National Frozen Yogurt Day is observed annually on February 6th.
- Frozen yogurt was first developed 1970 in the United States as a soft-serve treat produced by H.P Hood called Frogurt. Humphreys and Dannon soon followed with their own versions of the treat. Its popularity grew in the 80s, mostly due to frozen yogurts “health food” status. Ice cream manufacturers soon caught on, offering low-fat options.
- People have been consuming plain flavored yogurt for more than 5,000 years. The areas of the world where it became popular were in the Middle East and India, but Americans started to enjoy it in the early 1900s. In the 1930s, Dannon started to package and sell yogurt in containers to the general public. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s when frozen yogurt was introduced. And guess what? It didn’t go over very well because many people did not like the taste!
- Yogurt giant Dannon was among the first to jump on the blossoming trend, with its 1979 release of “Danny,” a packaged, fruit-flavored frozen yogurt pop on a stick with a chocolate coating. Dannon’s pop became the first perishable frozen treat to be distributed nationwide.
- In 1981, a frozen yogurt franchise called, “TCBY” opened its doors in Little Rock, Arkansas. The frozen yogurt sold at TCBY was well received because it was much sweeter than the original variety. TCBY, as well as other frozen yogurt franchises, flourished for many years! By 1984, TCBY had opened 100 stores.
- There are many health benefits associated with frozen yogurt including: 1) it can help boost a person’s immune system, 2) it can help lower a person’s cholesterol, 3) it can help a person’s digestive system, 4) it can help prevent certain types of infections, and 5) it contains healthy elements such as protein, calcium, vitamins, potassium and riboflavin.
- Because it contains protein, eating frozen yogurt can make you feel more full than you would if you ate other types of snacks or desserts. Therefore, frozen yogurt can help you lose weight!
- In 1981, Arkansas’s TCBY changed the yogurt game when it began offering yogurt in soft-serve format, dispensed by a machine at the point of sale. When TCBY started out, the acronym stood for “This Can’t Be Yogurt,” but a 1984 lawsuit by competitor I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt inspired the company to create a back-ronym, so now it stands for “The Country’s Best Yogurt.”
- Although TCBY ruled the froyo roost for decades, it’s no longer number one, despite recent attempts to rebrand itself with new décor and updated self-serve machines. As of 2015, the front-runner is California-based Menchie’s, with 13.5 percent of the market and 300 U.S. locations—which is no mean feat, considering it was only established in 2010. TCBY trails with 10.8 percent of the market and 518 locations, and then Yogurtland, sweetFrog, and Red Mango round out the top five.
- Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan clearly can’t resist froyo—she was responsible for the installation of the first frozen-yogurt machine in the Supreme Court cafeteria. As such, Kagan joked that she’ll be remembered as the “frozen yogurt justice” in the annals of history.
- Even though frozen yogurt stores can be found just about anywhere, California holds the lion’s share of the market with 33 percent of all locations. While that’s not exactly unexpected news, you might be surprised to learn that New Yorkers come in second, with a 14.5 percent share of the market. Florida, Texas, and Georgia round out the top five.
- Frozen yogurt isn’t just popular in the U.S. It’s actually a Canadian brand that dominates the market around the globe. Headquartered in Ontario, Yogen Fruz boasts over 1,400 stores worldwide with locations in 46 different countries, and the company continues to expand into uncharted territory.