Culture clash: frozen yoghurt

The cold facts on froyo chains' health claims
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03.Supersize me


In terms of kilojoules, plain frozen yoghurt is not too hefty – it’s the serving size and the toppings that are the real killers. At Noggi, the original flavour in a regular cup (210g) will give you a kilojoule hit of about 1300kJ. But if you add a tablespoon-sized scoop each of toppings such as almonds, Tim Tams and Coco Pops, you’ll be slurping down around 2849kJ - that's the equivalent to three Kit Kats.

The real problem comes with the self-serve shops, where heavy-handed serving can mean a serious kilojoule blow-out. In two of the self-serve shops we visited, Yogurtland and Yogurberry, only a huge 500mL size cup was available. If you half-filled it with Yogurtland’s Arctic Vanilla you’d be looking at around 880kJ – and that’s before loading up on toppings.

Price attack

Not only is your waist endangered by the serious lack of transparent nutrition information at many froyo shops, your hip pocket is also at risk. Some outlets set prices by cup size, plus optional add-ons at 60c or 70c per topping. However, the self-serve outlets we visited charge by weight, and the unclear pricing information could easily confuse the unwary shopper.

The friendly attendant in Yogurtland told us the price was 59c per fluid ounce, when he could have said $20.81g per kilogram or, even more helpfully, $5.20 for 250g. A screen behind the counter intermittently flashed another confusing message – 59c per 28.35g – but unless you were specifically looking for this information it would be easy to miss.

On our two visits to Yogurberry, which charges $25/kg, the receipt showed the weight had been rounded up by 5g. In one case, the scales read 325g and the receipt showed 330g. This rounding-up added 12c onto the total price. When asked, the staff acknowledged that the weight was automatically rounded up. But you’ll only know this is done if you ask for your receipt.

We understand this problem has been spotted in other Yogurberry franchises; they claim the rounding-up is a way of reclaiming the cost of the container. However, the National Measurement Institute confirms that this is in breach of regulations, as customers must be informed of any extra charges.

We also found that at both self-serve shops we visited, the yoghurt nozzles pour huge dollops very quickly into the cup – making it hard to control the flow and the amount you end up with. One 12-year-old we spoke to was charged $20.80 for one cup on her first visit!

Over the page: the CHOICE verdict - is it time for better labelling at takeaway shops?


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