The full-on frozen yogurt boom that took this country by snowstorm during the last six years (some 40 new franchises have popped up in malls and on nearly every street corner in major cities) may be finally chilling out—or at least that is what Grub Street speculates based on the slow decline of frogurt shops in New York City. Between being unable to pay crazy-high rent for prime real estate and struggling to stand out in an over-saturated market, big brands like Pinkberry to smaller ones such as Yogurt Crazy have closed some stores in recent months, leading some to ponder if this sweet treat has soured.
While many trends start in NYC, they don't necessarily come to die here too. It's true that New Yorkers tend to move on from a temporary obsession right when the rest of the country is just starting to pick it up, but that might not be the case for this beloved frozen treat.
“When the market expanded for frozen yogurt very quickly, a lot of companies sprinted to the most attractive markets from New York to Chicago and also to the warmest parts of the country, like California and Florida. It doesn't surprise me that some of these companies in NYC are having trouble—not because the concept is dead, but rather because the competition is so high,” says Eli Robinson, vice president of marketing for FranchiseHelp.com, which partners with many fro-yo partners, including Cold Stone Creamery and Yum Yo's.
So the ice-cold dessert is still very hot, but that's no excuse to have five soft-serve stores selling a similar product within a four-block radius. “The challenge is to open branches all over the U.S. rather than down 7th Avenue in NYC. They also need to focus on creating brand loyalty so that people walk an additional three blocks and bypass another option en route to their shop,” Robinson says.
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In other words, your favorite summer snack isn't going anywhere. In more densely-populated areas like NYC and Los Angeles, however, your choices may whittle down a bit, which means you'll likely have to turn a corner or two rather than just walk, say, 10 feet to your nearest frogurt joint. The goods news is you may get to burn a few extra calories in your hunt for your dessert.