Off-Topic. Tasti D-Lite: My NYC Addiction Is Going International!

July 29, 2008 • Off-Topic


Anybody who knows me can tell you I am absolutely addicted to Tasti D-Lite. In fact I consider the frozen dessert with minimal calories one of the best things about NYC and first blogged about it nearly a year ago. My friends outside of NYC look at me like I have three heads when I start explaining my addiction (brownie batter is my favorite flavor, by the way). That’s because they don’t have a Tasti D-Lite. Well that’s about to change!

According to the Wall Street Journal, James Amos, along with New York private-equity firm Snow Phipps
Group LLC, acquired the New York-based frozen-dessert business for $21
million last year, is brokering deals to expand the chain nationally and
internationally with new store formats, additional flavors and new
products such as energy drinks and baked goods!

For the past 20 years, droves of New Yorkers have confessed similar cravings to mine. Founded in 1987 by Celeste Carlesimo and her father, Louis Carlesimo, the 75-store chain has such a cultlike following in New York that the low-calorie alternative to ice cream has been parodied on "Seinfeld" and featured on the "Sex and the City" TV show.

Two Tasti D-Lite stores opened this month in Seoul; expansion into Israel and Mexico is in negotiation. Late last month, Tasti D-Lite signed franchising deals for a minimum of 16 stores in Tennessee and at least 40 in Texas, including San Antonio, Austin and Houston. Loo for expansion into into California and adding to the seven stores already in New Jersey.

You can have your Pinkberry!
Since last year, Pinkberry opened 10 stores in New York (13 now) and Red Mango has opened six. Frozen treats account for 16% of all afternoon or evening snacks bought at a restaurant in the 12 months ended in February, according to market-research firm NPD Group.

The chain’s biggest challenge may be simply translating a distinctly New York phenomenon to the rest of the country and international markets. Of the chain’s 75 licensed stores or resellers, few are outside New York City. My money is on the success of Tasti D-Lite. All enjoy!

Read "Tasti D-Lite Banks on Its Fanatical Fans for Growth"

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