Frozen yoghurt self-serve outlets are popping up all over the country, boosted by a global demand for the cool dessert.
In recent years, Australian cities have seen an influx of fun and playful eateries with uniformed staff selling premium ice cream and Italian gelato. Now, however, the market has quickly moved to the healthier alternative - frozen yoghurt.
A 2013 Report from IBISWorld revealed that Australia’s frozen yoghurt industry is in the growth phase of its life cycle with an estimated annualised revenue growth of three per cent to $541.7 million from 2009 to 2014.
Despite frozen yoghurt's dessert status, the colour palette in frozen yoghurt shops have largely been less whimsical than one might expect, to reflect the organic nature of their product. Inside, the interiors are visually organic with a sea of warm, light wood, green foliage and a clean, fresh colour palette with natural hues.
The new eateries are also very minimalist in terms of furniture and decor which in turn also allows the colourful product to be the strongest visual in the space.
The self-serve concept also offers consumers a unique experience through playful customisation. Shops allow consumers to be part of the process, choosing a dispenser cup, serving their own frozen yoghurt through machines holding various flavours and then heading over to a topping bar which generally features both fresh fruit and sweets. Costs are based on weight, and consumers can enjoy their creations at seating and stand up bars.
Some of the current chains in Australia include Yoghurtland, Yoghurt World direct from California and Melbourne’s Frozen by a Thousand Blessings.
"The Australian market’s ripe to adopt the US frozen yoghurt craze,” Paul Sidervoski chief executive of Yogurtland Australia told BRW late last year.
Yogurtland currently has more than 200 locations across Australia, Guam, Mexico, the US and Venezuela and aims to open a further 550 stores by 2015 and 1,000 by 2017.
Frozen by a Thousand Blessings, which serves a product described as biodynamic organic yoghurt now has four locations in Melbourne and launched its first store in Richmond, Victoria last year.
Melbourne firm, Kalliopi Vakras Architects (KVA) designed the Doncaster store for Frozen by a Thousand Blessings, choosing an organic focus for the store.
“The design response involves a simple palette of materials which allows the bright coloured toppings to stand out,” KVA says on its website. “Touches of yellow add a playful element to the space.”
The shop boasts two-tone lighting pendants and yellow accents featured on various store fittings.
The ceiling features a hand painted tree designed by Pang & Haig to complement the soft natural interiors which are constructed with mostly recycled timber throughout, from the toppings counter to the frozen yoghurt machine and the furniture.
The furniture minimalist and the modern design allows for plenty of space to manoeuvre around the store while consumers make their way through the self-serve station.
YO-CHI, a frozen yoghurt company, launched in Balaclava and then took over tenancy of an iconic space: the former Brunetti building on Faraday Street in Carlton.
Projects By Imagination designed the interior. The Balaclava store offers a fresh, white and neon injected colour palette while the Carlton store's interiors offer a nod to its Italian cultural surroundings.
Like Frozen by a Thousand Blessings, YO-CHI’s Carlton store is a sea of warm, natural colours and textures. Hanging light pendants illuminate the central topping bars and eating areas while large windows feature classic slimline venetians with brick walls painted in a white hue.
There is an abundance of wood present throughout the space, from floors to furniture, and the wooden counters even featured cut-out sections to house point of sale products such as branded water bottles.
Yoforia at Darling Harbour’s Harbourside in Sydney also went au naturel but wanted to attract a more discerning consumer.
Design Portfolio designed the interior, opting for natural tones to attract a more mature customer, a demographic they believe is not yet being served by established frozen yoghurt eateries.
Wood reigns in the Yoforia through the floor, walls and décor, which is complemented by glass lighting pendants that drop over the point of sale counter. Pops of colour are provided through mix and match seating stools that play with timber, white, yellow and orange.
"The repetition of the timber posts is intended to represent a thick forest surrounding a meeting place, enclosing it and keeping it secret. The seating area uses solid tree stumps and splashes of colour introduce a bit of fun,” said Design Portfolio.
Upside down hanging planters also bring another touch of nature indoors surrounding the main topping bar.
Each of these noted self-serve frozen yoghurt stores have designed spaces to showcase their product, allowing customers to enjoy a natural product in an organic space.