picture of the exterior of a Menchie's location

Unveiling the Delicious World of Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

Born of a mutual love of frozen yogurt between founders and couple Danna and Adam Caldwell, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt has blossomed into an international success. Since the opening of the first Menchie’s in Los Angeles in 2007, it’s grown into a massive chain of over 500 shops with locations around the U.S., Canada, Central America, Europe, China, and various Middle Eastern countries. The self-serve format, friendly service, and tasty toppings are a big part of Menchie’s success, but the frozen yogurt is their biggest attraction. Menchie’s has dozens of frozen yogurt flavors and products that fit any dietary preference.

The chain is transparent about the ingredients and nutritional content of their frozen yogurt flavors, which includes the use of live and active cultures, real and whole flavor ingredients, fat, and sugar content. For their original flavors, Menchie’s doesn’t use high-fructose corn syrup to sweeten their yogurt (you will find the sweetener in cross-branded products like Birthday Cake Oreo Cookie, however), but instead a mixture of corn syrup and sugar. They also have a menu of no sugar added yogurts, mainly sweetened with xylitol.

The base of Menchie’s frozen yogurt flavors is a blend of skim and nonfat milk, whey protein, and cream. That said, they offer dairy-free sorbets that blend water, sweetener, and artificial flavoring. Flavors range from classics like chocolate and vanilla, to exotic flavors like dulce de leche, to creative dessert flavors like cheesecake and peanut butter cookie.

Frozen yogurt vs. ice cream

frozen yogurt pumped from a soft serve machine

Frozen yogurt shops like Menchie’s often market themselves as healthier alternatives to ice cream shops because they are lower in fat. However, what frozen yogurt lacks in fat, it makes up for in added sugars. This evens the playing field in terms of health benefits and costs between the two. Even if you opt for a no sugar added frozen yogurt or sorbet from Menchie’s, the artificial flavoring and sweeteners come with their own set of health risks.

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Beyond their nutritional differences, frozen yogurt has a tangier flavor and a soft, smooth, somewhat icier texture than ice cream’s thick, creamy consistency. The tart flavor is due to the bacterial cultures that also differentiate frozen yogurt from ice cream. The freezing process detracts from the benefits the cultures have on gut health, so you shouldn’t use frozen yogurt to substitute regular refrigerated yogurt you might eat with fruit and granola for breakfast.

That said, health experts agree that signs of good quality frozen yogurt start with a seal for Live and Active Cultures once provided by the National Yogurt Association (NYA). Menchie’s has had the NYA’s seal for Live and Active Cultures — however, in 2019, the NYA was co-opted by the International Dairy Foods Association, which carries on the task of awarding the seal. It is unclear whether Menchie’s has worked with the IDFA since, but the company remains steadfast in its transparency of ingredients and brand focus on delivering the highest quality products to satisfy your frozen dessert cravings.

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