By Faith Zaki
Hey BAKED fans! Have you heard of Red Mango?
Since 2007, Red Mango has been one of the best frozen yogurt chains. Red Mango’s frozen yogurt is delicious AND is fortified with calcium, protein, and live active cultures (which are good for your body). Even better, this amazing treat is all-natural, nonfat or lowfat, and certified gluten-free. Find out more about the Red Mango story at http://www.redmangousa.com/.
During the past few weeks I was lucky enough to get in touch with the CEO of Red Mango, Dan Kim. Dan is a fan of Syracuse and was more than happy to answer a few questions for us. Check out what he had to share below:
(Photo courtesy of Google Images)
From your web page is appears you started out as an investment banker. Where is the inspiration for Red Mango originate?
Red Mango was born as a result of my efforts in bridging the functional and emotional gap that I saw between frozen yogurt customers and frozen yogurt retailers. Before Red Mango, frozen yogurt customers were eating frozen yogurt because they were looking for a healthier alternative to ice cream as well as the probiotics found in regular yogurt. Frozen yogurt retailers, however, did not cater to these needs and simply focused on offering menu items and flavors that lacked innovation and relevance.
Can you explain the current frozen yogurt craze?
It’s definitely a craze, but it exists because consumers are demanding healthier options in all food categories, including treats and desserts.
What does the Red Mango brand represent? How has social media shaped your branding strategy?
Our brand is about empower customers to enjoy the very best of healthy indulgence. We want to make frozen yogurt and smoothies that not only taste the best and are the most innovative, but are also the healthiest and best-in-classs. Social media has helped shape our strategy by providing us with an effective way to have real-time dialogue with our consumers, something that was possible for restaurants in the past.
What is (or was) your biggest challenge as the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Red Mango?
My biggest challenge involves informing and educating consumers about the important differences that make Red Mango uniquely better than a lot of other frozen yogurts in the marketplace today. We are currently the only frozen yogurt retailer that uses only all-natural ingredient and fortifies our yogurt and smoothies with a patented type of probiotics called GanedenBC30, which is considered by many as the most effective probiotic in the yogurt marketplace today.
Describe your company culture.
Fun, quirky, fast, smart, healthy, stylish and witty, with an relentless desire to satiate our customers’ needs.
What makes Red Mango’s frozen yogurt different from competitors? Is there a secret recipe?
Yes, there is a secret recipe that I developed, but the key point of differentiation comes from our use of all-natural ingredients, as well as the patented probiotics that have been clinically proven to help support your immune and digestive health. We use only 5 ingredients to make our Original nonfat frozen yogurt, and that is an important reason why many consumers have become addicted to.
You are very involved with the development process of all your products. How did you learn to make frozen yogurt and when did you begin experimenting with recipes?
Google was my first instructor! I did a lot of research online (as well as through trade journals) to learn how traditional yogurt was made. I also studied how ice cream was made. (Both processes are not that complicated). I combined the two together, found a few dairy plants to experiment at, and voila … Red Mango was born.
What’s the weirdest flavor combination you’ve tried?
I once tried Tomato flavored frozen yogurt, in which fresh tomatoes were infused with yogurt. It kinda tasted like mixing ketchup and milk — not very appetizing!
You already shared via twitter that your favorite frozen yogurt flavor is peanut butter. How often do you treat yourself to some?
I must have peanut butter frozen yogurt once a week.
Red Mango frozen yogurt is pretty healthy. What’s your guilty pleasure?
York Peppermint Patties. I love those things!!!!
What do you do in your spare time? What are you other passions outside frozen yogurt?
I love photography, so I spend a lot of time engaged in that… I also love mixology and molecular gastronomy. And most recently, I became addicted to Breaking Bad.
If you could have any super power what would it be? Why?
I think anyone who has the ability to read minds would be very powerful, so I would want that super power — but only if I can turn it on and off.
What would your last meal on earth be and where would you have it?
Endless supplies of York Peppermint Patties sprinkled on top of a tub of Red Mango frozen yogurt. I’d enjoy every bite in Lake Como, Italy.
_Red Mango recently opened its 200th location. What’s the future look like for Red Mango? What’s next for you? _
My goal is to continue building our brand with more and more consumers, both domestically and internationally. To me, the number of stores is not as important as the strength, quality and awareness level of the Red Mango name and what we stand for. Consumer interest in living balanced healthy lives is going to rise, so I believe Red Mango is well-positioned to cater to that need. BTW, I’m totally craving a York Peppermint Patty right now. :)
If you’d like to ask Dan a question or say thanks for taking the time to chat with us, send him a tweet at @RedMango.
(Photo courtesy of Google Images)
Hey all! I’m Faith, the current Editor In Chief of BAKED magazine. Although I’m senior, marketing and advertising dual major from the Philadelphia suburbs, I know my true destiny is to be a New Yorker (and eat a lot). My further endeavors will include a career as an international street food critic and a road trip across America searching for the ultimate hamburger. Follow my adventures on twitter @FaithZaki.