Frozen Treat Chains Add Greek Yogurt To Their Menus

Ice cream and yogurt chains are tapping into the growing popularity of Greek yogurt with new menu items.

On Thursday, TCBY rolled out a new soft-serve version of the trendy yogurt.

The debut flavor is Honey Vanilla. It has twice the protein — eight grams — of the chain's Super Fro-Yo, 100 calories and no fat per four-ounce serving.

More flavors are coming this summer, said the Salt Lake City, Utah-based chain, which has about 600 locations worldwide.

Also this week, the 300-unit Ben and Jerry's introduced four new Greek frozen yogurt flavors, including Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Fudge Chunk, Banana Peanut Butter and Blueberry Vanilla Graham.

All are higher in protein and lower in calories than the chain's regular ice cream, the Burlington, Vt.-based company said.

Both chains said the items were inspired by the popularity of more creamy Greek-style yogurt.

TCBY, which has been working to reposition itself as a more nutritious option in the frozen dessert segment, said Greek yogurt as a category is growing at an annual rate of about 130 percent.

"Consumers look to Greek yogurt as a satisfying, filling and healthy option. In fact, Greek yogurt is 76 percent more likely to be eaten as a meal replacement," said Wayne Geilman, TCBY's product development director.

As frozen yogurt, the product "moves beyond just a snack or treat, serving up a more robust meal option and including toppings such as fruit, honey and granola," he said.

Meanwhile, the Dallas-based Red Mango frozen yogurt chain, which has long positioned itself as a more healthful option, this week debuted a new "classics" line, with flavors that are sweet, not tangy like its signature flavors.

The new line features flavors such as cake batter, milk chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla bean, vanilla cookie cream, strawberry milkshake and sugarcane cola.

"Over the past year, I've been working hard to recreate the sweet and creamy flavors of frozen desserts we all loved growing up, but in the delicious and nutritious way Red Mango does best," said Dan Kim, the 160-unit chain's founder and chief concept officer. "The new all-natural classics line is our healthy recreation of America's favorite frozen treats."

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