Pinkberry rolled out a new line of Greek yogurt smoothies on Friday as an extension of the chain’s non-frozen yogurt platform.
Earlier this year, Pinkberry debuted a high-protein Greek yogurt with both sweet and savory toppings. Called “Pinkberrygreek,” the non-frozen product taps the growing popularity of Greek yogurt, which has become a $1.6 billion retail product in the U.S.
Pinkberry’s new smoothies use the Pinkberrygreek as a base, combined with fresh fruit, milk, ice and agave nectar in five flavors: Strawberry Banana; Mixed Berry; Pineapple Coconut; Cucumber Mint; and Peanut Butter.
In Southern California, Pinkberry locations will also offer a Kale Strawberry Greek yogurt smoothie, which borrows from the popular juicing trend there. Kale is a ubiquitous “superfood” ingredient among juice bar concepts.
Pinkberry’s new 16-ounce smoothies have little to no fat and range in calories from 210 for Cucumber Mint to 280 for Strawberry Banana — except for Peanut Butter, which has 420 calories and 14 grams of fat. All are priced at a recommended $4.95, though prices may vary.
Because the smoothies have 11 grams of protein, and are rich in probiotics, the line will appeal as a snack or meal replacement, said Ron Graves, chief executive of Los Angeles-based Pinkberry. “It’s super healthy,” he said.
The smoothies also are more portable than the traditional frozen and Greek yogurt options, offering a convenience factor for commuters and snackers on the go.
Graves said sales of the Greek yogurt line overall have exceeded company expectations so far, though he declined to give specifics.
Pinkberry, with more than 225 locations worldwide, is the only large fro-yo chain to add a non-frozen plain Greek yogurt. Guests can build their own bowl, choosing from toppings available for the frozen yogurt, or select one of the signature combinations.
In tests, the addition of smoothies appeared to bring in new customers that may not have tried Greek yogurt yet, or who tried other versions but didn’t like it. “We see the smoothies as a gateway to our other yogurt products,” Graves said.
The chain is also promoting the source of its Greek yogurt. The product is made in partnership with the Midwestern company Fair Oaks Farms, which Graves said is a sustainable, family-owned operation with “happy, healthy cows.”
The quality of the milk used is key, said Graves. “A lot of people have jumped on the Greek yogurt bandwagon, but we feel this is a very unique product. You’ll see us use it in more ways.”
Graves said guests also have the new option of choosing milkshakes made with Pinkberry frozen yogurt.
Meanwhile, competitor Red Mango, based in Dallas, has long offered smoothies, but recently added new popping boba smoothies with the flavors Mango Mojo and Strawberry Swag.