A Cool Trend that keeps getting Hotter – FroYo

Try driving around Long Island for ten minutes and not spotting at least one frozen yogurt shop.

This is one cool trend that just won’t quit.  Since 2005, frozen yogurt stores, many of them self-serve, have been popping up all over Long Island, as franchises as well as chains.  There are many reasons for this popular and growing trend.

As Americans become more health-focused they are reaching for a healthier dessert or sweet snack and frozen yogurt seems to be the desired fix.  Unlike ice cream, frozen yogurt (affectionately known as “FroYo”) is light and tangy and comes in countless flavors varying from store to store.  This cool treat contains microorganisms in yogurt cultures that have been proven to improve immune system and digestive health.  In the last two years, there has been a steady increase in interest in this type of probiotics which frozen yogurt naturally contains.  Another plus related to health-consciousness, many frozen yogurt stores are self-serve, allowing the customer to control exactly how much frozen yogurt (and toppings too!) they would like.

Another reason these stores continue to pop up everywhere is their profitability as a business.  These stores are an attractive investment with good profit margins.  Not only could the self-serve aspect be good for your health, it’s also extremely effective in keeping labor costs low.  According to CBS New York, there are increasingly high markup rates on frozen yogurt, selling for about 59 cents an ounce but costing less than 10 cents to produce. All of this combined, makes for good profit margins, even while the cost of rent is high on here on Long Island.

The attractiveness of FroYo stores does not only lie in their health-consciousness and profitability, this trend is also growing for the stores’ ambiance.  Most of the frozen yogurt franchises and chains have a “chill” setting with high-end modern furniture, Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs.  These spaces have become as desirable as popular coffeehouses.  And not with just kids and teens, but also with business professionals who desire a more casual atmosphere to meet with their clients.  Another plus is that many stores are becoming more environment-conscious as well by using biodegradable cups, cornstarch spoons, and partnering with organizations or initiatives that benefit the community through use of a portion of their revenue.

To give an example of this fast growing trend, Entrepreneur Magazine ranks franchises annually to produce a list of what it considers to be the best franchise opportunities in America.  In 2012, frozen yogurt franchise Menchie’s first debuted on the list at a respectable 253.  This year, Menchie’s comes in at number 116.  Menchie’s has more than 400 franchises around the world.  Also, the very popular, Red Mango, which is the kindly known as the “head of all natural frozen yogurt”, is one of the fastest growing chains in the United States.  Additional examples of the popular and growing trend are as follows: Long Island-based frozen yogurt franchise Swirls and Twirls opened its 12th Long Island shop within two short years.  This franchise boasts 100 employees through its 12 locations with sales at about $6 Million annually.  Tutti Frutti, which is the world’s largest frozen yogurt chain with about 600 stores in 20 countries, plans to open 20 Tutti Frutti stores in the New York metropolitan area within the next year.  Tutti Frutti is the only franchise to offer soy-milk based frozen yogurt.  New to the frozen yogurt scene is Cups, owned by Livingston, N.J. based restaurant group which is one of the country’s largest restaurant franchisers.  The group plans to open about 12 Cups on Long Island within the next year.

Given the attraction of frozen yogurt stores and the abundance of plans to open more shops here on Long Island, you can bet that this hot trend is here for the long haul.

The Daily Buzz

Twitter: RonKoenigsberg

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