Few controversies are as divisive as the frozen yogurt debate in Claremont. Although SoCal is the capital of trendy fro-yo establishments, the two clear front-runners in Claremont are 21 Choices and Yogurtland. It’s a sin for 21 Choicers to patronize corporate Yogurtland, while supporters of the latter scoff at the more local option’s outlandish prices. To resolve this crucial debate, I turn to two objective experts in the field: Kris Brown ’11 and Dan Evans ’12.
Brown: The 21 Choices Devotee
“Blood is not thicker than frozen yogurt, nor would it be good as a topping, but it is nonetheless blood that ties us to 21 Choices (here I speak on behalf of humanity). You recognize the staff members and they recognize you. You took your significant other there during the initial stages of courtship and your best friend took you there after the breakup. They’ve been there for you: they’ve earned your trust and they deserve your loyalty.
Yogurtland could care less about you. They won’t give you advice on yogurt, laugh at your jokes, tell you bad jokes, or ask you how you’re doing. It is true that 21 Choices is more expensive than Yogurtland — this is not a point of debate — but the importance of the price difference is overstated by Yogurtland aficionados. The quality of product, and of experience well warrants the price tag of a 21 Choices trip. 21 Choices makes their own yogurt and creates flavors from scratch using real ingredients. Yogurtland uses cartons of dairy-something and artificial flavorings. The difference in taste is the difference between homemade and store-bought.
Yogurtlanders revel in the glory of self-composed cultured concoctions. “I get to make my own!’ they cry,’you can’t do that at 21 Choices!’ Of course, they are factually correct, but their conception of making one’s own yogurt is wildly ill-conceived. You suck at making frozen yogurt mixes; let someone who knows what they are doing make you something worth eating.
Admittedly, freedom at 21 Choices requires assertiveness, but Yogurtland offers nothing beyond a lower price tag. 21 Choices has tastier and more creative yogurt, better toppings, the ability to mix-in toppings…true fro-yo freedom.”
Evans: The Yogurtland Crusader
“Economics, my dear, it’s simply economics at its finest. Economics for you and economics for the business owner. Yogurtland’s superior business model dwarfs that of 21 Choices, making it the preferable choice here in Claremont’s Village and the world over. With a multitude of options for frozen yogurt as well as a riveting spread of candies and fruits, this fine establishment boasts a plethora of tastes that 21 Choices simply can’t compete with.
Indeed, the ’21 Choices’ name has always remained a perplexing element of their branding. A visit to 21 reveals 6 flavors of frozen yogurt to choose from, with four flavors rotated between various fruity and chocolaty concoctions. The remaining two are traditional (read: safe) standbys: chocolate and vanilla. It doesn’t take a Harvey Mudder to tell you that 6 is a far smaller number than 21, and smaller also than 16. That latter integer represents the number of options available at any given point at the esteemed Yogurtland. Further investigations into 21 Choices’s numerology are just as puzzling. There are more than 21 ‘mix-ins,’ a term dubbed by the business, and the total combinations of yogurt and mix-ins are also far greater than 21.
Pricing becomes another matter of contention that works directly to Yogurtland’s favor. With a simple formula involving total weight of yogurt acquired, there are no silly secrets behind Yogurtland’s business model. A flat sum of cash for a frozen yogurt concoction does not adequately address the errors in the production system: some employees at 21 Choices use more yogurt, others less, some more toppings, others less, and so forth. Yogurtland is a business model based firmly upon the principles of personal choice and rugged individualism. You, and only you, are responsible for the quality of your creation. Are these not the same principles that we as Americans embody in our society? 21 Choices resembles a planned Soviet economy. Is not one ‘tres small’ (whatever that is) good enough for all customers? I say nay!
In conclusion, we as CMCers can embrace Yogurtland as an opportunity to define ourselves not by some pre-designed standards, but rather by the quality of our own work. Do you wish to create a concoction of glorious fruit and chocolate flavors? Look no further! Yogurtland will provide the palette for your artistic creativity! Or perhaps you wish only to have a small amount of Yogurt, instead opting to save your hard-earned cash money for Keystone? You have an ally at Yogurtland! Go forth, create, and find the most economical solution for your fro-yo cravings!”
Ultimately, we’re at a sugary stalemate: 21 Choices or Yogurtland? If you like fast, corporate, cheap food, go to Yogurtland. If you prefer expensive, gourmet, innovative treats, visit 21 Choices.