In the quest to balance sweet treats with better health, many people have turned to frozen yogurt as a tasty alternative. Not only is it becoming more available to the general public as a product, but new trends, like self-serve restaurants that only serve frozen yogurt, are catching on in the entrepreneurial world.
The estimated 820 frozen yogurt shops in the United States generated over $486 million in annual sales in 2013.
Because it tastes a lot like ice cream and is still reasonably affordable, frozen yogurt is a hit with virtually every population demographic. If your community doesn’t have a place where you can get frozen yogurt, then you could have a huge business opportunity on your hands if this industry continues to see as much growth in the future as it has had in the past.
- 94.6%. That’s the percentage of people who believe that frozen yogurt is better for a diet than ice cream is.
- 78.9% of people say that they prefer to eat frozen yogurt over ice cream, gelato, or even snow cones.
- More than 40% of people say that they have one frozen yogurt treat per week. 4.5% of people say that they have frozen yogurt every day.
- The most popular toppings for frozen yogurt are fruit. A close second is chocolate.
- The most favorite frozen yogurt flavor is vanilla [40.8%], followed by chocolate [34.1%].
- It hasn’t always been positive for the frozen yogurt market. Retail sales of frozen yogurt fell between 1998 and 2003, while ice cream sales grew by 24%.
What is driving the resurgence of the frozen yogurt market? Part of its comeback has to be due to innovation. There are more flavors than ever before, more toppings than every before, and more value than ever before with the self-serve dynamic. Why would a business allow someone to take as much frozen yogurt as they want? Although there are a few people who will take huge amounts, the average person will simply take what they need to satisfy them and that is about the same serving sizes as an employee would dish out. This keeps costs lower, profits higher, and people happier. Add in the toppings that can be added to the frozen treat so it can be customized and the family friendly environments of most shops and it’s understandable to see why so many people are on the frozen yogurt bandwagon. You could say that frozen yogurt is one of the new places where people can “chill” out.
Is Frozen Yogurt Really As Healthy As People Think It Is?
- The USDA recommends a serving of frozen yogurt that is ½ cup in size. This provides 115 calories and 10% of a person’s daily calcium.
- The two standard serving sizes for self-serve frozen yogurt are 16 ounces and 32 ounces, providing 2x-4x the actual recommended serving.
- 460 calories. That’s how much a 32 ounce frozen yogurt serving contains when there isn’t any toppings included.
- Adults who are given larger bowls or serving containers will serve themselves 30% more ice cream.
- One of the most popular toppings, walnuts in syrup, contains 128 calories per ½ ounce scoop.
- In comparison, a ½ cup serving of Ben and Jerry’s vanilla ice cream is 230 calories.
If frozen yogurt is consumed in a smart way, then it can be a healthy alternative to ice cream and other frozen desserts. The only problem is that many people are loading up on empty calories and not realizing it. All it takes is for someone to take a 16 ounce container of vanilla frozen yogurt and then add a few chocolate toppings and syrup to it for a 400 calorie dessert or snack to be obtained. When compared to premium ice cream products, the average person could be eating more calories with their frozen yogurt than if they’d eaten a flavored ice cream product. By being aware of container sizes, actively choosing the smallest container available, and then limiting toppings and portion sizes, frozen yogurt can be a healthy treat.
How Large Is The Frozen Yogurt Industry?
- From 2011-2013, the frozen yogurt industry saw 74% growth.
- One of the largest frozen yogurt franchises, Menchies, has grown from 12 stores in 2009 to over 400 stores at the end of 2014.
- Americans consume up to 13 pounds of yogurt products per person, but that is only 50% of what the European market consumes.
- The top US city for frozen yogurt sales annually tends to be Boston, at over $4.6 million. Oklahoma City is in second place.
- In the United States, there are just above 5,300 employees that have a job because of the frozen yogurt industry.
- The annual payroll of frozen yogurt employees: $46.8 million.
- If a non-franchise frozen yogurt store is being opening, the average amount of liquid capital that is required is $50,000.
Whether you’re looking at a franchise business or you want to get involved with your own startup company, the frozen yogurt business is seeing growth patterns that haven’t been seen in business since the 19th century in the United States. The lull in sales that occurred as the 20th century became the 21st century may still be keeping some entrepreneurs away, but their loss could be your gain. The real potential of this market has yet to be realized, even though it saw 74% growth from 2011-2013. If you’re looking for a new business opportunity, then the frozen yogurt business is definitely one of the places to be right now. As with any business opportunity, there is the potential for risk. The frozen yogurt market could collapse as it did in the late 1990’s. The explosive growth over the last 5 years, however, may make frozen yogurt a risk worth taking.