It’s light. It’s frothy. It looks like a perfectly sculptured twirl of snow and it’s the next big thing to hit the food industry in Pakistan. With international brands like Tutti Frutti, the local Berrylicious and yet another global chain Snog on its way, it’s safe to assume that summer 2012 shall be the season of the frozen yogurt frenzy. Saad Akhtar, who frequently visits Tutti Frutti says, “It’s not the ‘it’ thing as yet, but it’s an important addition to the Pakistani market. It’s something that had been missing from the Pakistani market and it’ll work because it’s new, not widespread and considered healthier than ice cream.”
A weighty matter
Undoubtedly, it is the perception of frozen yogurt having low calories that is driving women and health conscious individuals towards this new dessert. “It is fat-free, is lighter then ice cream and has a huge variety of toppings,” spoke Tasmia, who is a huge fan of Berrylicious yogurt. Even Natasha, another loyal customer of the brand says, “It’s going to pick up. At least it’s low in calories, or claims to be anyway.”
Surprisingly it’s not only the fairer sex, but men too are getting hooked onto frozen yogurt.“Health conscious people are the market most food brand wants to target,” explains Salman Yasin, a regular at Tutti Frutti in Lahore. “I like the fact that it tastes like ice cream but it’s actually yogurt. Previously, yogurts available in Pakistan had too much of artificial flavouring.”
When asked if the popularity of frozen yogurt would affect the market of ice cream, both local and international brands of frozen yogurt concur that ice cream will not get affected by their entry into the market. “Frozen yogurt is not a dessert, it’s more of a meal. People living abroad have it for breakfast, lunch and even for dinner,” says Dr Naeem Niazi, the regional franchise owner for Tutti Frutti. He adds that, “This is the best food for people like us who eat a lot of meat and masalas which the probiotic ingredients in yogurt neutralises.”
Bakery-cum-food joint, Upper Crust — located in the serpentine lanes of Zamzama Karachi — however, has experienced a drop in the sales of the ice cream. “Frozen yogurt is extremely popular amongst patrons who are diabetic and generally health conscious, we sell about six pounds a day,” said manager Irfan Wasti.
Do-it-yourself or be pampered
While Tutti Frutti in Lahore has the unique concept of self-service, whereby patrons can fill their own cups with yogurt and then pay for it according to the weight, Berrylicious is served over the counter. “I believe the over the counter technique comes out cheaper for the consumers who are unable to estimate how much they pour into the cup from the self-service machines,” says Dure Sameen Akhund, the pioneer of frozen yogurt in Karachi with her brand Berrylicious. For Niazi, the ability to create your own variation and the multiple variety of flavours such as red velvet and pomegranate, give his brand Tutti Frutti an edge in the market.
Did you know?
• Frozen yogurt helps to overcome lactose intolerance
• Frozen yogurt prevents and combats digestive tract infections
• A half cup of fat-free, sugar-free frozen yogurt only has 80 calories
• One scoop of regular frozen yogurt has about four g of fat. (Source: yogurt.com/nutrition
Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2012.