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!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pinkberry's Outing Raises Questions for Tasti

As chains like Tasti D-Lite and Pinkberry have become increasingly popular, there have been concerns about what exactly is in the "yogurt" that makes it taste so good without calories. The drama surrounding the class-action lawsuit continues, now forcing Pinkberry to reveal its exact ingredients, and the results showed why they were so hesitant to do so. Even though Pinkberry markets itself as "all natural," the truth does not lead to that conclusion:
The list includes at least five additives defined by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as emulsifiers (propylene glycol esters, lactoglycerides, sodium acid pyrophosphate, mono- and diglycerides); four acidifiers (magnesium oxide, calcium fumarate, citric acid, sodium citrate); tocopherol, a natural preservative; and two ingredients — starch and maltodextrin — that were characterized as fillers by Dr. Gary A. Reineccius, a professor in the department of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota and an expert in food additives.

The aftermath to the controversy has had interesting ramifications on Tasti. New York Magazine food blog "Grub Street"'s lede to their post about it has to scare Tasti:
Back in those heady days when the small-screen Sex and the City reigned over New York, it was all about skinny girlie-girl Miss Charlotte York and her tasteless Tasti D-Lite. Let’s hope that this summer’s big-screen SATC has caught up with the times, because any body fat–phobic New Yorker knows that today it’s all about that tangy frozen yogurt Pinkberry.

The revelation that Pinkberry is filled with all sorts of gross things has shaded opinion of Tasti as well. Grub Street asked Pinkberry devotees about the news and asked several of them about their opinion of Tasti (none were favorable). The most interesting answer came from Benny Tagliareni, 28, when he was asked if he eats Tasti D-Lite.
Uch, no. I don’t eat Tasti D-Lite. It’s all fabricated — disgusting. There’s nothing wholesome about it. You’re ultimately eating garbage. But I don’t expect any fast food to be healthy at all.

It seems clear that a) perception is that Tasti is composed of non-natural ingredients and b) that this Pinkberry law suit is going to shade opinion of Tasti. Tasti's doing its part with its fresh, very natural new image. Additionally, the "flavor + nutrition" page proclaims "Natural Ingredients." "Tasti Science" explains, "We use natural ingredients and just enough real sugar, because it just tastes better that way."

But, thanks to Pinkberry, the folks at Tasti have to reach out even more stringently to ensure customers that there's nothing unhealthy about eating Tasti D-Lite.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tasti Socially Networks

As Tasti continues to extend its online presence, it comes as little surprise it's trying to get in on the social networking game. This week, Tasti launched a Facebook page. Users can become "fans," get news, see photos, upload photos, have discussions with other fans, etc. It's unclear as of yet how much value it adds, but we'll have to wait to see what Tasti plans to do with it and how fans use it. An interesting experiment, to be sure.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pinkberry Is Not Frozen Yogurt

We're a little late on this news item, but Pinkberry settled a suit last week, which asserted their product isn't all-natural frozen yogurt as claimed.

In a class-action lawsuit filed last year, Pinkberry — which operates roughly 50 stores in California and New York — was accused of misrepresenting its product as “frozen yogurt” and making bogus health claims, including that the dessert (which comes in three flavors: plain, which is very sour; green tea, which is chalky; and coffee, uncommonly delicious) was “all-natural.”

In a preliminary settlement reached this week, Pinkberry denied any wrongdoing but agreed to pay $750,000 to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Para Los NiƱos. The plaintiff, Lisa Sutton, who said she suffered injuries and undue loss of money spent on Pinkberry products, will receive legal fees and a $5,000 award for bringing the suit.

Under California law, a product cannot be marketed as frozen yogurt unless it is made from milk that is fermented with certain bacteria, mixed off-site rather than in stores, and sold with its ingredients prominently displayed. In the past, Pinkberry had been secret about its products’ ingredients, but it now lists them on its Web site, and it has begun to mix the product off-site.

It's also worth noting that Pinkberry is also considerably more calories than originally claimed. Of course, this isn't anything Tasti hasn't dealt with in the past. Tasti made the switch from "frozen yogurt" to "frozen dessert" a long time ago, and on last week's press release, the PR team finally found a great spin. They wrote, "Not a frozen yogurt because it doesn't contain yogurt and not enough fat to be ice cream, Tasti D-Lite is a uniquely perfect indulgence with just 70 to 100 calories per four fl. oz. serving." This spin still prevents Tasti from seemly unnatural, while clumping its lack of yogurt with a lack of fat.

In any case, it's interesting to see Pinkberry go through the same mistakes Tasti ironed out years ago. Maybe it's not the competitor we thought it might be. For more info on the ingredients in Tasti, check out Tasti Science.

Tasti D is bloggin', press releasin', diversifyin'

The folks at Tasti sent over some interesting news updates to me this weekend.

1) Through, Tasti released a press release, more formally encouraging new franchisers to help them build their 500-center franchise in five years. The release is in line with the franchising strategy previously discussed on Tasti D-Lited. The release focuses on the experience of the managerial team, the devotion of the consumers (like yours truly), and the health benefits. They continue to use "dessert your guilt" as a tagline. The release continues the build up for the flagship store in NYC, which is opening in the next few months. Tasti D-Lited is planning on getting there for opening day, but we'll see how the timing works out. On a more personal note, the new franchising plan has affected me quite greatly--the licensor of the New Haven location still hasn't decided whether or not to renew and thus still hasn't opened.

2) Tasti D-Lited officially isn't the only Tasti D-Lite blog online! Tasti D-Lite has started an official blog, which has minimal unimpressive content so far, but should be utilized more in the future. Interestingly, it's hosted on Xanga rather than on I'd imagine they'll make the switch over relatively soon, as they continue to rollout new features on their new website.

3) Speaking of new features on their website, you may notice some updates on We previously made fun of some of the silly images rotating on the homepage. The girl with the crazy eyes is still there (thank god!), but they replaced the out-of-place beach frolickers with an image of some whipped cream and a smoothie. Interesting to note the prominent placement of the relatively unpopular smoothies--I've yet to try one, but will now. This new smoothie emphasis is reflected in the updated Tasti Treats section as well. It is now broken into "classic d-lite menu," "smoothie d-lite menu," and "d-lite to go menu." The smoothie menu is the most interesting and includes Asian-inspired names for their smoothies and shakes. Sundaes are also featured.Tasti appears to be (smartly) diversifying its menu, beginning to take on Jamba Juice with this new menu. The To Go menu focuses on cakes and special treats, which is yet another branch off from the core frozen dessert offering. And, of course, the classic menu is the one we already know and love. In any case, it's increasingly interesting to see Tasti shape its strategy as it begins its quest to expand across the country. This first update is a good sign of things to come.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tasti's #1, says Food Experts

There has been quite a dearth of posts on Tasti D-Lited lately, as our local store still hasn't reopened (it's been five months!!?? That is not a "season," folks!), but there's good news! We'll be in New York this summer and will certainly be making up for lost time.

And, in case you forgot just how good Tasti really is, food authors and HuffPo bloggers Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent ranked Tasti D-Lite as the best Frozen Yogurt (err... "frozen dessert") in the country. Tasti was followed at #2 by rival Pinkberry.

Of Tasti, they write:

Tasti D is pretty much our favorite place on earth, but unfortunately it's only available in certain parts of the country right now. (However, more of these gems will be popping up around the country soon, so stay tuned.) This stuff is incredibly delicious, has only 20 calories per ounce for most flavors, and is all natural! That means no crazy chemicals, so you can feel good about indulging in this stuff. Plus, it comes in literally hundreds of unique flavors like fluffernutter, cake batter, mudpie, cinnamon crunch, etc. We've found that Tasti D makes a great lunch when you add healthy toppings like almonds or granola, or a perfect snack when swirled on a cone with a few sprinkles. Just be careful about licking your cone while walking down the street - a few construction guys may notice.