For many people, it feels like frozen yogurt exploded onto the food scene in the 1980s. This was a part of the nation’s desire to eat healthier foods. There were about 2,582 stores for frozen yogurt around the United States at the end of 2013. Fill your dishes and grab your spoons, Mental Floss has put together a great list of fun trivia about this popular frozen dessert.
- The milk can come from a number of animals. Sure there is cows’ milk in there but the milk in American frozen yogurt can also come from water buffalo, goats, and sheep as well. If you travel to Western China, your frozen treat may be made from yaks and in the Middle East, they are partial to using camels.
- Frozen yogurt is a new invention. There is evidence that people were raising their spoons to enjoy yogurt as long back as five thousand years ago when it was eaten in India and the Middle East. Despite that, it was not until early in the 1970s that people tried to eat it frozen. The first brand was called, “Frogurt,” and was made in New England. Back then it was served like ice cream, in scoops.
- TYBY revolutionized the “froyo” industry. Also known as “The Country’s Best Yogurt,” TCBY exploded as a thing in the 1980s when you could, at one point, find one of their shops in every strip mall in the United States. They changed the way people ate the frozen dessert when they started serving it soft serve vs. as a scoop. This made offering sample spoons of it a lot easier. Their innovations continue. They were the first froyo company to produce vegan frozen yogurt, Greek frozen yogurt, and frozen yogurt that is dairy-free.
- It may have faded from view but frozen yogurt never went anywhere. It was huge in the 1980s and then seems to vanish as people took to eating other frozen flights with their spoons but that does not mean it went away. The sales of frozen yogurt were nearly $195 million in 2012. That translated into 121 servings of the dessert being purchased. This is much more than the peak in the 1980s of $25 million in sales in 1986.
- June is National Frozen Yogurt Month in the United States. That tradition began in 1993. Not only does it have its own month to celebrate is yumminess, it also has its own special day. February 6 is National Frozen Yogurt Day. It should be noted that July is National Ice Cream Month.
- There are a lot of companies who make and sell frozen yogurt. The king of the frozen yogurt hill for decades was TCBY but a lot has changed since the 1980s. It has done things to upgrade its look and improve its appeal but it is no longer the top dog. Menchie’s is now a leader in the industry. Based in California, it has about 13.5% of the market. It operates at least 300 stores around the nation. Given the fact that this company got its start in 2010, its growth is pretty amazing.
- If you want it, you can have powdered frozen yogurt. There was a time when the base for froyo was real yogurt. That has changed over the years. Today, manufacturers of frozen yogurt take a powder base. It is then combined with different kinds of liquid such as water. This is mixed and then put into a machine that freezes to be served as a soft serve product.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) no longer requires live cultures be included in froyo. When it was first developed, like the unfrozen version, it had to contain live cultures to be called yogurt, according to rules set down by the FDA. If you are looking for those, you need to be careful about reading the label.
- Some very powerful people love the stuff. After Elena Kagan was sworn in at the Supreme Court, she had a frozen yogurt machine installed in the cafeteria there. She has been reported to have said that she expects to be remembered by history as the “frozen yogurt justice.”
Grab some frozen yogurt, it is yummy and lots of fun!