Pinkberry seems to have gotten the L.A. love/hate celebrity treatment. After Pinkberry’s stunning initial success, it faced a slew of imitators. Then, as was recently documented in this blog, Pinkberry faced a legal and p.r. crisis relating to its ingredients and production methods. It turned out that, like many a Hollywood starlet, Pinkberry could not help injecting chemicals into itself. Since then, however, Pinkberry completed rehab and can now call its product “frozen yogurt,” although it is still apparently not all natural.
Now comes challenge number three: the invasion of Korean frozen yogurt chain Red Mango. This is perhaps fitting, because Pinkberry reportedly copied Red Mango in the first place. Moreover, Red Mango claims that its product is 100 percent all natural frozen yogurt.
Therefore, I went to the new Red Mango on Main Street in Santa Monica to “research” their product. Twice. In two days. Red Mango’s interior is larger, more tasteful, and less plastic lounge-y than the Pinkberry interiors that I have seen. Behind the counter, however, things look nearly identical. Red Mango serves yogurt in “original” and green tea flavors (while Pinkberry has these flavors plus coffee flavor), and has nearly the same array of toppings as Pinkberry.
On to the taste test. I tried the original ($2.50 for a small) with blueberries on top (add $1). Several differences from Pinkberry were immediately noticeable. First, Red Mango has a creamier consistency. Second, Red Mango does not have Pinkberry’s strong citrus flavor. Third, while it was plenty cold, Red Mango comes nowhere near the brain-freezing lows of Pinkberry. Am I the only one who prefers that my dentist, rather than a spoonful of Pinkberry, identify all the nascent cavities in my mouth? Therefore, while this is as subjective as anyone’s review of anything, I found that the taste of Red Mango beats Pinkberry hands down.
What will happen next in L.A.’s color/fruit-named frozen yogurt war? Stay tuned.