London: 25 years, 35 countries, 1700 locations, Now in Pakistan! Yogen Fruz is world’s leading frozen yogurt beverage. Pure dairy and probiotic, Yogen Fruz is low in fats and high in calcium. That’s what makes it perfect diet option for expecting moms, kids, sports persons and even the elderly. Celebrity moms world over prefer Yogen Fruz for their kids. Courtney Cox, Denise Richard and Brooke Shields are a few names to quote. Even Justin Bieber was spotted at Yogen Fruz, Beverly Hills recently.
Yogen Fruz, with its launch in Pakistan, has created a number of employment opportunities for the much need qualified persons. Despite the unstable economy and socio-political chaos within the country, Yogen Fruz has taken up the challenge to bring foreign investment and create more opportunities by expanding nationwide. The much awaited Yogen Fruz recently opened its doors in Lahore with a promise to open in Islamabad and Karachi soon.
The News Tribe talks to Carlos Campo, Vice President Yogen Fruz. Carlos flew down to Pakistan from Canada to personally launch the product. The experience was overwhelming as he explains. The News Tribes exclusively gets an insight into Yogen Fruz and its plans for investment in Pakistan.
How and when did you join Yogen Fruz?
I joined Yogen Fruz in 1993, first as a Master Franchisee of Columbia, South America, and then I was Regional Manager from Mexico to Chile by the year 2003. I came to Toronto in 2006 to deal with Operations for a while.
It came across as a co-incidence, one of those things that just happen in life. We were made aware of the brand coming to South America, and we decided to get our hands into it. I have been with Yogen Fruz for 19 years and it’s been like an amazing adventure.
What inspired you to join Yogen Fruz?
Back in 1993, it was a great concept, unheard of in many countries because many people did not know about the nutritional qualities of yogurt and a mix of yogurt and fruits create a frozen treat that is better than none.
How do you see the potential of Yogen Fruz as pure dairy product in Pakistan?
The response that we got has been beyond what we expected. But we did a lot of research so we knew what we were getting into. Yogen Fruz is the global brand leader and we hope that we will establish this position in Pakistan within the next 6 months. Our first event, the launch was not a star-studded event but a common man’s launch and according to our estimates we had 1600 people visit our outlet. This is because of the efforts of everyone. Our systems need to be fine tuned but we manage. The potential is enormous because of the product range we carry, the quality, the ambience and the supply chain management as these are the essentials of a successful franchise.
How do you ensure successful sales of your products in the country where ice cream and other frozen yogurt brands are available at large?
The difference between Yogun Fruz and other brands is that they are made from a powder base, while Yogun Fruz is a dairy product that is made in dairy product manufacturing facilities. The milk used is pasteurized and homogenized, which is not how other brands do it. Other brands’ products are iced products, whereas Yogun Fruz is extremely creamy and is at par in texture with premium ice cream. We are not only here to take a share of the frozen yogurt market, we are also targeting the ice cream market.
How do you see the benefit of consuming your products in foods in terms of health?
The tagline says it: indulge without a bulge. Our product is low fat, low calorie and has probiotics. To enhance the health benefits, many different blends are offered, like anti-oxidant, energy blend and protein blend. There are no artificial ingredients added to our products.
How many jobs will be created with the establishment of Yogen Fruz?
We employ close to 200 people including 35 people working at this outlet. We have people working for marketing, logistics, quality control, procurement, supply chain management and so on. We do not abandon franchisees and even the marketing is centralized. We support them in everything. We have a strong brand management team, Purple Arts. We fight every day but they have worked wonders for us. We have a strong team and each member is from diverse backgrounds. We, MFK Foods, have given a large part of the company to the employees as we need more entrepreneurs than employees. They are part owners of the company.
How many outlets do you have worldwide? Do you plan to expand across the country or what to have one flagship store only?
We have been in business for 26 years and we have master franchisees that have worked with us since then and are running their businesses as if they were new businesses. Today you are hearing about the enthusiasm of the franchisees in Pakistan, tomorrow it will be some other country. Innovation keeps the brand going. We are always trying to come up with new ideas about how to do things or new products. Soon we will be expanding with the city and nationwide too.
Where are dairy farms of Yogen Fruz in Pakistan?
The production facilities are in Lahore and the company buys milk locally, but we can’t really give you the logistics of the operations. The only things that are imported are the stabilizers and cultures which are the secret ingredients. There is no product that is more creamy than Yogen Fruz and is still low fat as other products have cream. Yogen Fruz is made completely of skimmed milk.
Yogen Fruz is considered one of the most successful franchise opportunities globally? How?
We were rated the number one franchise in 1999 and since then we have maintained a steady position as one of the top 50 franchises globally. Of course, the ratings fluctuate over time as new companies come in and there is more competition. We have always reinvented ourselves whether it is opening a new store in a new country or changing the décor of the stores. We are always coming up with new things that keep our franchisees interested. We have been in business for 26 years and we have master franchisees that have worked with us since then and are running their businesses as if they were new businesses.
Will your products be available on general or grocery stores or separate outlets will be set up? Or will there be a separate business model for sales?
No, Yogen Fruz will not be available at grocery stores, as it is a premium brand and we will not bring down the brand to that level. Yogen Fruz will be available only in malls and standalone shops and some institutions.
What are the standards you seek before giving franchise?
As long as there is a desire for healthy foods, and the economy can support it, we’re fine. We take care while selecting master franchisees as they need to have passion for what they do as they can be our brand ambassadors internationally. These master franchisees reflect the brand in individual franchisees and help to develop the brand.