Llaollao | 313 Somerset

After Shi Li Fang, Darren suggested Llaollao, and seeing as I’ve never actually tried it, we went with it.

Llaollao (pronounced yow-yow, allegedly) is a young, upstart Spanish frozen yogurt chain, with most of its outlets in Spain and the rest, in minor European towns and cities like Poitiers and Faro, as well as single outlets in Turkey, Russia and China.┬áThe brand, which has a fashion and lifestyle angle, touts its yogurt as nutritious and healthy. In terms of hardware though, it’s virtually indistinguishable from other frozen yogurt stores. Llaollao offers a similar variety of toppings – the same diced fruits, the same sauces – and the branding also uses the similar bright, neon colors. “Tokyo pre-school lounge”, as The Journal describes fro-yo joints.

That being said, how is Llaollao pulling in the crowds wherever it opens?

Satanism? Witchcraft? Maybe. In terms of taste, Llaollao does appear to stand out. The yogurt isn’t too cold that every scoop is a brain freeze, it tastes a little richer, smoother and less sour – the benefits of making it from skimmed milk, they claim. But, is it really healthier? Llaollao’s website claims that its yogurt are low in fat content, low in calorie content, gluten free, a source of protein and a natural source of calcium.

Yogurt has been touted as a nutritionally balanced superfood – tastes good, is good for you, and is all natural. It has been marketed as a guilt-free healthy treating. This is particularly pertinent in a somewhat health-conscious society where people would rather eat healthy than tire themselves exercising. However, the very toppings we are encouraged to pile on the yogurt negate its benefits. When you order a Sanum, and pile on the Raffaello sauce, you increase the calories and fat content of your so-called healthy yogurt by 500%. At this point, the fresh fruits add up bit by bit, and the result is a combination that occupies a third of your daily calorie requirement. Making things worse, frozen yogurt is not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means, frozen yogurt sold to you, may or may not contain live and active yogurt bacteria cultures. Without it, you’re actually eating ice cream!

I don’t want to shock you, and I don’t mean any malice towards Llaollao. Frozen yogurt chains often build up a cult following, misleading their consumers with marketing speak, and I feel like I should warn against any over-consumption of frozen yogurt. It’s certainly one of the best frozen yogurt stands in Singapore, but don’t necessarily believe that it’s healthier.

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