After we discovered Red Mango a few weeks ago, I heard about Yogurtland, which is a little bit closer to us. We have since checked it out several times since. The kids have gone. Beth has gone. We introduced Mystic’s daughter to it. What can I say? A guilt-free snack to combat this insane, sauna-like weather we’ve been experiencing lately does not require a heck of a lot of arm twisting.
The concept is nearly identical to Red Mango. Serve yourself one of the frozen yogurt choices (Yogurtland has 16 flavors), top it with your favorite toppings and pay by weight. Super simple.
But there is a slightly divergence between the two brands.
While Yogurtland is 10 cents an ounce cheaper (.39 cents an ounce as compared to Red Mango’s .49 an ounce price), Red Mango offers a free loyalty program. Sign up, they’ll track your purchases and reward you after you reach a certain amount spent. I’m a big fan of retailers that reward my hard-earned dollars.
Both chains allow samples of their frozen yogurt and there is an employee standing by with little teeny size cups so you can taste before you buy. Personally, I’m not a fan of the concept but that is possibly me just being grumpy. People come in and seriously sample every single flavor. At Red Mango, this isn’t as much of a problem as it is at Yogurtland. At Yogurtland, there are these weird glass partitions, so if you know what flavor you want, you can’t go around the people sampling every flavor. You must wait impatiently behind them as they hem and haw. It drives me a little crazy. Patience is a virtue and all… Nick thinks the glass partitions look like shower doors. I don’t think he’s too far off.
Now the toppings. At Red Mango, all the fruit toppings (which are the only toppings I get, in addition to granola) are fresh. They will even slice up a banana for you if you ask. At Yogurtland, some of the fruit toppings are definitely frozen. The solid strawberries with the ice crystals were a dead giveaway. They also have considerably less in the way of fresh, healthy toppings and have way more … how shall I put this … crap. Fruity Pebbles. Brownie Bites. Cheesecake Bites. Frosted Cookies. Butterfinger bars. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’m sorry. Gag me. The IDEA of frozen yogurt is, presumably, to offer an alternative to the calorie-laden richer desserts out there. This whole processed topping bar defeats the purpose. Sure, a few of those is fine. All things in moderation, I say. But the garbage toppings far outweigh the healthier selections.
One last gripe. Then I’m done. Swear. At the register, after you pay, the cashier asks what color spoon you’d like. For the first few weeks, the choices were green or pink. Today they had blue. I honestly think that is such a waste of time. Either give everyone the same color after you ring them up, or leave them in a canister for the taking. It holds up the line unnecessarily.
All that being said, we will, of course, go back. And we have. Yogurtland is less than 10 minutes away, Red Mango is about 20.
Oh. I lied. One last thing. One of the toppings offered is sweetened condensed milk. REALLY. So besides the two obvious grammatical errors on the bottle, since when was that considered a substitute for whipped cream? Although one of my kids begs to have the can when I’m using sweetened condensed milk for a recipe, taking after his father and grandfather’s penchant for it, it is hardly a topping for frozen yogurt.