I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

The “Not Pinkberry” Phenomenon July 19, 2007

I don’t like fads. I never have, to the point where I refused to see Titanic because EVERYBODY was seeing it (I still haven’t seen it). But I admit I’m a little bit curious about Pinkberry, “the name that launched a thousand parking tickets,” as they say in their ads (or at least in the ads they show at the Grove before the movie starts). I can live without the parking tickets, though.

I did walk into a Pinkberry once with the intention of trying it. But I looked at the line and the price and left again. However, I’m told Pinkberry offers the same delicious vaguely sour Korean-style frozen yogurt I’m familiar with. Except that, since it’s a fad, it’s more expensive and there’s less variety than you’d find in, say, your average frozen yogurt shop in Koreatown.

Because there are a lot of those shops. And they don’t all have knock-off names like Roseberry, either. I went to a good one, the name of which I do not know, located at Vermont & 7th (northeast corner, in the strip mall). There’s another one on the southwest corner (also in a strip mall). In fact, they’re everywhere. I don’t know if it’s because they’re all cashing in on the Pinkberry phenomenon or whether they all existed before Pinkberry came along, but I guess my point is you can get the same stuff (or better) for cheaper, with more variety and a shorter line, all over K-town.

And, fads being evil by their very nature, why wouldn’t we all go for that?

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15 Responses to “The “Not Pinkberry” Phenomenon”

  1. Bon V. Says:

    I actually discovered (for myself) the delicious Cefiore out of protest to Pinkberry. I saw that a Pinkberry was opening up across the street and I decided to become Cefiore’s best customer just to give Pinkberry the finger.

    Well, I turned into a Cefiore addict because I think that it’s much better than Pinkberry. The have sweetened red bean and their version of Pot Bing Soo.

  2. kimfilms Says:

    PinkBerry imitated the Red Mango chain that started in Korea.

    Now Red Mango opened its first branch in Westwood/UCLA. The line was long last night. I didn’t know what the big deal was.

  3. Raven Says:

    Cefiore is the one that’s downtown, right? If only downtown weren’t so far away, so scary and so hard to park in! I’ll have to make the trek sometime. I’d love to try it.

    I haven’t heard of Red Mango, but if they’re the originals, then I say good for them, I’m glad they’re opening up over here. Why Westwood, though? Another place that’s hard to park in… But I suppose once one does get parked there and is wandering around doing whatever, one might stop in a yogurt shop. Why not?

    I am now craving Korean-style frozen yogurt.

  4. kimfilms Says:

    My guess is that there’s a large base of UCLA student population that’s Korean. Plus they walk around a lot.

  5. Raven Says:

    You have to walk in Westwood cuz there’s nowhere to park. I think I’m harping on the parking issue…

    I wonder if there’s a Pinkberry there. I’m too lazy to look it up right now. I’m really very lazy.

  6. kimfilms Says:

    Totally unrelated but you have to check this out.

  7. Raven Says:

    LOL. Wow. Just wow. That’s pretty awesome in a weird way.

  8. wangkon936 Says:

    Hey Raven,

    Nice site. You should blog more. I have my own blog about things Korean that you might get a kick viewing. Please start by viewing the first entry since its more relevant to this thread.

    http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936/592602710/pinkberry–a-product-of-korean-culture.html

  9. Raven Says:

    Thanks, I checked out your blog. Always nice to find another Korean site to browse!

  10. The Militant wonders why CeFiore and some of the other K-Yogurt places advertise themselves as “Italian Style Frozen Yogurt.” They don’t even have that stuff in Italy…

  11. Raven Says:

    Hmm, I have no idea. Never having been to Italy, I just assumed it really was Italian…

  12. Yogurt Fanatic Says:

    Hi to all you other Yogurt fans out there. I must confess that I am a yogurt freak myself. I know everyone out there is so in love with Pinkberry but I just DON’T understand why the hell that is.
    1. PINKBERRY basically tastes like frozen sugar water. YUCK! It seems like they don’t care about taste and all they care about is making a good ol’ buck.
    I went to this new yogurt shop called Frucci located near MT SAC & CAL POLY POMONA. (Check out their website http://www.frucciyogurt.com under News for their addresses).
    FRUCCI on the other hand really considers taste and ingredients (its rich and you can tell that it has so much less sugar than pinkberry). They really seem to care about people’s health and WELL-BEING.
    2. FRUCCI is also CHEAPER than pinkberry. Pinkberry even charges a dollar extra for their green tea (what a rip!!) whereas frucci charges all yogurt flavors equally. You guys need to try the Pina Colada (their most popular flavor).
    3. Frucci’s workers give GREAT SERVICE.
    Some of Pinkberry’s workers are the worst (very rude and impolite). From my own personal experience i went into the koreatown Pinkberry and asked for three toppings (the blackberry, raspberry, and mochi). I asked, “can i have the mochi?” The female worker harshly and impolitely replied, “It’s ricecake.” I couldn’t really understand at first so I was wondering why she was giving me a horrible face and so I said, “Yea so can i have the mochi please.” She then again repeated, “It’s ricecake” while rolling her eyes. I was pretty DAMN offended.
    My friend also said she went into a Pinkberry and one of the customers politely asked, “can i have some more yogurt please?” The worker sarcastically said, “oh yea you want some more?” She THREW the medium cup of yogurt on the measuring scale (since pinkberry measures by the ounce) and the scale measured 8 ounces. Since medium is 8 ounces, the worker just handed the cup of yogurt to the female customer without saying a word. My friend said that she could see that customer’s face turning pink. Pretty sad.
    Pinkberry fans you can hate me all you want, but to all you yogurt fans out there I RECOMMEND FRUCCI.

  13. Raven Says:

    How much is Frucci paying you to spam my blog, and do they realize your post has just persuaded me never to visit Frucci?

    Tell them to win customers by providing a superior product, not by slamming the competition.

    Suddenly I’m considering paying a visit to Pinkberry.

  14. Ammar Khan Says:

    hahaha…love the blog…good stuff

    i just started working at a pinkberry that opened up near my house, never knew what the stuff was…i heard my roommate rambling about how great it was but never paid any attention…really needed a job, found listing on craigslist…

    anyways, learned all about it, tried it for the first time when i got my free medium after my first shift, absolutely fell in love with it. the only other yogurt place ive been to is a place near my school called yogurtland…blew that place outta the water. and as far as the horrible service blog goes, when we are trained we are told to always do whatever the customer asks for, and at least at my store, thats what we do.

    it is expensive yeah, but compared to the other cheaper yogurt place i went to the extra few dollars were worth it. the way i look at it, you pay more for a better experience, thats life. not trying to spam…just saying what i feel, then again i just started working like a week ago so maybe im just fiending it right now, we’ll see…

  15. Raven Says:

    I still haven’t tried Pinkberry, although I’m currently feeling a little more positive toward them since reading a profile of their CEO in KoreAm. But since Red Mango is right up the street and arguably they’re the real originators of the tart fro-yo craze, I expect I’ll stick with them.

    I have to say, though, K-town is still full of no-name places offering pretty much the same stuff, plus they have bing soo.

    P.S. When a first-time commenter leaves a very positive review on a very old post and then makes a point of saying he’s not trying to spam my blog, am I really supposed to believe him? 🙂


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