Industry News | May 28, 2011

Freshens Shows Off New Design at UC-Berkeley

This spring, Cal Dining’s Golden Bear Cafe (GBC) introduced a refreshed Freshens concept on the UC-Berkeley campus.

The smoothie station was redesigned to attract the attention of customers and increase traffic. So far, sales have reflected this goal. This April, Freshens had average daily sales of $2,069.19, more than double that of the previous April. Total monthly sales for the new concept in April 2011 were $41,383.75, versus $25,579.00 in April 2010.

 Another motivation for upgrading the station design was to stay current with market trends and neighborhood competitors. The new design includes brighter, more contemporary menu boards and adds frozen yogurt to Cal Dining’s retail product offering.

“With the addition of the soft-serve frozen yogurt and the 18-toppings, we’ve upped our competitive edge in the neighborhood marketplace,” says Katie Solinger, Cal Dining’s assistant director of retail operations.

The frozen yogurt menu also includes other blended yogurt treats that mix items from the toppings bar, which Solinger hopes will entice customers.

“We’ve added to our indulgence offering with the Fro-Yo Blasts and milkshakes,” Solinger says. “We now offer our customers something to splurge on in terms of a frozen treat.”

 “My favorite item at the newly refreshed Freshens at the GBC is the granola parfait frozen yogurt,” says Crystal Platas, a UC-Berkeley sophomore. “It is really refreshing and different from things previously offered at the GBC.”

With this installation, Cal Dining hopes to improve the food experience for students on the UC-Berkeley campus and promote its meal point plan.

“I think the dramatic increase in the popularity of the Freshens counter among students is probably due to the increased diversity in the options available,” Platas says. “People love frozen yogurt, and now it is readily available on campus for students, which is especially convenient for students with meal points.”

Freshens utilized the services of Miller Zell to help develop their new store design. Miller Zell’s philosophy towards retail design was the compelling factor in Freshens selection.

“Retail is theater, and should deliver an entertaining experience. But design is all about understanding the targeted consumer and how purchase decisions are made. The store is a white canvas, simple, sophisticated, and beyond today, with strategically placed focal points that create ‘stop-ability’ and consumer engagement,” says Paul Pizzini, vice president and director of design at Miller Zell.

Additionally, the remodel also includes a touch-screen nutritional display that allows customers to look up nutritional data and ingredients.

“Our student customers are increasingly asking for more readily available nutrition information. The nutrition display is a great way for us to meet this need at the point of sale,” says Patrice Thomas, customer and public relations manager at Cal Dining. Freshens smoothies and yogurt are available at the Golden Bear Cafe, Monday through Friday.