Friday, October 24, 2008

Swirl Culture Lowers Prices in November

Fro-yo girl here. I received an e-mail from Swirl Culture this week announcing a change in pricing.

Swirl Culture’s fall pricing (starting in November):
* Yogurt: Small $2.50/ Medium $4/ Large $5.50
* Toppings: 1 topping 95 cents/ 2 toppings $1.20/ 3 toppings $1.50
* Shaved Ice: Regular $5.95/ Large $7.95

Original Swirl Culture yogurt pricing:
* Small $2.75/Additional topping is $0.95
* Medium $4.25/ +3 toppings $5.50
* Large $6/ +3 toppings $7

So they’ve basically cut the price of the small and medium size yogurt by 25 cents. The price was comparable to other fro-yo shops in SF though the medium is still more expensive than the other places below:

SoGreen Original/Yogurt Bar Original/Yogen Fruz
S $2.95/$2.50/$2.50
M $3.95/$3.50/$3.50
L $5.75/$5.70/$5.50

I don’t think Swirl Culture is competing with the downtown SF fro-yo shops. There aren’t as many fro-yo options in North Beach so they could get away with charging a little more if people liked their fro-yo, they didn’t skimp too much on toppings, the toppings are fresh, they provide good service, etc. It might a location issue as well. I rarely go to North Beach because it’s crowded and parking is horrendous. Not only that, they’re not on the main streets (Columbus, Broadway) in that area, so it’s easy to forget that they’re in the area. How many of the people who live and work and that area are fro-yoholics?

Swirl Culture is no worse (and actually better than average in terms of flavor) than the other downtown SF fro-yo offerings. If they could offer validated parking, I would likely find myself there more often. They could also do more to build their community, their Culture Club. Their website says that the official site hasn’t be launched yet. They opened in late June and the site still isn’t launched???? They need to get their act together. The website should be used more as a promotion tool. It could at least list the fruity fro-yo flavor of the week, add testimonials, list upcoming events that SC is involved in, etc. Tuttimelon, Red Mango and other fro-yo shops have pages on Facebook and MySpace – those are low cost methods for promoting the shop and building a community of fans.

I’m not sure how their bonus card program has evolved. Initially the card only lasted for a month, so I wasn’t motivated to collect stamps. It’s just too much of a hassle for me to go to North Beach that often but if the card didn’t have an expiration date, I would hold onto it and possibly fill it up. Update: the frequent bonus card program is back. Buy 7, get 1 free.

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

* SWIRL CULTURE: 1400 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

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