We all scream for ... fro-yo?
As weather gets warmer, students call for frozen yogurt eatery on campus
Yotality, a popular frozen yogurt restaurant that has five locations in the Buffalo area, has opened its newest shop on Sweet Home Road near North Campus. Some students are expressing interest for an on-campus eatery. Yusong Shi, The Spectrum
Even as temperatures remain cool in Buffalo, some students can't get enough of the cold, as frozen yogurt vendors are opening around the area.
Recently, Yotality opened at The Exchange, an apartment complex across from North Campus. Frozen yogurt shops are getting closer to UB, but some students are clamoring for an on-campus eatery that they can frequent instead of the dispensaries included in five dormitory dining halls.
Ray Khol, the marketing manager of UB's Campus Dining & Shops (CDS), said there has been "some initial conversations regarding national frozen yogurt franchises" coming to UB, but "none have been researched at this point."
While home on Long Island, Samantha Schustek, a senior speech and hearing sciences major, goes out for frozen yogurt twice a week with her friends. In Buffalo, she does not go as often because frozen yogurt vendors are not located near her South Campus home, and she isn't near the dorms when she's on campus.
Schustek's favorite thing about going out for frozen yogurt is trying something new each time. To date, her favorite combination is taro, original and soy peanut butter frozen yogurt topped with carob chips, waffle cone pieces and almonds.
If UB's campus featured a frozen yogurt shop, Shustek said she would likely visit it twice per week as she does back home.
There are five frozen yogurt machines in dormitories on North and South Campus - two in the Crossroads Culinary Center (C3), one in each Goodyear and Governors Dining Center and one in Perks in Ellicott Complex, according to Khol.
"The mix we use is locally made from Upstate Farms and each location carries a variety of flavors throughout the semester," Khol said in an email.
The frozen yogurt eateries in Buffalo are a drive away from North and South Campus, though the new Yotality could be considered in walking distance. White Rabbit Frozen Yogurt, which has three shops in the Buffalo area, Red Mango on Transit Road and Yogenfruz in the Walden Galleria are three examples of frozen yogurt suppliers that attract customers throughout the year. Roughly 200 to 300 customers frequent White Rabbit Frozen Yogurt each day, according to Brandon Brown, an employee.
Janice Cochran, a nutritionist and dietician at the Student Health and Wellness Center, urges students to tell CDS what they want to see on campus. Though some see frozen yogurt as a healthy option, Cochran believes it is a "gray" area.
"Certainly, it potentially could be a nice addition [to a student's diet]," Cochran said. "With any kind of yogurt or frozen yogurt product, you can get some that may have more nutrition than others - some may have more additives and sugars."
Cochran said frozen yogurt does contain calcium, but typically less than what is in "regular" yogurt or milk. She also said fro-yo usually has less probiotic content and is higher in calorie content than perceived.
"I would generally say with yogurt, it's nice to also consider it as a means of topping it with different things," Cochran said. "It doesn't always have to be sprinkles and candy. You can top it with fruit and granola and nuts to make it even more nutritious."
Camille Farkas is a senior psychology major and the president of UB's Nutrition Club.
"The yogurt is prepped with probiotics, which help to maintain a healthy G.I. system," Farkas said. "On the downside, a lot of frozen yogurt companies will add more sugar to make their products comparable in taste with traditional ice cream."
Farkas believes frozen yogurt is a better alternative to ice cream, though it may not be as healthy as some students believe. She feels it would be an asset to campus because students can experiment with fruit toppings.
Madison Katz, a freshman business major, doesn't like to snack on fattening foods. She believes getting frozen yogurt on campus would broaden her healthy food options.
Katz finds her way to a different frozen yogurt location once a week in Buffalo. But she said if there were frozen yogurt in the Student Union, she would have it every day.
Her go-to cup is from Red Mango; she likes peanut butter and cookies and cream - ice-cream flavors that are not as fattening as actual ice cream.
Frozen yogurt can satisfy a variety of cravings, according to Jenna Gossert, a junior communication major. The frozen yogurt Gossert goes for depends on her mood. If she's feeling healthy and wants something to energize her, she may get a fruity type of yogurt, such as one that's tart-flavored, and top it with berries and granola.
If she's craving sweets, she fills her cup with flavors like chocolate, cheesecake and red velvet and tops the yogurt with cheesecake bites, brownies, M&M'S and more.
Gossert rarely craves frozen yogurt in Buffalo, though, because it's not something she passes by every day like she does at a shopping center near her home.
"It's a good grab-and-go snack, you know?" Gossert said. "Having it on campus would definitely be convenient."
Elana Cwass, a freshman undecided major, enjoys key lime pie frozen yogurt topped with graham crackers for dessert. It seems like a healthier and "trendier" alternative to the real key lime pie she usually craves after dinner, she said.
The movement is not just about taste, according to Alexa Serin, a senior communication major.
Frozen yogurt trips are also used as a means of socializing. Serin believes sitting down with a cup of frozen yogurt with friends in between classes would add a lot to the culture on campus. Seeing students enjoying their yogurt concoctions on a warm day outside the Student Union would create a positive atmosphere, she said.
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