Sparky’s Old Time Creamery on Mill Avenue in Tempe has a frozen yogurt machine. That might get one wondering about any impact frozen yogurt has had on the ice cream industry.
“It’s really just to stay current on the trends,” General Manager John Couste said. He does not see frozen yogurt as fad-like, noting its “Renaissance” with the health conscious.
With a greater focus on healthier foods, they provide customers with that option while keeping to their main product of ice cream, he continued. The creamery hopes to expand on their yogurt selection in the future, and with “two to three yogurt shops in the area, it’s something you don’t want to be left out on,” Couste said.
An argument could be made for yogurt hurting ice cream, he admits. People worried about their diet have yogurt as an option, but there will always be those who want ice cream, he added.
The ice cream parlor Melt, located on Roosevelt and Fifth Streets in Phoenix, is owned by John Sagasta. Sagasta said he doesn’t really have an opinion, as he does not see ice cream as affected by the frozen yogurt industry.
“I think ice cream always got a place,” he said. “I mean, you go to Safeway, you don’t find a bunch of frozen yogurt in the aisle you find ice cream.”
Frozen yogurt has been around for a while even before self-serve, he noted, and just because self-serve frozen yogurt is seeing a surge in popularity does not mean ice cream’s days are numbered. He admitted he does not know much about any local frozen yogurt places in the area, but noted he does not see the appeal of frozen yogurt dying any time soon.
“Those machines are out there. They’ve got to use them for something,” he said.
Crystal Botello, Sagasta’s wife and fellow employee, said she doesn’t think there exists much competition between frozen yogurt and ice cream.
“I think frozen yogurt itself is a whole different industry,” she said.