In New York it is very common to find a Pinkberry right across the street from a Red Mango. With a product that is almost identical, even down to the flavors, I have always wondered what the difference was. So I decided to find out.
Pinkberry was founded by Shelly Hwang, a restaurateur, and Young Lee, a Parsons-trained designer in 2005 in Southern California. Red Mango was founded by Daniel Kim, a former investment banker, in 2002 in South Korea. Red Mango finally came to the States in 2007.
The biggest difference between the two is the ingredients. In 2007 a law suit was filed against Pinkberry because it did not meet the “California Department of Food and Agriculture’s definition of frozen yogurt because it does not contain the necessary amount of bacterial cultures per ounce.” In 2008 Pinkberry changed their recipe and recieved the Live and Active Cultures Seal from the National Yogurt Association. What are Live and Active Cultures? These are probiotics which are friendly bacteria similar to those that live in our digestive systems.
Pinkberry contains 23 ingredients which includes three kinds of sugar: sucrose, fructose and dextrose and artificial flavors and colors. Red Mango only contains 14 ingredients which does NOT include fructose or any artificial flavors and colors and their first ingredient is water (Ingredients are listed by weight). Red Mango is also the only frozen yogurt place that is “100% all natural, nonfat, kosher and gluten-free frozen yogurt fortified with Ganeden BC30 TM, a natural probiotic that helps support a healthy immune system.” Calories and sugar are about the same for Pinkberry and Red Mango but watch out, the serving size is 1/2 cup and a Pinkberry small is 1.5 servings and Red Mango is 1.2 servings.
I decided to visit each and try out each of the flavors. When I went to Pinkberry I took my cousin and had to take a picture . Pinkberry offers original, pomegranate, coconut, and chocolate. Red Mango offers original, pomegranate, tangomonium, and coco. Here is what I thought:
- Red Mango’s original was more smoother but is very icy. Pinkberry’s original is very tangy.
- Red Mango’s and Pinkberry’s pomergranate are very similar but Red Mango makes theirs with POM Wonderful® 100% Pomegranate Juice Concentrate.
- Pinkberry’s chocolate is really good and tastes like chocolate ice cream, Red Mango’s coco is not as good and does not taste very chocolately.
- Red Mango’s Tangomonium is very sweet, it has a unique flavor that is hard to describe. Not my favorite but not bad.
- Pinkberry’s coconut is very sweet and tastes like coconut, not much else to say. Not a favorite.
My favorite flavor at both places would have to be Pomegranate. As for prices they vary a little bit, a small at Pinkerry is $2.50 and for about a dollar more you can get unlimited toppings. A small at Red Mango is $2.95 and for $1.50 more you can get three toppings.
So my recommendation is if you are concerned with ingredients and it being all natural go to Red Mango. But other than that go for the one that tastes better to you. Both Pinkberry and Red Mango have “the Live and Active Cultures seal of the National Yogurt Association, certifying that their frozen yogurt contains at least 10 million live cultures per gram at the time of manufacture.” As for my favorite I don’t have a preference.