A recent on-line version of Business Week has an interesting article on Canada-based Yogen Fruz's plans to expand into the United States (check it out at http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/mar2008/sb2008037_762641.htm?link_position=link8).
The gist of the article is that Yogen Fruz plans to work with existing independent frozen yogurt vendors or failing franchisees of other frozen yogurt chains to establish a "beachhead" in the United States. Sounds slow. And painful.
There's another frozen yogurt firm taking New York by storm: Pinkberry. My more trendy friends simply cannot shut up about the place. The lines are so long that they snake out of the stores and down the street. Right now, Pinkberry only has locations in California and New York but a national roll out seems to be in the offing.
Who's my money on? Pinkberry all the way. Check out the Pinkberry website at http://www.pinkberry.com/html/pbmain.php and compare and contrast it with Yogen Fruz's website at http://www.yogenfruz.com/home/luv-life. The products and toppings look pretty similar. What really sets Pinkberry apart for me, though, is the design of its stores. Check out the Pinkberry "Shop Concept" here http://www.pinkberry.com/html/about_2.php. All I can say is GAME OVER. Thank you for playing Yogen Fruz. Pinkberry's decor will absolutely KILL in New York. And what's big in California and New York eventually will become big everywhere else in the United States.
The last confectionery to take New York by storm like Pinkberry was Jamba Juice. It rolled out quickly and went public soon thereafter. Look for a Pinkberry initial public offering in eighteen to twenty-four months.