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Dec 5, 2006 06:15 PM

What turns a food into a trend or a phenomenon?

I don't know the answer.

I do know that this Pinkberry thing has become a trend or a phenomenon.

The only local board I look at is the Los Angeles board.

First, there was thread after thread about the original Pinkberry. All said the same thing: Yogurt great, parking crappy.

Nothing wrong with repetitive threads: it's part of the culture of Chowhound to accept lots of posts about the same topic -- new people wander on to the board every day and haven't seen the earlier threads.

But since then, every new Pinkberry opening is treated like the release of a new Beatles record. First there are the "Are they open yet" posts. Then, someone is the first to discover the next location has opened and reports "It's open." Then there are the reports on the yogurt, the lines and the parking.

And none of this counts the "Is this or that rival of Pinkberry as good as Pinkberry" posts.

This is not about Pinkberry, necessarily. I have nothing against frozen yogurt or the company. It's about how something becomes a trend or a phenomenon.

I wasn't on Chowhound when Krispy Kreme came out, I bet it was a similar thing. And I bet there are similar trends in other parts of the country.

I'm just wondering when it goes from "I really like Pinkberry" to "I'm a member of the Pinkberry club."

It occurs to me that 20 years ago, the same thing happened with Penguin's and other frozen yogurts in what might have been the first frozen yogurt wave. There has been a cupcake thing going on in LA for a while now, maybe it started somewhere else.

Man, it would be great to figure out what the next trend is gonna be before anyone else does ... I bet the Pinkberry people are printing money.

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  1. It's kind of like when El Pollo Campero came to the US and opened stored in the La Curacao stores... there were lines around the block. People in our neighbourhood would get up at 4 and 5 AM to go stand online for El Pollo Campero. Great debate was had whether it was OK to skip the line for EPC and go to El Pollo NorteƱito instead.

    After the furore died down I tried it... and you know what? It was fine... but nothing worth eight hours' line for.

    Now, there are Pollos Camperos all over the city, from Bell to Panorama, and nobody thinks twice about it.

    The same will happen to Pinkberry.

      1. answer:

        trend hungry wannabehounds who are willing to jump on whatever is suddenly touted as the next big thing.

        I find it hard to blame the companies or marketers, they are just doing their jobs. Its up to the consumer to be selective. Most folks listen to hype, or to friends who themselves listened to hype. A real hound assesses the nugget of veracity lurking beneath the marketing ploys. Example? Ask yourself: "What are the raw materials for their product? Where are they sourced from? If I was able to suddenly have the product sent to my living room, would it still be good (i.e. how much of the products experience is dependent upon the "magic" of ambiance)? How much work actually goes into producing the product onsite where its sold?

        Try to find out if its really worth it, I guess is what I am trying to say.

        1 Reply
        1. re: krushdnasty

          "There are huge advertising budgets only when there's no difference between the products."

          Ah, Carl Sagan.