10 Tips for Getting the Perfect Frozen Yogurt Consistency

The trickiest part of the frozen yogurt and soft serve industries is often finding the perfect consistency of yogurt to serve. Customer tastes can be subjective; some prefer their yogurt to be thick and creamy, whereas others prefer a light and fluffy product. Either way, the way you run your machines can go a long way to helping you hit the sweet spot of frozen yogurt consistency. Here are 10 tips for producing the perfect frozen yogurt consistency for your frozen yogurt shop, which continues the conversation from thefrozenyogurtreview.com.

Source: cltampa.com

Source: cltampa.com

1. Rotate Flavors

To prevent one machine from getting more wear and producing a lower quality product as a result be sure to rotate the popular flavors amongst the different machines on a regular basis.

  • Why: Keeping a popular flavor in the same machine will ensure that machine needs maintenance before the others.
  • How: Be sure to also rotate the machines to reflect the changes in order to avoid customer confusion.

 

2. Cycling Old and New Product 

Keeping yogurt in the freezing cylinder for an extended period of time without it being drawn out can substantially lower the quality of your product.

  • Why: Generally speaking if the product is not cycling it is getting worse. Keep the yogurt cycling and periodically taste the yogurt in your machines to ensure it’s cycling properly and make adjustments as necessary.
  • How: For example if the yogurt is icy remove some until it gets lighter and creamier. At night be sure to flip your air tubes and in the morning release the yogurt from the freezing cylinder and cycle in new yogurt from the hoppers. You will see an immediate difference.

 

3. Prevent Yogurt Break Down

  • Why: Removing the foam that builds up at the top of the hoppers and stirring your yogurt frequently will prevent break down.
  • How: You should do this first thing every day before opening and then again once an hour throughout the day. After all the best way to keep your frozen yogurt at an ideal consistency is by maintaining it.

 

4. Clean the Feeding Tubes 

Often times, especially with the machines housing the most popular flavors, the feeding tubes can become clogged.

  • Why: This stops the yogurt from getting from the hoppers to the freezing cylinders which causes the yogurt to become icy and or prevents it from dispersing.
  • How: Clean your machine’s feeding tubes at various intervals throughout the day with a small brush to clear the hole and ensure that the yogurt has a clear path to travel.

 

5. Manage Overrun/Amount of Air Added 

  • Why: As a rule of thumb with frozen yogurt a high overrun is not beneficial because it means the yogurt will not weigh as much since the overrun is usually air volume. Despite this some overrun is a good thing and is often times essential because it is overrun that causes the yogurt to have a creamy taste and even makes it fluffier.
  • How: Ideally your machines will be allowing about 10-20% overrun which is achieved through the air tubes on the machine. Maintaining the air tubes is essential to achieving the ideal amount of of overrun and perfecting your yogurt’s consistency.

 

6. Manage Your Flow Rate 

  • Why: If the yogurt is dispersing from the machine either too fast or too slowly this will keep the yogurt from reaching the ideal consistency in the customer’s cup.
  • How: The dispenser speed depends on the screw on the lower portion of the handle. If you unscrew the nut to the point that you can no longer feel the screw through it on the other end the yogurt will dispense faster and vice versa.

 

7. Check the Viscosity or Harness Setting 

  • Why: The amount of cooling your machine achieves can be changed through the use of a viscosity or hardness level control.
  • How: With some machines, particularly older ones, the panels must be removed or a specialty technician will have to change this setting, but with some machines the controls are right on the face plate. The type of yogurt you’re using will determine where your setting should be. For example a tart yogurt will freeze faster than a chocolate cheesecake therefore it should reside on a lower level.

 

8. Lubricate Wearable Machine Parts 

  • Why: A lack of lubrication can cause leaks in your machine as well as parts not working as they were intended.
  • How: For example the shaft seal requires food grade lubricant along the surface before placing the beater in the freezing cylinder, the o-rings on the three draw valves should also be lubricated before being placed in the dispenser.

 

9. Cleaning and Replacing Wearable Parts 

  • Why: Machine cleaning is vital not only for sanitary and cleanliness purposes, but it can also affect the inner workings of the machine and the way it makes yogurt.
  • How: For example beaters can actually make the yogurt icy if they are worn down, to the point that that the yogurt will actually freeze and break off once it is large enough for the beater to come into contact with. Clogged air tubes and broken o-rings that cause leaks are other issues that often need to be repaired or replaced.

 

10. Clean the Internal Drip Trays

  • Why: Throughout your machine there are hidden drip trays to catch internal leaks from loose parts and excess product.
  • How: Ideally if everything is running smoothly these should not be filling up, but they should still be checked and cleaned periodically to ensure nothing is leaking and the machine is producing the quality of yogurt you expect. The drip trays are located in different places depending on the model of your machine.

 

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Is Frozen Yogurt the Answer to Convenience Store’s Lack of Healthy Food?

The frozen yogurt lifestyle is becoming so pervasive that you may come across some when picking up some gum and gas at your local convenience store. That’s right, frozen yogurt kiosks can now be found in convenience stores! Take a look at Donper America’s and Yumz express frozen yogurt kiosk concepts:

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Diversifying product has worked well for convenience stores in the past. Wawa, the Pennsylvania-based gas retailer is locally renowned for their smoothies and sandwiches. 7-11, now an international corporation, was put on the map when they adopted their infamous Slurpee back in 1967. Now with the staying power that frozen yogurt has shown, these convenience store concepts have gotten some traction with convenience stores across the country big and small.

If you’re in the Atlanta area you’ll notice that RaceTrac stations, a local convenience store chain, have adopted some new hardware including a couple self-serve frozen yogurt stations and a toppings bar

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You’ll see some frozen yogurt stations in small convenience stores such as this one in Lower Paxton Township Pennsylvania.

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And I have to say it doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Frozen yogurt for convenience stores makes sense with the self-serve model already built into the c-store concept. Frozen yogurt to grab and go sounds like a pretty great solution for c-stores that are looking to expand and grow their business with healthier choices. What do you think?

 

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The Secret to Effective Frozen Yogurt Pricing

What are the product costs of frozen yogurt? Where should I price them?

Figuring out what you should charge per ounce at your frozen yogurt shop can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a ton of industry experience. The key to determining your price point boils down to your topping selections.

Pricing Your Frozen Yogurt:

Many beginning small businesses go around to their local competition and figure out a good median to stick with between the ranges, while conducting competitor research is valuable a couple more things to into account before sticking with your price point.

1.) Choose between  liquid mix or powder mix:

Liquid Mix Pros:

*Less labor necessary: just pour mix into machine.

*More consistent: Because it’s pre-mixed in a factory there isn’t much flavor variation.

*Less materials needed: you won’t need to worry about skim milk or filtered water processing

Liquid Mix Cons:

*need large freezer and refrigerator to store inventory.

 

Powder Mix Pros:

*Dry storage

*Maybe easier to source since suppliers won’t need frozen distribution capabilities.

Powder Mix Cons:

*You need more ingredients which can result in higher costs: skim milk and filtered water

*Takes longer to mix: 15-20 minutes per batch

*Labor intensive: employees need to mix

*Lack of consistency depending on who mixes each batch

 

2.) Determine your topping costs.

Surprisingly, the pricing per ounce you set will largely be determined on your toppings. Toppings are marginally more expensive than yogurt. Toppings alone can cost between 10 and 40 cents per ounce. Therefore, it can be tricky when you aim to fix your yogurt prices at 35-50 cents per ounce.

*Consider which toppings are cost effective for you. Make sure that your pricing per ounce stays under 20 cents.

*Consider yogurt to topping ratio: typically the breakdown of yogurt to topping is around 75% yogurt and 25% topping. This is good news because typically you’ll be paying 7 cents per ounce of yogurt and 20 cents per ounce of topping.

* Purchase your toppings from a convenient, easy to buy location to purchase fresh fruit and candy at low bulk prices such as Costco, Sam’s, Restaurant Depot, or a grocery store.

*Evaluate your topping costs a few months into opening your business determining whether you need to raise the price per ounce a few pennies.