Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Snola Yogurt Stepping Up

Frozen yoghurt is a topic we've already covered on a few different occasions: first the Korean-style frozen yoghurt trend, as exemplified by shops like Pinkberry and Red Mango, and then the arrival of self-serve contender Yogurtland. Now adding further differentiation to the industry is Sno:la, a Beverly Hills-based shop that bills itself as a socially conscious alternative.

Sno:la's shops—it just opened one in Kyoto as well, with another due to launch in Santa Monica soon—are designed to be eco-minded and plastic-free. All containers are biodegradable and compostable, with yoghurt cups made of sugar cane, verrine cups made of corn, and spoons made from wood and potatoes. Sno:la's countertops are crafted from recycled computer chips, and tabletops are based on eucalyptus, a fast-growing and sustainable tree. Wall decorations are made from recycled wood, and the concrete floors are soy-painted. Then too there's Sno:la's support of social causes: It gives 1 percent of its gross proceeds to Slow Food USA, which supports sustainable farming, and 1 percent of proceeds from its Chocolate Cremita flavour to the United Nations World Food Program, which helps children worldwide. All that on top of a range of seasonally flavoured yoghurt treats made with organic dairy products, "sweetened only by nature" and accompanied by a choice of some 40 toppings.

Need further proof that the frozen yoghurt industry is maturing? Red Mango recently launched Club Mango, a loyalty program that rewards customers for their purchases. Make no mistake: the era of differentiation has begun. Something to keep in mind for your own next big, yoghurty venture....?


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