The Eater Special Investigations Unit, west coast division, is knee deep in fro-yo today, taking a very close look at the emerging yogurt wars of Los Angeles—did you know Pinkberry, Kiwiberry, Cactusberry, Iceberry, Berri Good, Fiore all exist as frozen yogurt brands in LA? The most fierce competition is between Pinkberry and a Korean company called Red Mango, which is said to pre-date Pinkberry in all regards -- name, concept, origin, design approach -- by two years. Now that Red Mango has plans to take North America, beginning with the opening of five shops on the West coast in 2007, it is imperative we answer the question, Which came first, the Berry or the Mango? And if it was, indeed, the Mango, can any of us -- can any of you, dear friends -- possibly continue eating what can only be considered a knock off brand?
According to Dan Kim, president of Red Mango USA's operations, the yogurt shop first opened in Seoul in 2003, at least two years before Pinkberry opened its flagship store in West Hollywood. Now Red Mango has more than 130 stores in South Korea; Westwood will be its first in the U.S...Both [Pinkberry and Red Mango] serve healthful versions of tangy frozen yogurt with everything from fresh fruit and crunchy cereals for toppings; both use a similar color palette in their stores; both have circular, red-hued logos with a red-hued first name and fruit-flavored surname; and both are Korean-owned.This really is the tip of the iceberg. For more analysis, an interview with Red Mango USA Prez Dan Kim and a side-by-side comparison of key Korean yogurt shop elements, over to the west coast you'll go.
· The Yogurt Wars Part I: Red Mango Opens in May [Eater LA]
· The Yogurt Wars Part II: Red Mango vs. Pinkberry, A Study in Pictures [Eater LA]
· Pinkberry Rising: A Primer [~E~]