Self-serve frozen yogurt shops have cropped up coast-to-coast in recent years. And while most are independent, or belong to small chains, they all tend to look alike.
Many of the shops feature pastels, bright lighting, and cute mascots.
One trick is that cups come in large sizes — and customers are charged by weight. But the design of the stores and logos also play a role in getting people to spend more.
There’s a science behind this design that actually makes stores more profitable, says Ekaterina Kohlwes, owner of Mindful Design Consulting, a San-Diego based interior design company that has designed more than 30 fro-yo stores.
Here are some of the psychological tricks frozen yogurt shops use to keep customers coming back.
1. Using the colour green to remind customers of health.
Many frozen yogurt shops, such as New York-based 16 Handles, New Jersey’s Let’s Go, and California chain Yogurtland utilise the colour green.
Kohlwes says that green makes customers think of health, because so many vegetables are green. Fro-yo chains want to market themselves as a healthier dessert option.
Pastel colours, also common in frozen yogurt shops, are supposed to echo “the creaminess and texture of frozen yogurt,” Kohlwes tells Business Insider. She claims that the decor makes people hungrier.
2. Using rounded fonts in logos.
Kohlwes says the rounded shapes and designs are reminiscent of the softer look of fro-yo, and can subliminally make customers want to eat more.
The soft fonts also make the shops seem more fun and appealing, according to Kohlwes.
Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt, the biggest fro-yo brand in the world, uses this technique.
3. Paying attention to lighting.
Kohlwes says bright lights are extremely important. The shops should be well-lit and inviting to highlight the yogurt machines and toppings.
Many chains use bright, but low-hanging lights. This gives the desired brightness without being harsh or overwhelming.
Forever Yogurt, an Illinois chain, utilizes this technique. So does national chain Pinkberry.
4. Using cute mascots to attract core customers.
Women, often with young children in tow, make up a majority of frozen yogurt customers. As many as 68% of frozen yogurt customers are women, according to a Taylor study.
The cuddly mascots make the shops more inviting for customers, Kohlwes said.
Menchie’s, a national chain, has Menchie, a smiling figure with a swirl of frozen yogurt for hair. Atlanta-based Yogli Mogli also has a grinning, anthropomorphized cup of yogurt. And Yogurtland has partnered with Sanrio to feature popular characters like Hello Kitty on its merchandise.
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