Americans love their frozen desserts, with ice cream usually reigning supreme. But within the past few decades, another option has emerged from icy dessert depths: frozen yogurt. This sweet treat is often touted as a more health-conscious option thanks to its lower sugar, fat, and carbohydrate content. Plus, FroYo is a fantastic dessert for those with lactose allergies!

Recently, it seems like frozen yogurt shops have popped up on every street corner, and these trendy shops are giving those traditional ice cream stores a run for their money. Have you ever wondered where frozen yogurt came from? Then refresh yourself with this frozen yogurt history lesson.

Long before it became one of the most popular desserts of the 21st century, FroYo can trace its roots back more than 5,000 years…



Ancient roots
Yogurt was originally developed roughly 5,000 years ago, and it has origins in both the Middle East and India. Early societies there have used yogurt for many different meals, from breakfast to dinner and everything and anything inbetween. While yogurt has been a popular food for millennia, it wouldn’t undergo a major evolution until the 20th century.

Yogurt goes frozen
Ingenious entrepreneur H.P. Hood introduced frozen yogurt in the 1970s. Known as “frogurt,” this was served as a soft-serve dessert, and it had a very similar taste to ice cream.

TCBY steps in
Ice cream company TCBY noticed that consumers were in the market for a healthier product that still tasted like ice cream. So they opened their first frozen yogurt shop in 1981, and by 1984 there were more than 100 frozen yogurt chains nationwide. Frozen yogurt became so popular that the frozen yogurt industry reached $25 million in sales by 1986.

Fro-yo makes itself known
The popularity for this dessert didn’t stop in the 1980s. By the 90s, frozen yogurt accounted for 10% of the entire frozen dessert market.

What’s to come
After its rise to popularity in the 1980s, this frozen dessert underwent a bit of a renaissance in the 21st century thanks in large part to Pinkberry, which opened its first store in 2005. Froyo shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, and dessert analysts believe that the frozen yogurt market will hit $2.1 billion in revenue by 2019.

So next time you sit down with a nice cup of frozen yogurt, think of this food for thought!