Pinkberry vs. Twist & Twirl: A Savory Debate

Frani O’Toole It is not uncommon to see a “closed” sign hanging dejectedly on the door of an unknown, independent store that’s located in the shadow of a major chain competitor. We, as consumers, tend to gravitate towards recognizable brands, and ignore the uncertainty of a product that is new or overlooked. There are examples of this throughout history; people rarely put their faith in the underdog, or the unfamiliar. Whether its a small bookstore versus Barnes and Noble, a local sandwich shop versus Subway, or the independent yoghurt store Twist & Twirl versus Pinkberry, neglecting the socially unrecognized is a recurring theme of our spending habits. Often these chains, armed with their brand recognition and financial stability, will open up regardless of preexisting small businesses. The owner of Twist and Twirl claims she was “completely unaware” of Pinkberry’s plans to open a branch less than three blocks from her own store. Failing to communicate with her before opening, Pinkberry was “just there one day”. She said that this has since affected her business tremendously, and caused many of her customers, including people in the Latin community, to change their preferences. Pinkberry themselves acknowledge their “cult-like following” as a reason many people overlook their independent yoghurt competitors. However, the owner of Twist and Twirl claims that favoring the “mom and pop” type stores over national chains is a decision that will not only help encourage small businesses and stimulate the economy, but it will also impact the taste of the product. Pinkberry, because it is a international chain, has changed their ingredients to cater to their worldwide markets. Because of the complications of shipping from New York, Pinkberry is made from frozen powder, while Twist and Twirl is made from a Chicago-made “soft mix”. The powder makes it more difficult to offer new flavors, while Twist and Twirl’s soft-mix allows them to vary there selection; sometimes even choosing flavors based on popular demand or requests. On the other hand, Pinkberry’s rise to international status is a great tribute to the taste and appeal of their product. Unlike Twist and Twirl, they also offer a rich website, filled with nutritional and informational suggestions. In conclusion, food is a purely personal choice, and whatever yoghurt store you think is better, should be where you go. But, next time you stick your spoon into your delectable, savory cup of frozen yoghurt, realize that the real choice you’ve made is not just on the flavor, but on your values as a reflection of yourself and your community.  ]]>