Tasti D-Lited: Flavors, Reviews

As my visits to Tasti D-Lite became increasingly frequent, I realized what kept me coming back was the excitement and intrigue that comes with the flavors of the day. Why every flavor looks like chocolate or vanilla is as much a mystery to me as it is to you, but this blog aims to serve as a repository for reviews on and pictures of each Tasti flavor--enjoy!

Have pictures, reviews, or news? E-mail tastidlited@gmail.com!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

@TastiDLite Announces 1000th Follower Contest

Tasti has been all up on the Twittersphere for just over a year now--it's clearly a huge priority (rightly so) for the online team. They've been using the account to interact with customers, announce store openings, hold contests, post photos, ask questions, and more. The team has been running the account quite effectively.

For some reason, the follower count hasn't quite hit the growth I'd imagine they are hoping for. The rather personality-less Pinkberry account has almost four times the followers (in less time). It's especially perplexing given the fanatic relationship customers tend to have with the company. Presumably in an effort to bolster up the fanbase (=follower count), Tasti has announced a contest. There are currently 971 followers. The 1000th follower receives a personalized private party at the Columbus Circle flagship store for 20 friends with free Tasti, a "fail whale" cake, product samplings, and giveaways. Lovin' it!

The strategy is tricky--at what point will the follower count hit the tipping point in which a block of friends can band together FTW? We shall see. Nine new followers signed up in the past 24 hours. (Hopefully the contest is protecting against fake/spam accounts people might create in order to win the contest?)

In any case, we'll be...following...the contest. Tasti's social media strategy is pretty spot on.

(In related news, Tasti D-Lited heads back to New York in less than week! Tasti time!)

Monday, April 6, 2009

25 Things About Tasti

A few months late on the trend, the Tasti blog posted "25 Random Things About Tasti D-Lite" today. Many facts I didn't know--a lot of interesting stuff in there:

5. There have been at least 2 marriage proposals at Tasti D-Lite locations in the recent past that we know of. Pictures of one Tasti D-Lite wedding can be found on our Facebook Fan Page.
11. The most popular Tasti D-Lite flavor is the collective variations of Peanut Butter. The second most popular flavor is Cake Batter.
18. The most popular topping is Rainbow Sprinkles.
19. There are currently 193 Tasti D-Lite related pictures on Flickr.
23. Tasti D-Lite franchise opportunities are now available in 48 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and in select markets worldwide.

The Tasti team gave us a shout out in item number 8! Thanks, guys!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

First Impressions of New Store Design

So my Peanut Butter Cup reunion with Tasti D-Lite didn't turn out to be the best, but more exciting than the treat was seeing what the new updated stores look like!

I have to say I was pretty impressed. The location (UES) was pretty much a hole in the wall, but they made it look good. Even next to "Hot 'n Crusty," the store seemed classy, modern, and fun. The new logo looks great, as does the new menu board. All sorts of food items are promoted now--the smoothies, sundaes, and shakes. I'm looking forward to trying them all this summer. I didn't snag a picture of it, but there was an LCD screen in the store, too, displaying hip local information.

In any case, I've got to say I'm pretty impressed with the results. Tasti's rebranding was accomplished quite masterfully, despite the closure of a substantial percentage of its stores in the process. Woot.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Peanut Butter Cup

So we were finally back in the city this weekend and got our Tasti fix! It's been quite a number of months since we were last in Tasti range after the New Haven store closed. It was the first time we got to see a rebranded store and we'll post about that later.

Unfortunately, we weren't blown away our first flavor in months. We had very high expectations for Peanut Butter Cup--it's our favorite candy. Unfortunately, the taste just didn't translate into frozen form. The mixture was oddly...bitter. It left a bad aftertaste, as well. It goes to show that sometimes the best tastes in food form aren't necessarily the best Tasti flavors. Alas.

NASTI (1 of 4 stars)

90 calories/serving

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tasti Launches Flavor Alerts

It's been a while since we've had a post at Tasti D-Lite--as we're stuck in New Haven without Tasti, we aren't able to review frequently, and Tasti news has been quiet.

But today there was a pretty nifty new feature on Tasti's website worth mentioning. Tasti Flavor Alerts will text or e-mail you when a nearby location is serving your favorite flavor. When we're in New York, we'll be sure to set it up for all of our four-star reviews.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wall Street Journal Takes a Look at Tasti Expansion

The WSJ's Ellen Byron took a look today at the state of Tasti's worldwide expansion. The article noted some new details of the expansion plan, including that new products will be introduced such as baked goods.
James Amos, who, along with New York private-equity firm Snow Phipps Group LLC, acquired the New York-based frozen-dessert business for $21 million last year, is forging deals to expand the chain nationally and internationally with new store formats, additional flavors and new products such as energy drinks and baked goods.
The Journal notes that Tasti's success and appeal is thanks in large part to a group of devoted fans, who have given the brand a cult-like status. Byron raises the question of if this "distinctly New York phenomenon" can resonate across the country and across the world.

The article noted some impressive statistics about the geographic distribution of the expansion.
Two Tasti D-Lite stores opened this month in Seoul; expansion into Israel and Mexico is in negotiation. Late last month, Tasti D-Lite signed franchising deals for a minimum of 16 stores in Tennessee and at least 40 in Texas, including San Antonio, Austin and Houston. It is working on expanding into California and adding to the seven stores already in New Jersey. Next month, Tasti D-Lite plans to open two flagship stores in New York, including one on the ground floor of the Empire State Building.
Lastly, the article covered Tasti's effort to redesign and revamp the several run down locations currently in operation in New York. The program is surprisingly expensive.
Since closing the deal, Mr. Amos has been working to persuade Tasti D-Lite's existing store owners to transition from their previous licensing arrangement to a franchise, which gives the company more control over stores' appearance and operations. He has been selling the idea by promising financial incentives, updated store designs, as well as marketing and back-office support. Each franchise requires an investment $230,470 to $439,600, depending on factors such as size and location, the company said. Royalty fees of 5% of a store's gross sales are required weekly. Franchises also can expect to pay to build their brand. Contributions to a "marketing fund" amount to 2% of gross sales every week.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rocky Road

Rocky Road is a pretty standard Tasti flavor--except the infusion of nut flavor leaves a pretty bad aftertaste. It's got a nice, rich chocolate taste nevertheless. As there isn't much to say about the flavor (which probably isn't worth ordering), it seems like a good time to comment on the Danoo TV screens I've spotted in a few Tasti locations. I've seen similar screens at The Coffee Bean when I was in Las Vegas. The content on the flat-screen monitors are customized for the location--news, weather, scores, events, nearby attractions (powered by Yelp), YouTubes, and more. They really add a sense of class to Tasti locations--it will be interesting to see if more screens will be deployed in the coming years.

D-LIST (2 of 4 stars)

80 calories/serving

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Haven Location Still Closed...But Not For Long?

We've been enjoying our summer in New York, but in no time, we will be heading home to New Haven, where the only Tasti location in Connecticut still hasn't reopened after closing for the winter. The previous owner of the store, Carole Chu, had to close to store for medical reasons, but Tasti is confident a location in New Haven (whether at the old location or not) will soon be a reality. Director of IT BJ Emerson said:
We have been responding to inquiries for the New Haven area. It is just a matter of time before a new franchise location is opened.
Here's hoping!

PB Moosemellow

In May, with much promotion, Tasti launched two new flavors: Green Tea and PB Moosemellow. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to try PB Moosemellow (basically another name for Moose Tracks ice cream--"Vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups and famous Moose Tracks® fudge"). Tasti's newest flavor was still being promoted with the placard pictured here--and it did not disappoint. As mentioned many-a-time, Tasti's peanut butter flavors are generally the best and the added chocolate component was great. The taste, however, was not that different from Peanut Butter Fudge, which we gave three stars. (And, on this post, commenter Laura noted that all the peanut butters tend to taste the same, which is definintely somewhat true.) While Green Tea was a natural thing to add to the repitoire (as Pinkberry's Green Tea becomes increasingly popular), it's unclear why PB Moosemellow was necessary. But, nevertheless, I'm happy it was invented, because I thoroughly enjoyed it.

TASTI (3 of 4 stars)

100 calories/serving

Toasted Almond

There's something less satisfying about going to the non-Tasti-branded outlets--the stores which serve Tasti, as well as other things. This particularly location was a candy shop on Madison Ave., which sold candies, Tasti, and weird animals such as this sheep. And you get your Tasti in a plain white cup instead of a cool Tasti one. The whole experience is just somewhat dampened. Yet, out of the dreariness emerged a surprisingly great flavor--Toasted Almond. It's sweet, but with a real tang and kick to it. The first bites are startingly good, but the kick loses its impact by the end, preventing it from getting four stars.

TASTI (3 of 4 stars)

80 calories/serving