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TCBY Sweetens its Value Proposition

In 2011, TCBY introduced Super Fro-Yo, which it calls a new classification of super-nutritious frozen yogurt. It's more than a marketing term, according to Casey. To qualify as Super Fro-Yo, the products must meet the following minimum nutritional standards per serving: 3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 7 types of live and active culture and 20 percent of the recommended daily value of both vitamin D and calcium. In addition, each Super Fro-Yo serving offers 120 calories or fewer; a minimum of 10 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A; 1 gram or less of saturated fat; and a minimum of 20 billion live and active cultures at manufacturing.

Super Fro-Yo is available in a variety of no-sugar-added and fat-free flavors, as well as traditional and seasonal flavors.

Last summer, TCBY tapped into the Greek yogurt phenomenon with its own soft-serve Greek honey vanilla frozen yogurt flavor. It has twice the protein and all of the health attributes of Super Fro-Yo and has met with "tremendous consumer reception," says Casey. He adds that the company's R&D team, led by dairy scientist Dr. Wayne Geilman, is gearing up to launch additional new products this spring. "We have a few things in development that we're really excited about," he says. We always like to launch new items in springtime because that's really the start of the selling season for our franchisees. So look for some really interesting things to come out soon, all built on our pillars of taste, flavor, health and wellness."

Key Players

Interim CEO: Neil Courtney
Vice President of Supply: Brandon Fitzgerald
Vice President of Operations: Belinda Oakley
Product Development Manager: Wayne Geilman
Food Distributors: Merchants Foodservice, Pate Dawson Company, Southwest Traders, Food Services of America Loveland, Kaleel Brothers
Smallwares & Equipment: Concept Services, Austin, Texas
Branding & Design: StruckAxiom
Architect & Design: Fitch

Facts of Note

Owner: Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, LLC (dba Famous Brands International)
Founded: 1981
Headquarters: Broomfield, Colo.
Units: 526, primarily franchised
Menu Signature: Frozen yogurt
Service Model: QSR/Snack
Services:  Dine-in, takeout, catering, delivery
2012 Sales:  Approximately $500 million
Typical Location: End cap, mall, kiosk
Key Expansion Markets: Northeast, Midwest (Illinois, Michigan), Colorado, Southwest (Texas), North Carolina
Hours: Average 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Average Check:  $6.66
Average Unit Size: 1,200 to 1,400 square feet
Back of House: 30 percent of total space
Total Unit Cost:  $280,000 to $365,000
Franchise Purchase Cost: $25,000