fro-yo girl here. California is a mighty large state and it’s difficult to track every froyo shop opening and closing. The openings are easier to track. Shops generally close quietly, sometimes with no announcement. It’s also more difficult for me to track shops outside of the Bay Area and Los Angeles, yet that’s where most of the action is at these days. 

Here’s my (imperfect) attempt to track froyo shop openings and closings in California this year:

Openings
  1. Bailey’s Frozen Yogurt, Escondido
  2. Blush Organic Frozen Yogurt, Pleasanton
  3. Buono Vita Yogurt, Rancho Murieta
  4. Coolberry, Glendora
  5. Crème Bee, Alhambra
  6. CUPS, Northridge
  7. Easy Breezy, Castro, San Francisco
  8. Forever Yogurt,  Morgan Hill
  9. Frozen Flavors, Santa Rosa
  10. Frozen Yogurt Spot, Sebastopol
  11. Go Greek Yogurt, Canoga Park
  12. Green Apple Yogurt, El Monte
  13. IceKrave, North Hollywood
  14. Kiwifrost, Rancho Cucamonga
  15. Major Brain Freeze, Rialto
  16. Menchie’s, Corona
  17. Menchie’s, Folsom
  18. Menchie’s, Fresno
  19. Menchie’s, Murrieta
  20. Menchie’s, Oceanside
  21. Menchie’s, Palmdale
  22. Menchie's, Santa Rosa
  23. Menchie's, Carlsbad
  24. Menchie's, Oceanside
  25. Menchie's, Bell Gardens
  26. Menchie's, Clovis
  27. Menchie’s,  San Jose Mineta International Airport
  28. Menchie’s, Riverside Dr., Fresno
  29. MiaBella, Vista
  30. Mickey’s Frozen Yogurt, Fresno
  31. Midtown Cafe, Mountain View
  32. Myo, Seaside
  33. Pit Stop Froyo & More, Burbank
  34. SnapFit, Canoga Park
  35. Summit Swirl, Truckee
  36. Sweetfrog, Camarillo
  37. Sweetfrog, Victorville
  38. Sweet's Yogurt, Riverside
  39. Tasti D-Lite, Santa Monica
  40. YoBoLand, Tarzana
  41. Yogurt Blast, Duarte
  42. Yoga-urt, Glendale
  43. Yogurt Mill, Turlock
  44. Yogurtland, Alameda Landing, Alameda
  45. Yogurtland, Irvine Spectrum
  46. Yogurtland, Santa Teresa, San Jose
  47. Yogurtland, Canoga Park
  48. Yogurtland, Chino
  49. Yogurtland, Lynwood
  50. Yogurtland, Montebello
  51. Yogurtland, Compton
  52. Yogurtland, West Covina (on S Azusa Ave.)
  53. Yogurtland, Mountain View
  54. Yogurtland, Eagle Rock, Los Angeles
  55. Yogurtland, San Luis Obispo
  56. Yogurtland, La Quinta
  57. Yogurtland, Indio
  58. Yogurtland, Studio City
Closings
  1. Bali’s, San Luis Obispo
  2. BrazzleBerry, Half Moon Bay
  3. Cherry on Top, Monrovia
  4. Cherry on Top, Fullerton
  5. Cherry on Top, Mission Viejo
  6. Chilaberries, Manteca
  7. Coco Swirl, Walnut Creek
  8. CUPS, Westminster
  9. Flavory Yogurt, Seal Beach
  10. FroyoFace, Burbank
  11. Frozen Yogurt Spot, Sebastopol
  12. FruittiYogi, Alameda
  13. Golden Spoon, Irvine
  14. Golden Spoon, Escondido
  15. Golden Spoon, Del Mar
  16. Golden Spoon, Walnut
  17. Golden Spoon, Seal Beach
  18. Golden Spoon, Lake Forest
  19. Honeyberry, Berkeley
  20. Honeyberry, Milpitas
  21. Menchie’s, Orange
  22. Menchie's, Torrance
  23. Pinkberry, Brea
  24. Pinkberry, Davis
  25. Pinkberry, Irvine Spectrum
  26. Pinkberry, Old Town Pasadena
  27. Pinkberry, Santa Ana
  28. Pinkberry, Westfield Topanga, Canoga Park
  29. Pinkberry, Westlake Village
  30. Pure Yum, Fremont
  31. Red Berry, Commerce
  32. Red Mango, Mineta San Jose International Airport
  33. Skinny Sippin, San Carlos
  34. Sweet XO, Arcadia
  35. Sweet XO, El Segundo
  36. Sweet XO, Huntington Beach
  37. Sweet XO, Thousand Oaks
  38. Tutti Frutti, Azusa
  39. Yippee Yogurt, Tracy
  40. Yogofina, Pleasanton
  41. Yogoholic, Pleasanton
  42. Yogurt Factory, Los Angeles
  43. Yogurt Island, Torrance
  44. Yogurtland, Sawtelle, Los Angeles
  45. Yogurtouille, San Mateo
  46. Yolo, Mill Valley
  47. Yoogl, Mountain View
  48. Yoppi Yogurt, Oakland
  49. Yoppi Yogurt, Polk St., San Francisco
  50. Yoppi Yogurt, Stonestown Galleria, San Francisco
Opening soon

  1. Chillbox, San Diego
  2. Chillbox, Sacramento
  3. Chillbox, Orange County
  4. Forever Yogurt, Walnut Creek
  5. Go Greek Yogurt, Newport Beach
  6. Go Greek Yogurt, Corona Del Mar 
Change of ownership/closed & reopened the same year

Menchie’s, Ventura

Interestingly, frozen yogurt shop openings outpace closings (yay for California froyo). The growth is mostly coming from Yogurtland and Menchie’s while chains also account for the majority of the  closings. Menchie’s is growing in Central California. Yogurtland is solidifying its hold on SoCal. Other chains have been closing, including Golden Spoon, Sweet XO, Cherry on Top and Pinkberry. What's going on at Sweet XO; they only have one location left.

I didn't count the non-traditional locations for froyo machines; they appeared at Ralph's, Circle K, a Union 76 gas station, Rite Aid, etc. 

Expect to see more authentic Greek yogurt next year, with new locations for Chillbox and Go Greek. The Chillbox location in San Diego will be its first in California.

Support your favorite frozen yogurt shops.

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, December 8, 2015

Vaping Froyo? The Rise of Froyo Flavored E-Juice

Fro-yo girl here. I don’t smoke so I didn’t pay much attention to the rising popularity of e-cigarettes. I have noticed that vape shops are popping up everywhere. I wasn’t sure how e-cigarettes worked. E-cigarettes are battery powered vaporizers and the user inhales an aerosol or vapor. The e-cigarette heats the liquid (aka e-liquid). E-liquids/e-juice can contain water, nicotine, flavorings, etc. Users are known as vapers.

I recently stumbled across a new product announcement on Instagram, with a picture of froyo (and glazed donuts). The product was an e-liquid for e-cigarettes.

People review e-liquids. ElevatedVaping.com said the following:


“So What is Fro-Yo all about? You know it has frozen yogurt, but what else is Fro-Yo by Nick's Blissful Brews all about? Well, Fro-Yo is a frozen yogurt blend with berry undertones and tartly sweet and juicy peaches. The primary notes in this e liquid is blueberry and blackberry with subtle hints of peach enough to create wondrous tones of a perfectly balanced flavor. This e liquid is a warming and bright flavor all at the same time. If you love frozen yogurt, this e juice will more than likely be your all day vape.”

You can buy Nick’s Blissful Brews Froyo E-liquid for $13 a bottle from MangoVape.

http://mangovape.com/product/nicks-blissful-brews-e-liquid-froyo/

Dr. Fog makes strawberry froyo: http://mangovape.com/product/nicks-blissful-brews-e-liquid-froyo/

Annex from Versus Vape is a Peach Mango froyo flavor e-liquid: http://www.giantvapes.com/annex/

Vaping Juice offers Blueberry Frozen Yogurt e-juice: http://vapingjuices.com/product/blueberry-frozen-yogurt-flavored-e-juice/

The Yogen Fog line of froyo e-juice looks like a Yogen Fruz ripoff: http://premiumlabs.ca/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=68

I would only be willing to try froyo e-juice with zero nicotine…which does exist. E-juice comes in donut and boba milk tea flavors too. I don't want to buy the e-cigarette though.

Have any of you tried froyo e-juice?

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, December 3, 2015

Grand Opening Celebration at Yogurtland Alameda Landing



Fro-yo girl here. Save the date, Saturday, December 5, for the grand opening of Yogurtland Alameda Landing (2640 Fifth St., Suite B, Alameda, CA 94501). Yes, there’s free froyo.

Here are the deets:

Date and Time: Saturday, December 5, 11 AM – 11 PM

  • 11 AM – 2 PM: Free froyo!
  • 2 PM – 5 PM: Face painting
  • 5 PM – 8 PM: Prizes and giveaways
  • 8 PM – 11 PM: Free gift with purchase

Yogurtland Alameda had its soft opening in late September. I went recently and received coupons for 3 free ounces, 5 free ounces and buy one, get one free. This location has 16 self-serve froyo flavors a day and toppings for 45 cents an ounce.

Alameda Landing is a new shopping complex anchored by Target. Other eateries include CREAM, Chipotle, Firehouse Subs, The Habit, Ono Hawaiian BBQ, Sharetea and Panda Express.

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

* YOGURTLAND ALAMEDA LANDING: 2640 Fifth St., Suite B, Alameda, CA 94501

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, December 1, 2015

New Holiday Flavor at Menchie’s: Holiday Eggnog & Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownie




Fro-yo girl here. The Holiday Dessert Fair continues at Menchie’s with two new flavors, Holiday Eggnog and Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownie.

I know Menchie’s has had Eggnog froyo before but I usually only sample it because I don’t like eggnog at all. The New Holiday Eggnog is Simon’s Choice (from Alvin & the Chipmunks); it’s lowfat and made with eggs, nutmeg and ginger. The eggnog flavor isn’t too strong, which is good. I could taste the eggnog and nutmeg.

Recommended toppings: Nilla wafers, Cool Whip, cheesecake bites, donut cake

Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownie froyo is Alvin’s choice. This lowfat froyo is made with real cherries and cocoa. I could taste the cherry but it wasn’t overpowering. Chocolate and cherries are a nice combination. It didn’t seem super sweet either.

Recommended toppings: mini Hershey’s kisses, crushed candy canes, brownies, Andes Mints, hot fudge sauce

My Menchie’s location ran out of the Alvin spoons yet again (sad face) and the Alvin & the Chipmunk yogurt cups.

The next new holiday flavor is Fresh Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, starting December 15.

Remember that for every $25 Menchie’s gift card purchased, receive a $5 bonus Alvin and the Chipmunks Menchie’s gift card. 

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.