REVIEWED: Hello Red Mango…

Red Mango

…goodbye Pinkberry.

I might not be the first, but I’m definitely one of the few to actually sample the American version of Red Mango before their first store even opens.

If you haven’t yet heard of Red Mango, you will soon. Red Mango is the original Pinkberry. Red Mango has over 140 locations in Korea and has been operating since 2002. Ten Red Mango locations will be opening in 2007 with the first in Westwood, CA by the end of June. Although many people in the states will think Pinkberry was the first of its kind, rest assured that Red Mango is in fact the one that started it all. You can now prove your friends wrong when they try to convince you its the other way around.

Today I was taken to the Red Mango headquarters in Culver City to try what turned out to be the most delicious Pinkberry-style yogurt I’ve ever had. And this stuff IS actually yogurt, unlike Pinkberry. Red Mango yogurt is made with pure and natural ingredients, and loaded with live and active cultures.

If you haven’t heard, Pinkberry is dealing with some legal trouble over the fact that their yogurt might not actually be yogurt. They’ve been forced to drop the word “yogurt” from their cups and signage. That said, I still have much respect for Pinkberry and will be enjoying it until the first Red Mango location opens. But back to the taste test…

I was given a bowl of fresh Red Mango original flavor, plain, in the amount of what a small size would be in stores. It’s as creamy as gelato but not nearly as icey as Pinkberry.

But the taste? Well, let me say this. I’m actually a fan of Pinkberry. A very big fan. I find it to be delicious and refreshing without being disgusting full after I’m done eating it. The taste is a little tart, but still better than most other frozen yogurts. But that said, Red Mango is even better. It’s a bit tart, but not overly tart at all.

SIDE NOTE: For as many people as I’ve turned on to Pinkberry, that many have also been turned off due to the tartness of the stuff.

With Red Mango, that overly sour tart flavor is much less. Hardly noticeable. What is noticeable, however, is the creaminess of the yogurt. If you’ve had gelato, you know what I mean. Although it does come out of a high tech soft-serve machine, it tastes like it was just whipped up in the back of the store. No after taste is left (unlike Pinkberry), and (like Pinkberry) you don’t feel like you’ve just had a bowl of ice cream when you’re done.

The nutritional expert was also on hand working out the nutritional facts of the yogurt and enlightened me to the fact that Red Mango is not only healthier than Pinkberry due to the yogurt elements but also less in calories (about 20 calories in 1 ounce, compared to Pinkberry with 25 calories.)

If you live in LA you’ve probably noticed the onslaught of Pinkberry’s on almost every corner, not to mention the copycats like Kiwiberry, Snowberry, and various others. Well Red Mango has a copycat as well. California Roll & Sushi has been claiming to serve Red Mango yogurt for a while now, but be assured it is not. It’s just another rip-off trying to make a buck. To be sure you’re eating Red Mango, make sure you visit the Westwood location when it opens late June, and look for the Red Mango “O” logo like the one above.

Original and green tea flavor will be offered in various sizes, but only original was available to try. Green tea is being tweaked and they’ll be using high quality matcha. As for toppings, they’ll include granola, nuts, fresh fruits, cereals, chocolate chips and the like.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I went back for seconds.

FINAL VERDICT: Get in line now. It’ll be worth the wait.

Red Mango Locations: Westwood Village – Westwood/Pico – Las Vegas – Culver City – Northridge – Koreatown – Bellevue Square (Washington) – San Diego (Mission Valley)

Red Mango on Myspace
Red Mango Korea

Information for this review taken from the Korean American Journal and from Red Mango employees directly.

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35 comments so far

  1. Sephyroth on

    I have to say that this kind of shop sounds like a great concept; it’ll be interesting to see how either Red Mango or Pinkberry would go if and when they decide to expand to other cities nationwide.

    Also, I’d like to invite you to sign up for and submit your blog to the US Blogs community on BumpZee.

  2. Jay on

    It might have been an interesting read if it wasn’t so transparent that you either a) get stars in your eyes or b) are nothing but a corporate shill.

    But I guess it is a blog and not a piece of real journalism so no harm done. But I found it way too biased to be of any real help. I’ll have to wait until they open and see for myself. Maybe.

  3. cincodemayo1 on

    I just call it like I see it. As stated, I’m still a very big Pinkberry fan (had some last night) but Red Mango, in my opinion, is much creamier and has less of a tangy bite. If they pop up all over like Pinkberry has, I’ll definitely choose Red Mango over Pinkberry, but at the moment their only location will be in Westwood so most likely I won’t frequent it too often.

    But you said it, Jay, it’s an opinion piece (as most blogs are) and not hardcore journalism. As the title states it is a REVIEW, therefore opinions are expressed, however, the article contains very real facts.

    Feel free to wait til they open to try it yourself. Or don’t. Oh, and what kind of “help” were you looking to find in this article? I’d be happy to help in any way I can.

  4. Doug on

    How many froyo eateries can this nation support?

    I guess if one were to go by the success of Manhattan’s Tasti-d-lite, more than one might think.

  5. cincodemayo1 on

    Is Tasti-d-lite like Pinkberry-style froyo? Low in calories, tart, that sorta thing?

  6. jozjozjoz on

    I can’t wait.

    Thanks for this review!

  7. hurricaneadam on

    Hey cinco, I think tastidlite is like toppers.

  8. cincodemayo1 on

    Yeah, it is. Apparently it’s like Mr. Softee but sugar-free.

  9. MD on

    Penguins raspberry flavor, now that was the fro-yo king

  10. rwill on

    Red Mango will be an instant hit just as Pinkberry has been.

  11. xx on

    i’m definitely curious to try red mango, but am i the only one who has been impressed by pinkberry knockoff #30293, cantaloop? the pomegranate yogurt & lychee topping is absolutely delicious.

  12. cincodemayo1 on

    Haven’t tried it, but some of those knockoff places are actually really good.

    To be honest though, nothing is as creamy as Red Mango that I’ve tasted, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good. They’re actually quite good.

    I haven’t seen a Cantaloop, but Limelite has mango and chocolate flavor.

  13. greengelato on

    i posted about this, too. :) glad you liked it; my friends and i actually prefer the pink.

  14. cincodemayo1 on

    I still like the pink, and since I live in Hollywood and Mango is opening in Westwood, I’ll most likely still have mainly Pinkberry. But if you were to put both stores side to side, I’d probably choose the creamier Red Mango.

  15. scoop on

    cincodemayo1…you’re so full of crap. Good luck launching Red Mango…you guys are so far behind the curve it’s not even funny. Get a real franchising manager, rather than some MSFT project management fool…..later.

  16. cincodemayo1 on

    Thanks scoop! Your insight makes perfect sense. I especially love how eloquently you worded your thoughts.

    Unfortunately, I have nothing to do with Red Mango, so I won’t be able to actually launch it or hire a franchise manager, however, if you’d like to send me your resume I’d be happy to pass it on and see if they need a scooper. Are you interested in part-time or full-time?

  17. John Kim on

    Red Mango is pretty pathetic with it’s marketing campaign. Obviously the lawsuit against pinkberry was initiated by Red Mango (Ekwhon, Ellen, etc). Check out their site and compare it with the verbage in the pinkberry lawsuit..coincidence, I think not.
    Their guerilla marketing tactics not only make them look conniving, but gives other yogurt shops more publicity. Give it up for Pinkberry, they took a chance and are a smash hit in the states. Red Mango is a failing business in Korea, going form 180 stores to only 130 now. In a few years, the Red Mango name will be completely defunct in Korea.

  18. cincodemayo1 on

    I don’t really know much about their marketing campaign or their decline of stores in Korea, so I can’t really say whether you’re right or wrong. I based this review on solely on taste alone, and in my book Red Mango is creamier. Like I said in the review, Pinkberry is still very good and very refreshing and being that its much closer to where I live I’ll probably be eating it more, but again, I prefer the creaminess of Red Mango.

    But thanks for the marketing info I guess.

  19. jeffreyb on

    you were able to score a visit to headquarters?! wow! can anyone else do that? I don’t maintain a food blog but I do wish to see what goes on behind the scenes. can you give me a tip how to get to visit their headquarters?

  20. cincodemayo1 on

    I got hooked up. I don’t think it’s open to the public, but you could probably call and ask for a taste. But that was a few months back. Now you can just head over to their Westwood location that is now open and sample all you want.

  21. iloveyogurt on

    I tried Red Mango for the first time today in Westwood. It was mediocre.
    The interior was so tacky! Pictures on the wall were made at kinkos and the interior design looked like it was done by a blind man.
    There were fruit flies hovering all over the fruit and the condiment bar looked like it was un-sanitary. I didn’t want them to put any on the my yogurt.
    Probably will never go back..

  22. Brent on

    Being a pinkberry fan and knowing the history of the yogurt wars I wanted to try Red Mango. I tried it last week and loved it, it is more creamy and smooth and the staff didn’t seem full of themseleves like some pinkberry locations. I had pinkberry’s today and it seems too icy and not as delicious as I thought it was in the past. If Red Mango expands to locaions close to me it is bye bye pinkberry.

  23. Cheryl on

    One of the things I actually love about Pinkberry is the “tart flavor”. But then, I love real yogurt (goats milk, sheep milk, cows milk, it’s ALL good IMO). Remember Penguins? Ugh. That stuff was the worst. Bring on the Red Mango! We’ve got one coming to Lakewood soon, which is close enough to me in Long Beach to give our two Pinkberry’s a run for their money. Cheers!

  24. rwill on

    People,

    I am set to launch my own version of Red Mango/Pinkberry. etc… in about 6 weeks far far away from the kings of LA. I looked into all of the different ways these places have come up with to make “yogurt” or “frozen deserts”. What a racket the powders are. If it does not say Live and Active Cultures with the NYA seal then what are you really eating? I have had the infamous Pinkberry and loved all ten I ate over a 2 day period. Pinkberry is an experience and they have done it well. The 300 dollar ghost chairs and the expensive orb pendant lights along with the expensive flooring and doors are a perfect touch and man let me tell you it is expensive. To Red Mango, you people have to understand that Red Mango has an unlimited supply of cash ready to burn and why not, Pinkberry has done the market research. To the person that wished Red mango luck with launching, please. They will do just fine and make many millions of dollars and Dan Kim is a master pr person. I have followed this saga the whole time I have been working on this venture and have learned from reading Dan Kim’s quotes just what it will take for me to be successful. Thanks Dan, whoever you are. Oh, and thanks for the advice on the NYA seal, I think it will help me tremendously in the market I am entering. Oh yeah, next year I want to franchise a Red mango store

  25. Gdog on

    Red Mango is HUGE in Korea. I was just teaching English there for a year and had their frozen yogurt almost once a week!

    Check out this video of me ordering from inside a Red Mango location in Seoul: http://thedailykimchi.blogspot.com/2007/09/ordering-red-mango-frozen-yogurt-in.html

  26. Ultrabrown - Fro-yo faceoff on

    [...] Red Mango is the original Pinkberry. Red Mango has over 140 locations in Korea… With Red Mango, that overly sour tart flavor is much less. Hardly noticeable. What is noticeable, however, is the creaminess of the yogurt. If you’ve had gelato, you know what I mean. [Link] [...]

  27. Flush with Fro-yo on

    I still love the Pinkberry store layout concept and the yogurt. Everything ties together; hip, modern,and stylist

  28. WSCOTTI on

    I would like to invest in red mango stores.
    this would go great at the northshore mall
    in peabody, ma..

    please advise

    william g. scotti
    265 bridge st.
    so. hamilton, ma 01982

  29. denise on

    I have had both Pinkberry and Red Mango. Red Mango is the winner hands down. My teenage son told me about Red Mango in Irvine Ca. If this guy eats it believe me it’s good. My Husband buys the 12oz. size to put in our freezer for late night snacking.

  30. Christina on

    How does one franchise a Red Mango Store?

    This stuff is healthy and incredicably delicious down to the last bite!

  31. Karen Beeman on

    Red Mango is the best; the others are just “OK.”

  32. The Paly Voice on

    Red Mango is a popular hang-out spot among Palo Alto High School students. Check out the review here:
    http://voice.paly.net/view_story.php?id=6894

  33. KIrk Douglas on

    I work at a red mango in new york and i can definnently say the yogurt and blenders are delicious.
    The prices are a bargan as well anyone interested should visit a red mango.
    There is one on 34th street and 3rd avenue

  34. Lois Smith on

    I don’t live anywhere near a place to get Red Mango or Sweetberry. I need to know how to make it at home.


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