Why Is Frozen Yogurt the World’s Most Popular Date?by HowAboutWe on January 30, 2013
Earlier this month, we launched One Million Dates, an interactive infographic that examines the fascinating (and surprising) patterns of a million first dates posted on HowAboutWe. (Haven’t seen it yet? Check it out!) One of those findings: the most popular date treat in the country is…frozen yogurt. A few fro-yo stats:
- It’s suggested three times more often than the the second most popular dessert, pie.
- Dates involving fro-yo account for 4% of all dates posted in the “Eat” category on HowAboutWe.
- About 1 in every 5 foodie dates in Pittsburgh, Seattle & Denver involve the snack.
- In NYC, it beats out every other food category, accounting for 12% of all food-based dates.
Given this popularity explosion, we thought we’d do some digging into why this chilly treat makes for a such great date. We spoke to Adam Britten, community manager at 16 Handles, a fro-yo chain that has 14 locations in NYC and 15 more throughout the country. The twist is that they let you mix your own flavors and then ladle on the toppings at an endless topping bar (with options like gummy bears and “granola gone wild”). Here’s what he had to say.
HowAboutWe: Do you see a lot of people on first dates at 16 Handles?
Adam: We definitely get a decent amount of them. If the date’s going well, it’s a good place to stop for dessert — and then maybe they continue on to another destination afterwards.
HAW: Any juicy stories in particular?
A: Yes! There was one girl, one of our regulars, who was nervous about taking [a guy] here for the first time (it was only their third date). She was a regular, and usually loaded her cup up with $10 worth of yogurt and toppings–the cashier knew her by name. She was afraid of what the new guy might make of all that, so she let him fill up his cup first. He loaded on the toppings even more than she would — so she knew she could do the same. And now he’s her fiance.
We also had another couple who stopped in when their car was towed and they’d missed their dinner plans. The woman said to her boyfriend, “Oh, do you remember this is where we went on our first date?” Then all of a sudden the screens in the store started flashing with photos of the two of them, and he got down on one knee and proposed.
We’ve had at least three proposals so far, that we know of.
HAW: So what does your choice of toppings say about you on a date?
A: Some people say that if you put in so many toppings or choose so many flavors, it’ll show you’re indecisive. But our catchphrase is “flaunt your flavor,” and in my eyes, if you put a lot of toppings in — all the rainbow cookies, peanut butter cups, and so on — that’s you. Whereas if you’re not a fruit person but you only choose fruit toppings when you’re on a date…that’s a different story.
HAW: So, be yourself.
HAW: Have you heard of any date disasters over fro-yo?
A: None that we are aware of, but with some people filling their cups so high, there’s probably been an embarrassing spill or two.
HAW: Do the fro-yo dates continue even in the winter?
A: Even when it’s cold outside, we get people coming in on dates to make a creation. Recently, our new Hot Chocolate Affogato has been a popular choice among couples who want to stay warm but still get out of the house.
HAW: So do you think that yogurt shops have become the new neutral ground (in place of bars, coffee shops, etc.) for relationship milestones to happen? Why is that?
A: I definitely think frozen yogurt shops are a more ideal first date (or second for that matter) spot than a bar. Bars can be loud and a difficult environment to get to know someone in. Frozen yogurt is less intimidating, it’s interactive (so you actually get to do something instead of just sitting there) and we also play a lot of really good, popular music, so you still have all the fun elements of a bar, minus people bumping into you all the time.
HAW: Are there any examples of other big relationship milestones (breakups, “what are we” talks, etc) happening at 16 Handles?
A: None that we are aware of, but if you have to have a serious conversation, I think frozen yogurt would certainly lighten the mood.
Hungry yet? For a limited time, HowAboutWe for Couples members can get two-for-one 16 Handles frozen yogurt or Hot Chocolate Affogato treats. Learn more: create a free account here, then click “Rewards.” Happy dating!