Once Pinkberry launched, copycat frozen yogurt shops couldn’t open their doors quickly enough to satiate consumers’ appetite for the tart dessert. Though the novelty of the (questionably) healthy
treat has since quieted, fresh yogurt—in particular, the Greek variety
—has emerged anew. Now, it’s moving beyond grocers’ dairy aisles, as seen by a recent boom in specialty yogurt shops that spotlight the snack.
Chobani has become the leading Greek yogurt brand
on the market, a feat that can be attributed not only to its diverse flavor portfolio but also to its superior pinning skills
. The brand, in an effort to show consumers exactly how versatile its product is, recently opened a dedicated yogurt bar
in lower Manhattan. Though topping choices are plentiful, the menu is a strategic departure from the MIY model flaunted by frozen yogurt stores. Here, customers can’t load their bowls with mochi and Cap'n Crunch, but they can choose from an eye-opening selection of test kitchen-approved combos, ranging from peanut butter and jelly to olive oil, cucumber and salt.
The Yogurt Culture Company:
Dannon is also now in the restaurant business
, with the recent opening of The Yogurt Culture Company
in midtown NYC. The commuter-ready eatery, located steps from Grand Central Station, offers both traditional and Greek fresh yogurt (in skim and whole milk varieties). Diners have a buffet of toppings to choose from, among them fresh fruits, roasted nuts, and whole grain granola. The space’s rustic decor—exposed beam ceilings and yogurt served directly out of a cart that appears snatched from a barn—is presumably intended to underline its commitment to farm-fresh quality. It’s an effective tactic that’s also a welcome departure from the dizzying futurism
of most frozen yogurt shops.
Proof that the fresh yogurt store concept is not some boardroom invention, Culture
is an independently-owned fresh yogurt shop serving the nutrition-conscious stroller brigades of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Their Greek-style yogurt is made on-site using specially selected live probiotic cultures
and locally-sourced Hudson Valley Fresh (Reduced Fat and Skim) and Organic Valley milk that is pasteurized twice. The cultivation process is meticulously orchestrated in order to provide both maximized health benefits (like delaying the development of allergies in children
) and a decadently rich flavor that evokes an Aegean island rather than a city borough.