Industry News | January 18, 2011

Cold Stone Jumps On Fro-Yo Bandwagon

Cold Stone Creamery announced the launch of the Cold Stone Yogurt Bar, a new yogurt concept that will be incorporated into existing Cold Stone stores in 2011. The brand extension will feature a proprietary self-serve weigh-and-pay frozen yogurt with a full toppings bar to offer a fully customized yogurt experience.

"Cold Stone Creamery is known for its premium product innovation and market leadership," says Dan Beem, president of Cold Stone Creamery. “With the phenomenal brand affinity Cold Stone enjoys and the some of the best real estate in the country, we are in an optimal position to extend our brand to provide the quality product that our customers trust us to serve up. With the growing popularity of frozen yogurt and a continued consumer preference toward choice and customization, we see a significant opportunity for our brand, our franchisees, and our customers as we evolve our brand and introduce a frozen yogurt we know will be the best in its category."

Over the next few weeks, several stores in Arizona, California, and across the East Coast will incorporate and test the yogurt concept in preparation for an intended nationwide launch in the spring of 2011.

In keeping with the company's legacy of innovation, Cold Stone's Tastemaster developed a proprietary yogurt recipe that distinguishes it from prepackaged mixes employed by many other yogurt shops. Every location that adopts the yogurt bar concept will feature a variety of self-serve machines along with an accompanying fresh toppings bar.

Cold Stone Yogurt will include true Cold Stone Creamery favorites such as sweet and creamy vanilla, chocolate, and cake batter, as well as new tart and tangy flavors.

"Cold Stone enjoys the distinction of the industry's best product innovation and with continued research and development of new flavors and Creations, the possibilities with our new frozen yogurt are endless," Beem says. "The future of this concept is very exciting because our yogurt is a craveable daytime or afternoon snack with probiotic health benefits that our customers can come back for several times a week."

With a heightened awareness for healthy products amongst consumers, the Cold Stone Yogurt Bar offers customers a better-for-you, low-cal option with probiotic benefits. This new yogurt concept widens Cold Stone's core audience to include all guests, including those looking for a healthier indulgence.

Cold Stone Yogurt Bar is an integral part of the company's strategy for further product innovation while supporting greater franchise owner and company success. As part of the company's commitment to unit-level growth in existing stores, the Cold Stone Yogurt bar offers current franchisees the opportunity to increase top-line sales by driving increased customer traffic and capturing additional market share. The new Cold Stone Yogurt Bar will be available to franchisees at no additional fee.


Yet another pathetic attempt to hide the fact that Cold Stone Creamery is based on broken business model that sells a $4 ice cream that costs the franchisee $7 to make.So, let's see... Blue Bunny low fat yogurt (STRIKE ONE!), Wasabi ice cream, Black Licorice ice cream, Cake Batter fiasco, Cereality cereal bar, Sinless sweet cream yogurt (STRIKE TWO!), Soupman Soup Bar, Coldstone Coffee bar, Ghirardelli chocolate, Cup Cakes, Grab-n-Go's, CS\Tim Horton Combo, CS\Blimpie Combo ... and now a New Cold Stone Yogurt BAR (STRIKE THREE!).What concept will the next AZ University graduate student bring to the Cold Stone franchisee?! Pathetic..."The new Cold Stone Yogurt Bar will be available to franchisees at no additional fee." -Dan"Every location that adopts the yogurt bar concept will feature a variety of self-serve machines along with an accompanying fresh toppings bar." -DanSo Kahala\Cold Stone charges no new franchise fee, BUT, every adopting franchisee will have to pay out plenty for soft serve machines and a self-service topping build out. This concept won't even generate enough additional customer traffic to pay for the new equipment much less increase profitability. Just look at the batting average..."we see a significant opportunity for our brand, our franchisees," -DanDan, you need a new pair glasses - you have franchisees dropping left and right!

I'm surprise to hear Cold Stone's adding soft yogurt machines given their longstanding franchisee profitability issues under the ice cream business model. This was reported nationally by the Wall Street Journal in 2008 and it was most recently revealed in the CNBC documentary "Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising", which was followed by some very messy legal jostling by Cold Stone's attorney Robert Zarco.Shouldn't Cold Stone first focus on their franchisee profitability issues under their current business model? The company was founded in the 1980's. Kahala needs to demonstrate they have a proven ice cream business model for Cold Stone before they establish another one.

This is AWESOME!!! I Can't wait to Go and Have The Yogurt Weekly.

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