Freshens is changing the face of frozen yogurt and smoothies on college campuses with the launch of its newly redesigned store and brand update at the University of Florida in Gainesville. This is the first college in the nation to unveil Freshëns’ new design, product, and theme.
The new store has been well received. The expanded menu has increased the check average and accelerated customer visit frequency and all daypart sales. The unit is enjoying a 40–50 percent lift in product movement from its previous location near the Student Union Food Court. The new look features bold bright colors, contemporary design elements, and all-natural products that bring fresh energy to the concept. The change reflects transformations the company initiated in late 2008 with the theme “It’s in our Nature,” which committed the chain to environmental responsibility.
“With its new look, and location next to a convenience store and a Subway sandwich shop, Freshëns traffic has significantly increased among students and faculty. Freshëns did a great job on the grand opening, using marketing techniques such as social media to get students excited and involved in sampling. The university is extremely happy with it,” says Bill Zemba, resident district manager for ARAMARK at the University of Florida.
Freshens’ philosophy that “retail is theatre, and should deliver an entertaining experience” was the defining creative process used in the new store design and product development. The clean, white background of the store sets the stage for a 10-foot-by-5-foot canvas of eye-catching product photography of fresh slices of strawberry, kiwi, and orange. Students gravitate toward the 32-inch LCD monitor in the center of the menu that showcases vertical images of cascading fresh fruit and toppings. This “Food as Art” concept was specifically designed to catch the eye of passers-by, causing them to stop and place an order. The new menus, which are printed on special material made from recycled material, are 75 percent larger and tilted downward for easier reading.
Additionally, Freshëns new store design features energy efficient lighting, with countertops and signs made from recycled products that are also recyclable. Studies show college students are becoming increasingly aware and supportive of companies that are working to reduce their carbon footprint.
“Freshëns knows the college market well and they are always looking to be on the cutting edge to help us grow our business,” Zemba says. “Green initiatives are very important to the university and students. We are excited that Freshëns was the first national retail brand to introduce an affordable, environmentally-friendly paper cup for its yogurt and smoothies.”
A new interactive, touch-screen nutritional display also captivates and intrigues students, Zemba says. The display allows users to look up ingredients, nutritional facts, serving sizes and ingredients, and wellness tips so quick and informed healthy food choices can be made.
To meet the “all natural” and healthier food option demands of the 18–24-year-old demographic found in Freshens research, the company added an 18-item toppings bar. Fresh fruit, granola, nuts, and cereals are ideal toppings for a portable meal that students can enjoy on-the-run. Endless topping combinations complement both the traditional creamy yogurt and the new “tart” flavor, which has a simple, yet bright flavor.
“We have received positive feedback about the new location and menu offerings from both students and faculty/staff. The new tart yogurt and warm granola bar have certainly enhanced the brand’s menu offerings,” says Jill Rodriguez, marketing manager for ARMARK.