Pinkberry hype to the max

Today was my first Pinkberry experience. I have heard from several foodie sources and a magazine article about how great this new dessert franchise is. And it may well be a fast-growing chain, and things look quite efficiently streamlined.

I went to a new store in Bella Terra (Huntington Beach) after spotting 3 passers by hugging their Pinkberry cups. That tipped me off to one being nearby.

We found it, we ordered up.

Short of it: I was underwhelmed. By far. I got a small original Over-priced frozen yogurt. Limited selection of toppings, which went for 95 cents each. 4 items on the streamlined menu; original, green tea (costs $1 more), shaved ice (@ $7+ a serving?!) And smoothie. 8 fruit toppings. 12 dry toppings. That’s it? Techno music piped thru the store. Furniture looked cool in clear plastic. But come to find out, the table was hollow lightweight plastic. Yuk.

Trendy indeed. They may have hype. They’ve got good word of mouth buzz going for it. Maybe the appeal is a status symbol for those who have disposable income.
I don’t care if I never step in one again. Give me Dairy Queen or Ben & Jerry’s anyday! At least Cold Stone Creamery puts on a show.

Now, if you buy me one, I could be persuaded to try it again. But not on my dime.

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  1. daniel so says:

    DJ — Yes, Pinkberry is massively overhyped and overpriced… but I must admit that I enjoy their green tea flavor. Down here in San Diego there is a similar chain called Yogurt World, but it’s more of a self-serve joint. You choose your own toppings — and how much of each one you want. Although they charge by weight, even a gigantic serving ends up being less expensive than a trip to Pinkberry.

    I think the “tart” frozen yogurt flavors are appealing to me because they bring me back to childhood. It’s like getting the ice cream version of those little bottles of yogurt-type drinks my mom would get us at the Asian food mart…

    Since the founder of Starbucks pumped about $25 million into the franchise, I’m guessing Pinkberry franchises will start popping up in more locations. We’ll see about the willingness of non-New Yorkers and Angelinos to fork out ten bucks every time they go, though.

  2. Hi DJ – It looks like you are enjoying your California experience. It is important to look at the power of advertising and some implications for the spread of the gospel. Of course there are good and bad lessons to learn from advertising. The best is people that are “sold” on the product and naturally advertise w/out getting paid for it. I wish more of us would be excited about our relationship w/ Christ and naturally share the faith.

    As you enjoy your California weather (as you know I am from the Bay Area), I just left the blizzard in Minnesota yesterday after attending the Academy of Homiletics. I was glad that I switched flights and left early (“cut class”) and was able to get home to Toronto. Otherwise, I would have missed my preaching this morning. The snow storm was heading this direction and now I will have about 3-4″ of snow to dig out of this morning and then the killer, freezing rain on the way.

    Oh well, these are my ramblings at 4:38 in the morning, Toronto time.

  3. peter ong says:

    yes, I had it a year ago, yes, I waited about 20 minutes on line with a bunch of overanxious asians, and yes, it was probably the most disappointing eating experiences I ever had. I stood there in a crowd (not a single table was free) and thought to myself, “what in the world are people thinking or should I say tasting?”

    I wouldn’t trying on anyone’s dime…I would rather get hair waxing on my head than to put that stuff in my mouth again.

  4. joe says:

    hahaha.. i wonder how you responded to your 1st bite of an In-N-Out burger? it’s even more hyped..

  5. Hey DJ… you gotta try the Rice Cake topping. Go for blueberries, mango, and rice cake. It’s funny b/c Pinkberry started with a Korean lady who supposedly stole the recipe from the original frozen yogurt place in Korea, Red Mango. Apparently, she also stole the general decor from Red Mango too! Last I heard, RM was trying to sue PB, and now you have a bunch of other frozen yogurt knockoffs (many by LA Koreans!) who are, in turn, being sued by PB! HAhahaha, what a funny by-product of the Korean culture.

    But seriously, the rice cake is good dude.

  6. djchuang says:

    John, thanks for the topping recommendations. I’m definitely a fan of mango. Even with the gracious recommendation, I’m going to hold the line and not get one on my own dime. If you treat, I’ll be happy to go along for the experiment with you. 🙂

    For the record, my first (and only, to date) Pinkberry experience was an original flavor small with pomegranate.

  7. Hey DJ,

    Okay, I’ll treat… we’ll be moving to LA (probably Pasadena) by the end of June, so it’ll be nice to pick your brain about the 2nd Gen and to finally meet in person. It’s funny that you know Daniel Wong, too… he was one of my favorite profs at Tyndale! 🙂