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Is Pinkberry Really Yogurt Or Is It Marketing Hype?

ChinoWayne May 10, 2007 09:44 PM

Take a look over on the Food Media & News board: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/400504

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    lapchern RE: ChinoWayne May 10, 2007 10:09 PM

    i'm pretty certain it's hype. it tastes OK to me and people kid themselves that it's healthy, but get real. it's not that much more, if at all, healthier than a mcdonald's soft serve. i did my own bit of research when my friends were all giddy about it and loved how they gave out nutrition info for a FRACTION OF A SERVING!! so you had to multiply the figures by like 6 or something i forget and it became ridiculous.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lapchern
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      NumeroUnoEat RE: lapchern May 10, 2007 10:13 PM

      Pinkberry has not practiced honest advertising as it was sold
      as yogurt WITH all the health benefitsyogurt culture posseses,
      of course their product is a powder with DEAD yogurt culture that
      is mixed with non-fat milk and hight amounts of processes sugar,
      dont' forget to add flavoring to get that mouth feel! It's about time
      they have to be honest with what we're all eating so much of,
      and paying an inflated price for......packagine....marketing.....money.....greed.

      1. re: NumeroUnoEat
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        Burger Boy RE: NumeroUnoEat May 10, 2007 10:26 PM

        Non-Fat milk also being high in CARBS! Look at the labels of any flavored yogurt in the store, sugar & carbs and some of the containers equal 2 servings, so double the carb and sugar intake. You might as well have a 16 oz Coke.........LOL

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      bulavinaka RE: ChinoWayne May 10, 2007 10:28 PM

      I may be wrong, but I thought it was common knowledge that froyo was only true yogurt in the past tense (assuming yogurt was used to create the final product) as the beneficial bacteria can survive only within a narrow window of temperatures.

      Whether or not Pinkberry is actually making their yogurt (bringing the milk to temperature gradually and fermenting it for a given time with live cultures) on each of their premises, I would be somewhat surprised. Given the average size of their units and the quantity of froyo going through their machines, it would seem to be a herculean effort to do all of this in-house at each of their stores.

      But I guess the real story is Pinkberry now has to show their cards. Are they actually making yogurt in-house? If so, this brings in the health department whose officials can cast a net of red tape which few can escape. Or is it really yogurt? I think like most interviewed - does it matter?

      I have a problem with calling their froyo healthy (like the interviewed PB manager/voicebox keeps extolling with no basis - who knows what goes into their proprietary blend), as PB's advocates keep touting the number of calories per ounce - was it 25? Average nonfat yogurt has just over 21. What's in the extra 3-point-something? Ehhh, what's it matter. But as long as it is no worse than any other frozen treat, PB addicts should be allowed to go knock themselves out...

      6 Replies
      1. re: bulavinaka
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        mojoeater RE: bulavinaka May 10, 2007 10:42 PM

        Um. I hesitate to say this because of the eventual backlash, but...

        If you choose to eat dessert of any sort, you are treating yourself. Yes, yogurt should have less fat than ice cream and sorbet even less than that, but if you are truly worried - don't eat dessert. Treat yourself once in a while as opposed to regularly and the fat/calorie/etc. matters less.

        1. re: mojoeater
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          bulavinaka RE: mojoeater May 10, 2007 11:00 PM

          Huh? Worried? Sorry if I gave you the impression that I was worried about calories. I am actually the anti-caloric-intake-worrier. I most often chime in on posts having to do with bakeries and dessert places where butter, cream, and sugar are served up in buckets!

          My point was that PB has a character flaw - and that it lacks, well, character. You can search other threads about PB, and I know I've voiced my opinion how I view PB as a corporate citizen. And this just adds to my opinion about them. But what is at issue here is the legitimacy of their claim - I really couldn't care less what they are serving up, and how healthy it is. I've clearly stated, "Ehhh, what's it matter. But as long as it is no worse than any other frozen treat, PB addicts should be allowed to go knock themselves out..."

          Believe me - I'm the last one you should suspect of fearing for healthy dessert alternatives. I just finished a great choux aux sesames (black sesame cream puff) from Chantilly. I sucked it down with relish - no PB froyo could come close...

          1. re: mojoeater
            ccbweb RE: mojoeater May 11, 2007 12:00 AM

            mojo, why should yogurt have less fat than ice cream? Yogurt should just have active cultures, in my opinion. Otherwise, its all a matter of milk content. Most ice creams will have more fat since they're made with cream, but they can be made with skimmed milk, etc and could have lower fat than many yogurts.

            But, you're right on about desserts and treats. People need to take responsibility for their choices and accept the consequences.

            1. re: ccbweb
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              Jwsel RE: ccbweb May 14, 2007 12:50 AM

              I understand your point about yogurt having active cultures, but does any frozen yogurt satisfy that criteria? I thought freezing yogurt kills the cultures. By definition, "frozen yogurt" wouldn't be yogurt under your criteria and all frozen yogurt places should be stopped from calling their product "yogurt." Frankly, I seriously doubt that anyone thinks frozen yogurt is healthy in the sense that it has the good bacteria of unfrozen yogurt. People think frozen yogurt is healthy because it has less calories than ice cream. In that sense, Pinkberry seems to be what it advertises, and is no different than any other frozen yogurt shop.

              I find the "scandal" aspect of this situation bizarre, because I do not see what Pinkberry is doing that is different from frozen yogurt shops that have been around for decades.

              1. re: Jwsel
                ccbweb RE: Jwsel May 14, 2007 08:22 AM

                Freezing doesn't kill the cultures that are required for a product to be called "yogurt."

                "The National Yogurt Association (NYA) established its own criteria for live and active culture yogurt in conjunction with its Live & Active Culture seal program. In order for manufacturers to carry the seal, refrigerated yogurt products must contain at least 100 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture, and frozen yogurt products must contain 10 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture."

                And from Stonyfield Farms:
                Does freezing yogurt destroy or alter the effectiveness of the live cultures?
                You can freeze a cup of yogurt. A cup of yogurt that has been frozen and thawed will have a different look and texture than fresh yogurt. The cultures become dormant when frozen, but once thawed either in the refrigerator or by your body heat when ingested; they will become live and active once again. There will be a few cultures that do die, but there are so many billions in our products, that it is truly insignificant.

                Now, I am not certain of the regulations/laws about naming something "frozen yogurt" for a place like Pinkberry's or TCBY or some other frozen yogurt retailer....but its pretty clear that we _could_ (and probably should) say that if you want to call something yogurt, it should have some live cultures since that's basically the one defining element of yogurt.

            2. re: mojoeater
              danna RE: mojoeater May 14, 2007 08:30 AM

              OK, I'll oblige w/ the backlash. Maybe I don't want to treat myself less often. Maybe I want more dessert while holding the fat content the same. It's my choice. I think there's a lot of reverse snobbery out there aimed at anyone who tries to limit their fat intake.

              By the way, where are these things? I've never heard of it before.

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            summeranne RE: ChinoWayne May 11, 2007 01:08 AM

            I think I'm happy I've never seen this chain before.

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