The next big thing? – Frozen yogurt goes beyond fruity
Ice cream. The bastion of desserts. An enriching enhancement to many an apple crumble, treacle tart and sticky toffee pudding. The perfect answer to many a jilted lover, looking to indulge and forget.
It’s the never-ending flavour combinations that have made ice-cream such a roaring success in the business world, as consumers can choose anything that suits their taste – whether it be Ben & Jerry’s “Cherry Garcia”, Baskin Robbins’ “Cotton Candy” or Haagen-Dazs’ “Crème Brulée”.
And ice cream is big business. Take Baskin Robbins for example. In 2010 alone, their total global sales added up to $1.6 billion, as they served more than 300 million customers at over 6,433 store locations worldwide.
But as people have become more health conscious, looking for ways to live a less guilty lifestyle, so the ice cream industry has had to find ways to develop its offering and satisfy the masses. Frozen yogurt seemed a natural solution, as it is usually lower in fat and calories than most ice creams.
Couple this evolution with the continuing rise of the ‘treat’ and the opportunities become even more interesting. According to Rob Ward, a food marketing expert and founder of MyFoodTrader.com, one of the main reasons of the treat’s meteoric rise is because “it is a symptom of economic uncertainty that people will go to comfort food that gives instant gratification”.
Small businesses and start-up brands are seeing the financial benefits that can be gained by focusing on this trend, capitalising on consumers who seem intent on spoiling themselves.
One such business is Samba Swirl, a frozen yogurt brand that currently has two branches in London – one in Battersea, the other in Islington.
Samba Swirl has the opportunity to become the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory of the frozen yogurt world. Of course there are many who are familiar with Natural frozen yogurt, maybe even Green Tea or Chocolate flavoured variants, but Samba Swirl brings you Peanut Butter, White Chocolate Macadamia and Caribbean Coconut flavours; exotic is an understatement.
This isn’t the only reason why this brand could have what it takes to edge ahead of its competitors, who come in the many forms of Frae, Snog, Yog, Moosh and Yufori. It also promises its fans that “its frozen yogurt has amongst the highest count of live natural yogurt cultures of any yogurt on the market, which have been proven to be beneficial to the human body through aiding digestion and maintaining good health”, meaning that the more health conscious and even the lactose intolerant are catered for.
Based on an American concept, Samba Swirl takes instant gratification – or what has been termed ‘nowism’ – to the next level. Trendwatching.com reports that the “rise of ‘nowism’ is being fuelled by ever quicker, more accessible real-time products”. At Samba Swirl, this comes in the form of self-serve machines, where you fill your own pot and create your own product. Six flavours are on offer on any given day, which rotate every day. You can then choose from over 40 toppings, from cranberries and cherries, to Crunchies and caramel.
Its popularity is further helped by its locations. In both Battersea and Islington, Samba Swirl has chosen residential sites where the brand can become a part of the community. This appeals to the large number of families living in these areas; “the kids obviously love us and the parents do as well, which works out nicely, especially since there’s nowhere else to go for ice cream in the area”, says the company’s owner, Lyndsey Packham.
And Samba Swirl hasn’t stopped there. In an attempt to also attract a more mature audience, its branch in Islington stays open until 10.00pm. A post-pint pot of Pistachio ‘froyo’ anyone…?