June 16, 2010
The Battle of the Self-Service, Weight-based Frozen Yogurt
In the fight for supremacy in the 100% self-service, weight-based Frozen Yogurt category in the Metro, who do you think will win -- the newcomer Filipino-owned Yogurt Nation in Bonifacio Global City, American chain Tutti Frutti, which is established inside the malls, or Canadian-based Qoola with its first branch in Greenbelt?
We compared the yogurt flavor, topping options, cost, ambiance and location to determine the winner in this battle.
1. Taste and Flavors of Yogurt
Yogurt Nation recently opened in Bonifacio Global City near the corner of 31st and 2nd -- just around the corner from Alexandre and 2 blocks away from Burgos Circle. When we visited their store, they had 7 basic flavors: Original, Cranberry, Melon, Strawberry, Mango, Melon and Ube. The yogurt there is smooth and creamy but still able to retain the tartness. It is best to twist the flavors together in a swirl. It's a good thing they positioned the flavors in such a way that they complement each other (ex. Strawberry+Mango and Melon+Ube).
Tutti Frutti is a US-based specialty frozen yogurt café chain with as many as 50+ unique flavors (both creamy and tart). During our visit to the original Megamall branch, there were 8 available flavors: Original, Cookies N Cream, Blueberry, Strawberry Banana, Coffee, Taro, Death by Chocolate, and Green Apple. The Original Tart and Taro are the bestsellers and the ones that we like. However, the creamy flavors tasted like cheap swirl ice cream and were not as smooth as we expected them to be.
Qoola is a Canadian-based Frozen Yogurt chain, which "takes pride in their fresh frozen yogurt with natural ingredients and probiotic cultures". Part of their claim is that their yogurt is fat-free, gluten-free and certified kosher. We like the balance of smooth creaminess and tanginess of Qoola. During our visit, they had Original, Green Tea, Wild Berry and White Chocolate Macadamia. (The flavors change occasionally.) We love the healthy taste of Green Tea. We also like the coffee-ish White Chocolate Macadamia, which takes like a frappuccino in frozen yogurt form. As a side note, we found out it's not a good idea to twist the flavors in a swirl.
ROUND 1 Winner: Qoola's Overall Taste and Flavors
Despite the variety of flavors at Tutti Frutti, the taste of the yogurt there is a bit commercial and not something you will crave. Yogurt Nation has a balanced taste, but the flavors are more basic (using fruits). We like Qoola's overall creamy-tangy taste and, best of all, it has varied flavors that would keep you coming back for more.
2. Variety of Toppings
YOGURT NATION TOPPINGS
Yogurt Nation's topping options are very limited and they don't have fresh fruits as toppings -- mostly canned. In any case, in a per-oz pricing scheme, the toppings should be limited to fit your budget.
Btw, you have the option to Razzle Dazzle the toppings with the yogurt for an additional P12.
TUTTI FRUTTI TOPPINGS
Tutti Frutti has a lot of toppings, including fresh and canned fruits and different flavor coatings. Kids would love the cookies, chocolates, and gummy bears. :)
ROUND 2 Winner: Qoola's Toppings
Qoola's variety of toppings are targetted towards the health-conscious and kiddie market. We like that all of the basic toppings that you can think of are available in Qoola. It would be nice, though, if they could offer toppings like mochi. :)
3. Yogurt Cost per Oz.
Yogurt Nation costs P23/oz and comes in 2 sizes -- small (4oz++) and big (7 oz++).
Tutti Frutti costs P20/oz and comes in 3 sizes -- small, medium and big.
So let's convert it with the conversion rate of 1 ounce = 28.3495231 grams
- 100g would be 3.52739621oz
- P21.26 for 1oz
Round 3 Winner: Tutti Frutti has the Best Value!
Tutti Frutti provides the best value, but Qoola's pricing is not far away. Yogurt Nation is the most expensive.
4. Overall Ambiance
YOGURT NATION AMBIANCE
TUTTI FRUTTI AMBIANCE
Round 4 Winner: Qoola's ambiance
Qoola's ambiance reminded me of Pinkberry. It's the sort of place where you want to hang out, especially since there is FREE WIFI. :) It's not that child-friendly though because of the stairs (where it could get dangerous for the kids to go up and down).
5. Store Location
1D and 2D The Sapphire Residences
Ground Floor, 31st St. corner 2nd Ave., Crescent Park West,
Bonifacio Global City
Parking is a bit of a problem since you need to look for the nearest parking area and just walk.
Tuna Mushroom Melt (P188 +5%sc).
One advantage of Yogurt Nation is that it is part of a three-level restaurant complex, with Yogurt Nation on the ground floor, the cafe on the second floor, and The Lounge on the third floor. The cafe serves comfort food and merienda fare -- good but not something to rave about.
Tutti Frutti, on the other hand, is conveniently located in a variety of malls (with the pioneering branch in SM Megamall). It tries to imitate the "Pinkberry" style of color schemes and setup, but the manner of execution seems more similar to a fast food chain.
Tutti Frutti Yogurt Cafe
Company Overview: Over 130 stores worldwide and growing!
Philippine Store Locations:
4th level, the Atrium of SM Megamall
Telephone: +632 633-3642
3rd Level, Glorietta 4, Makati
Telephone: +632 864-0986
Ground level, SM San Lazaro, Manila
Opening June 2010: Lower Ground Floor, SM City Manila
Opening July 2010: Centris Walk, Eton Centris, Quezon City
Store Hours: 10AM to 10PM
For email inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
QOOLA yogurt + fruit
Greenbelt 2 (across Cyma),
Ayala Center, Makati City
Official Qoola Website
ROUND 5 Winner: Yogurt Nation's Location
I like Yogurt Nation's location where they are situated outside the mall. The availability of comfort/merienda food on the second floor is a plus -- but what usually happens is we eat yogurt first before going to the second floor. :D
And the Winner for me...
OVERALL WINNER: QOOLA yogurt + fruit
We love the overall look of Qoola since it's as stylish as Pinkberry. We love the creamy and healthy taste of their fro-yo, and they offer FREE taste proactively. Also, they have FREE WI-FI! Second place would be Yogurt Nation. :)
Live an Awesome Life,