By Felicity Clarke, Senior Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – With a bright beach culture and an accompanying interest in the body beautiful, Rio is always going to be seduced by a sweet treat that’s fresh, delicious and healthy.
This is the thinking that struck Clarice Caliman and Larissa Dadalto, founders of the new frozen yogurt brand Yogofresh, when they experienced the frozen yogurt phenomenon in New York last February.
“We visited a Pinkberry outlet, the major US premium frozen yogurt company, and were totally blown away” says Clarice. “It was so fresh and tasty. We knew there and then that we wanted to bring the concept to Brazil”.
The frozen yogurt category, as exemplified by Pinkberry, has exploded in the US in recent years and Yogofresh marks the arrival of the same commitment to exciting and high-quality frozen yogurt to Rio.
Returning to their native Vitória in Espirito Santo following the trip to New York, Caliman and Dadalto threw themselves in developing their own brand of frozen yogurt and toppings bonanza.
In September 2009 the first Yogofresh store opened in Vitória followed by the first Rio store on Rua Prudente de Moraes (on Praça General Osório in Ipanema) in December.
Frozen yogurt may not have the same universal appeal as ice cream, but Yogofresh’s yogurt has been carefully developed to be a delicious treat with a healthy agenda. “We did a lot of research of the Pinkberry product”, explains Clarice, who left her job running an international exchange program agency to launch Yogofresh. “We also work exclusively with an ice cream specialist to develop new products”.
The result of the care to attention is Yogofresh’s fat free yogurt made with natural sugars and live biocultures, a swirling taste sensation blend of luscious creaminess and a distinctive refreshing tang. Importantly, the consistency is a triumph. Where other frozen yogurts are unable to maintain their solidity in the heat, Yogofresh’s retains the refreshing icy consistency that makes ice cream so appealing in hot weather.
Yogofresh yogurts range from R$6 for a small tub to R$17 for 500g, and then there’s the toppings (R$2 for 3). The Yogofresh counter is display of endless taste opportunity with forty toppings ranging from fresh tropical fruits to crunchy granola, dried apricots to chocolate balls, crushed nuts to mashmallows.
Add to this a selection of syrups, specially made by Yogofresh with a focus on minimizing the sugar content, from naughty dessert sauces like chocolate and caramel to natural fruit syrups, and you have a multi-flavored, healthy dessert.
But it’s still not ice cream and while they have a solid, health-conscious female clientele, Caliman and Dadalto were aware that the natural frozen yogurt isn’t appealing to sweet-toothed kids and dads. “We would have the mom come in for yogurt and then the kid and dad would grab an ice cream somewhere else,” says Clarice. “So we introduced our exclusive chocolate frozen yogurt that’s just like ice cream but fat free and completely healthy. Now we can appeal to the whole family”.
The chocolate flavor is a special coup for Yogofresh who are the only brand in Brazil to serve the product. With the same light yet creamy consistency as the natural yogurt, Yogofresh’s chocolate frozen yogurt replaces the refreshing tang with a soft cocoa-y sweet milkshake vibe. Other flavors include cherry, and there’s Yogofresh’s range of milkshakes and special Yogofit yogurts for gym bunnies using whey protein.
With a healthy sweet snack and a bright, fun pink and green aesthetic, Yogofresh has already taken Ipanema by storm becoming a popular pre or post beach stop-off, and for the company as a whole things are moving forward at lightning speed. “There are 17 more franchises in negotiation across Brazil to open by June including a further 5 or 6 in Rio in Ipanema, Copacabana and Botagogo” beams Clarice. “It’s a really exciting time for us and it’s all happened so fast”.
The exploding success of Yogofresh is a testament to a great idea done well, but more than that it’s the appeal of that rare food item – something truly delicious and fun without any of the waistline guilt.
Visit the website for more information, and visit either location at:
Yogofresh Ipanema / RJ
Rua Prudente de Moraes, 167 loja A
Tel.: 21 2522-3977
Yogofresh Vitória / ES
Rua Joaquim Lírio, 595 loja 2 – Praia do Canto
Tel.: 27 3227-2517
This article is a paid advertorial for Yogofresh.