Americans love to eat frozen desserts. It has been estimated that more than 90% of all households around the country routinely indulge in sweet, frozen desserts such as ice cream and frozen yogurt. Developed in the 1970s, at the end of 2013, there were about 2,582 stores selling frozen yogurt and frozen yogurt supplies around the nation. Frozen yogurt is a lot like its cousins, ice cream and gelato but is a little different.
- Frozen yogurt has live bacteria in it. To be classified as a yogurt, the United States federal government requires a product have live bacteria cultures in it. That is what makes it yogurt. Most yogurt, including frozen yogurt has Streptococcus thermophilus and/or Lactobacillus bulgaricus. These are what give the yogurt the health benefits so often associated with it as these strains of bacteria are good for promoting digestive health and well being. Not all frozen yogurt has live bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does allow frozen yogurt to be heat treated and that will kill the bacteria. If you are looking for the health benefits, find a frozen yogurt with live bacteria.
- There is a frozen yogurt machine in the Supreme Court. The newest addition to the United States Supreme Court, Justice Elena Kagan, got the people at the cafeteria there to put in a frozen yogurt machine and provide frozen yogurt supplies. She is even sometimes referred to as the “frozen yogurt justice.”
- The first frozen yogurt was called “Danny.” In the mid-1970s, the traditional yogurt maker, Dannon, tried out its first frozen yogurt concoction. The product was a total failure as consumers thought that it tasted too much like regular yogurt. This forced the developers of frozen yogurt back to the drawing board to create something that tasted more like ice cream and less like traditional yogurt.
- The first big, nationwide frozen yogurt company was TCBY. “The Country’s Best Yogurt” or “TCBY” hit the scene in 1981. These shops sold frozen yogurt that was served from the same kinds of machines as soft serve ice cream. It rose to become the largest, frozen yogurt retailer on the planet. The company profited from the health craze at the time that had people working out more and looking for foods that had less fat in them. In 1986, TCBY reported sales that exceeded $25 million.
- Frozen yogurt makes up about 10% of all frozen treat sales in the United States. After the frozen yogurt formula was redone to be more like ice cream and gelato, its popularity took off. The 1990s were good for the frozen dessert as more and more companies saw its potential. Sales of frozen yogurt and frozen yogurt supplies surpassed $300 million in the mid-1990s.
- Not all frozen yogurt is sweetened with sugar. Some varieties of frozen yogurt are sweetened with artificial sweeteners such as stevia or alternative, natural sweeteners such as nectar or honey.
Frozen yogurt has come a long way in a very short amount of time. While it took thousands of years for the process of making ice cream and gelato to be perfected and honed to what it is today, frozen yogurt has only been around for about 40 years. In that short amount of time, it has gone from being rejected by consumers to being embraced and loved.
To prove that point, you only have to walk down the frozen desserts section in your local grocery store to see all of the different brands, styles and flavors of frozen yogurt that you can buy. Another bit of proof comes from the success of the California frozen yogurt company, Pinkberry. The company was founded in 2005 and can now be found in 20 countries. They grew from one small store in 2005 to more than 260 in 2016. The company specializes in a more tart frozen yogurt that has developed a following around the world.
Despite the humble origins, frozen yogurt and frozen yogurt supplies are now popular around the globe. This is one treat that is definitely here to stay.