Move over specialty juice and smoothie bars, there’s a new kid in town.
Yogurt bars, a do-it-yourself food station, appears to be the next culinary trend to make a mark in New York City.
According to the New York Daily News, industry giant Dannon is one of the first to venture into this new trend, opening a gourmet yogurt bar in Grand Central Terminal.
"Today, you can order myriad types of coffee at a cafe," said Michael Neuwirth, a spokesman for Dannon. "We believe the same concept can apply to yogurt."
Called The Yogurt Culture Company, customers can build their own yogurt – frozen, traditional or Greek – parfaits, smoothies and juices. Flavors include chocolate, dulce de leche, vanilla, blueberry, caramelized pineapple, mango and peach and can be topped with fresh fruit, granola or roasted nuts.
“Our mission at Dannon, and part of the mission of the Yogurt Culture Company, is to help Americans discover and enjoy yogurt on a daily basis,” Michael Neuwirth, senior director of PR for Dannon, told QST Magazine. “And we know that there are lots of ways to enjoy yogurt, including frozen yogurt, fresh packaged yogurt, and fresh hand-crafted yogurt like we have at Yogurt Culture Company. [Frozen yogurt] is certainly not a competitor.”
Chobani, one of the nation’s leading Greek yogurt producers, is also going to open a similar yogurt bar. Next month, the company plans to open a “Mediterranean” yogurt bar in SoHo and will focus on eastern Mediterranean flavors, such as figs, honey, pistachios and pineapple.
"We want to open up the horizon for the way people look at yogurt in the U.S.," Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani's founder and CEO told the Associated Press. "When it comes to yogurt, America is underdeveloped."
Ulukaya hopes that while his SoHo yogurt bar will help reach kids and consumers who are not accustomed to the uniquely tart taste of Greek yogurt.