Yogen Fruz Creates Fro-lines in Pakistan!

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By Marian Sharaf Joseph

Sound economy serves as backbone to country’s well-being and prosperity. Extremism and economic instability has kept the foreign investors away from adding huge potential and prospects. Amidst the chaos brewing, Yogen Fruz has launched in Pakistan with a promise to produce maximum employment, sound foreign investment and enhance lifestyle. 

Serving real frozen yogurt par excellence for 25 years in 35 countries and 1700 locations, Yogen Fruz has launched in Pakistan. Rated as world’s leading frozen yogurt beverage, Yogen Fruz is pure dairy and probiotic. Low in fats and high in calcium it’s a perfect diet option for anyone looking for healthy diet snack. The recipes are especially made by Carlos Campo, who is the Vice President of Yogen Fruz.

The rights to Yogen Fruz have been acquired by MFK Foods that is run by the father and daughter duo of the Chief Executive Basir Syed and the Chief Operating Officer Maliha Basir. Working on the master plan for two years, Yogen Fruz took the plunge to open its door in Pakistan, despite surge in extremism. Carlos Compo, the President of Yogen Fruz flew in to personally train Yogen Fruz team Pakistan and open the flagship store in Lahore with a promise to open in Islamabad and Karachi soon. We talked to Carlos Campo to analyze its success and potentiality to build job opportunities.

Yogen Fruz is unique dairy product in Pakistan. How do you see the potential of Yogen Fruz creating frozen yogurt lifestyle?

Yogen Fruz is the global brand leader and we hope that we will establish this position in Pakistan within the next 6 months. Our first event, the launch was not a star-studded event but a common man’s launch and according to our estimates we had 1600 people visit our outlet. This is because of the efforts of the Yogen Fruz team Pakistan. The potential is enormous because of the product range we carry along with the quality and the ambience is the best for anyone willing to try our frozen yogurt.

What makes Yogen Fruz stand apart from other frozen yogurts?

Factually speaking, most frozen yogurts have powder milk as base.  What makes it stand apart from other frozen yogurts available in Pakistan and world over is that it’s pure dairy product that is made in dairy product manufacturing facilities. Yogen Fruz is made on daily basis with fresh milk. The milk used for it is first pasteurized and homogenized, which is not how it is done by other frozen yogurt brands. It’s observed that other fro-yo are iced products whereas Yogen Fruz is absolutely creamy and is at par in texture with premium ice creams. Frozen Yogurt has been called by our customers ‘Ice Cream Without Asthma.’

If Yogen Fruz is ‘Ice Cream Without Asthma’ then in what terms is it healthy is it for your consumers? 

The tagline of Yogen Fruz says ‘Indulge Without a Bulge.’ Our product is low in fats, calories and is probiotic. To enhance the health benefits many different blends are offered like anti-oxidant, energy blend and protein blend. There are no artificial ingredients added to our products. Since its made of pasteurized milk, unlike ordinary yogurt that contains bacteria that’s harmful for the baby, Yogen Fruz us safe for expecting mothers. Because it’s a pure dairy product, it’s safe little children, as well as, toddlers. The fact that its low in fats and high in calcium makes it perfect for athletes, elder citizens and anyone in dire need of calcium.

If Yogen Fruz is pure dairy, what about the lactose intolerant folks?

Well, Yogen Fruz is proven to be suitable for lactose intolerant folks. Our pasteurized dairy product is safe as the cultures dissolve lactose while releasing lactase that is needed by lactose intolerant people. Plus, we do non-dairy products too such as sorbets and smoothies.

Where do recipes for Yogen Fruz come from?

The first step to a scrumptious and successfully healthy recipe is research. A detail research is carried with information gathered from every possible source. Based on the information we experiment until we reach a sound decision. The recipe is tested over and over again till we are satisfied to offer it to our consumers. We have standard recipes and flavors for all Yogen Fruz around the world. However, to enhance the Yogen Fruz experience we have introduced exclusive flavors for each country. We have 150 flavors and we are creating about four special flavors for Pakistan. Well, Yogen Fruz fans in Pakistan are in for a big surprise.

Has Yogen Fruz established its own dairy farms in Pakistan?

We don’t own the farms personally. The production facilities are in Lahore and the company buys milk locally. The milk is pasteurized and homogenized before made into fro-yo. The only imported ingredients are the stabilizers and cultures – that’s are the secret ingredients! There is no product that is creamier than Yogen Fruz and is still low fat as other products. It’s made completely of skimmed milk.

Do you believe Yogen Fruz has made effective job opportunities?

To begin with, we have already employed 200 people, including 35 people working at this outlet. We have people working for marketing, logistics, quality control, procurement, supply chain management and so on. So, you can imagine the number of employments being offered. Since, we are launching in Islamabad and Karachi soon with an aim to expand all over the country. So Yogen Fruz is creating huge number of job opportunities nationwide. Of course, it includes everyone from top executive level to helping staff.

How do you plan to run your franchisees nationwide?

We are in close contact with our franchisees. At any point, no matter what is the situation a particular country is in, we do not abandon franchisees. Moreover, for successful operations our marketing is centralized all the way from the head-quarters to the outlets in various locations world over. Our master francize in Pakistan is based in Lahore. That’s where our main operations, marketing and other plans will be carried out from.  We support them in everything. We have a strong brand management team, Purple Arts.

Currently, Yogen Fruz is considered one of the most successful franchise opportunities globally. What’s the success strategy?

We were rated the number one franchise in 1999 and since then we have maintained a steady position as one of the top 50 franchises globally. Of course, the ratings fluctuate over time as new companies come in and there is raise in competition. We constantly revise our strategies, execution plans and product range to keep ourselves up to the mark. We take interest in everything from the quality of product range we offer to the aura and ambiance we create at our outlets. Especially, when we open new outlet, we take interest even in the most minor details of the interior to make it as trendy and comfortable.

We have been in business for 25 years and we have master franchisees that have worked with us since then. We work like family. The master franchisee runs the business as dedicatedly as we do. The reason for this success is one centralized operating system and team work. We are available for guidance, support and new ideas 24/7. Our franchisees are very important to us. Regular communication with them has helped us maintain standard and run the business successfully.

What standards must a country or franchisee should meet to acquire Yogen Fruz franchise?

As long as there is a desire for healthy foods and the economy can support it, we’re fine. What needs a franchise to run successfully is passion.  We take care while selecting master franchisees as they need to have passion for what they do. If the passion and dedication is true they can be our brand ambassadors internationally too. These master franchisees reflect the brand in individual franchisees and help to develop the brand.

How do you keep your brand ahead in market trends?

Innovation keeps the brand going. We are always trying to come up with new ideas to keep the products in trend. We ensure our staff world over is up to the mark. The process starts with training at headquarter in Toronto. From the stage one we keep in close communication with the franchisee that is buying our franchise or has bought it already. after which the franchisees return to their countries but we keep in contact with them for R&D, product sourcing, marketing or construction. We then come a few days before the opening and help train the staff. We help them fine tune and then be with them through the soft opening, the run opening, set up some controls and then we leave the country but we maintain a constant flow of information.

Do you believe that the sales will be affected by the store opening after summer has finished?

Well our HQ is in Canada so we know that sales are affected during the colder season. In some countries, November and December are the pre-holiday months so people spend more. In other countries, we co-brand with a coffee brand, which is what we are doing in Pakistan. So people can come and have a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Yogen Fruz launched when socio-economic situation in Pakistan seems to be in doldrums. What was the motivational drive to launch Yogen Fruz in Pakistan?

We believe socio-economic situation of any country should not discourage foreign investors from launching a brand. Pakistan is great country. It has great talent and potential. We believed Pakistan should be a part of our global family and that’s why we decided to take up the challenge. Plus, we want to reach out to the masses. Most places offer high quality dine-out in expensive packages. We are here for the people. We are giving them high quality frozen yogurt in reasonable price. We want to give the masses am experience that will make them smile whenever or wherever they hear Yogen Fruz. Our launch was studded with people. There were kids, parents, moms, families and friends. Yogen Fruz is all about ‘Happy U’ and during this stressful time, we are here to make people Smile because Yogen Fruz is All about You!

What were your apprehensions when you decided to open a store here?

Pakistan is lovely country, unlike what’s portrayed by media abroad. There were a few apprehensions though. I think it was worth taking the risk. The people here are warm and welcoming. In fact, I already feel at home. Pakistan is a land of opportunities and the people here are the most loving I have met.

Yogen Fruz opened in India during August, but the launch wasn’t as big as in Pakistan?

Pakistan is very happening. It’s amazing how you see lifestyle and currently affairs go side by side. Even during the most stressful time, you see people; friends and family dining out, shopping and having good quality time. It’s the people of Pakistan who made the Yogen Fruz launch a remarkable moment in our history. As for the location, the real estate in India is really expensive so we followed a different model there. Here it is more affordable so we went with a bigger footprint.

How do you compare the two markets?

India has 10 times more population than Pakistan, which means ten times more sale. But that’s not the criterion of analyzing success. Pakistan is land of opportunities and its had great potential. People here are fearless and wouldn’t hesitate risking a plan. This is good in a way that unless you won’t give it a chance, you cannot make out the potentiality of your product in particular market.

How has the response been in Pakistan?

The response has been overwhelming though it is too early to say how great it is. However, since the launch day till now, more and more people is pouring in. The outlet is overflowing immensely.  We believe Yogen Fruz has bright future in Pakistan.

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