Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Fro-yo leaders break from the pack


newpinkberry1.jpgFrozen yogurt is hot — again.

Pinkberry and Red Mango revived the segment and are breaking away from the pack with help from venture capital funding.

While the last generation of frozen yogurt sellers offered ice cream-flavored swirls, next-gen “fro-yo” shops peddle a tart and tangy product that tastes closer to unadulterated yogurt — boosting its appeal as a healthy snack.

The new stores are bright and modern, but they’re not the only place where groupies can congregate — Pinkberry and Red Mango invite their tech-savvy fans to meet up online.

Pinkberry is working with $27.5 million in venture funding from Maveron, a Seattle-based venture capital firm co-founded by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. The chain expects to finish the year with more than 75 stores, primarily in California and New York.