Red Mango debuts Frozen Coffee Chillers

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Red Mango, the frozen yogurt and smoothie chain, is debuting its first coffee-based frozen drinks this week.

The Dallas-based company, which has more than 190 units, said it considered the introduction of its Frozen Coffee Chillers frozen-yogurt-coffee line “one of its biggest product introductions.”

Chillers are available in four flavors: vanilla, caramel, mocha and natural coffee. They blend authentic medium-roast Columbian Arabica coffee with nonfat Red Mango yogurt and crushed ice.

“It truly is a superior alternative to many of today’s frozen coffee frappes that are made with bad ingredients and don’t offer any nutritional benefits,” said Dan Kim, founder and chief concept officer of Red Mango.

Since they contain yogurt, Chillers have live and active probiotic cultures. Regular size 16-ounce servings contain 290 to 320 calories, and large size 20-ounce servings contain 320 to 390 calories.

Participating Red Mango locations will offer regular size 16-ounce Frozen Coffee Chillers for just $1 until 5 p.m. each day from July 23–31.

Kim recently discussed the product launch with Nation’s Restaurant News.

What kind of customer will find the Frozen Coffee Chillers enticing?

I initially designed our Frozen Coffee Chillers with two types of customers in mind: Those who love our yogurt-based smoothies and those who love frappes. My goal was to create frozen coffee beverages that combine the best of yogurt and coffee, beverages that reflect our brand's reputation for developing menu items that taste really good… and are really good for you. After having tested and sampled our new frozen coffee drinks to a broad and diversified audience, I really believe that our Frozen Coffee Chillers will be enticing to anyone who loves great-tasting coffee and is in need of a satisfying and energizing drinkable treat.

What added equipment, if any, does it require in units?

We were able to execute this new beverage program in-store by using our existing smoothie and beverages prep stations. We were very pleased to discover that our stores did not need to invest in new coffee equipment. Significant food tech advances gave us access to premium, high-quality pre-made coffee that arrives to our stores ready-to-blend.

What kind of flavor profiles were you going for?

The most important flavor in our Frozen Coffee Chillers is coffee, so we spent a lot of time making sure that we perfected that. To ensure a delicious and well-balanced taste with universal appeal, we decided to use medium-roast Columbian Arabica beans for the primary coffee flavor, and for some flavors, a dash of dark-roast Robusta coffee for definition and character. Also, we made these beverages with a non-tart, non-fat, sweet and creamy yogurt base that we developed specifically for our Frozen Coffee Chillers to create a finished flavor profile that is more uniquely delicious than just using plain milk.

How do calorie counts compare with typical frozen coffee drinks?

Our Frozen Coffee Chillers have less calories than many other typical coffee drinks, primarily because we formulate our drinks with our proprietary nonfat yogurt base, and do not add high fructose corn syrup. The most important nutritional advantages, however, are based on the fact that we use only all-natural ingredients to prepare our beverages. This means that unlike many frappes in the market today, our Frozen Coffee Chillers do not contain artificial colors, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives.

What benefits do the new drinks offer nutritionally over coffeehouse competitors?

In addition to the all-natural formulation and clean ingredients label, our Frozen Coffee Chillers offer the established health benefits of GanedenBC30, which are the patented probiotics with which we fortify our yogurt and smoothies. What this means is that in addition to being a satisfying and energizing frozen coffee beverage, our Frozen Coffee Chillers also help to maintain our customers' immune systems, which is pretty awesome if you think about it.

Is this a limited-time offer or a permanent menu item?

Most of our seasonal beverage launches are LTOs, but the Frozen Coffee Chiller will keep a permanent spot on our menu boards because we believe a lot of consumers are going to really like it and want it over and over again. I'm most excited about just how good these drinks taste, how positively the customers have responded to them so far, and how widely appealing I believe they will be. Personally, I always get excited when I'm able to create something new (like our Honey Badger frozen yogurt), or recreate something that many people are already familiar with in an innovative way that makes things taste better and better for you.

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless