Carbonated frozen yogurt makes a splash in Provo

Kids line up at Seven Peaks to try YO2 Frozen Yogurt in August. (Photo Courtesy YO2 staff)

The frozen yogurt sensation hit Provo several years ago, but a new twist came to the local “froyo” scene this summer.

Carbonated soft serve frozen yogurt, the creation of Lynn Ogden, became a novelty in Provo under the new brand name YO2. Ogden recently retired from the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science.

It has been sold in the past at Seven Peaks, Station 22, the Provo Freedom Festival, and currently at Sumo’s Shave Ice. YO2 Frozen Yogurt has quickly become a favorite, according to Melinda Yeaman, founder of the YO2 brand. Although the product is a sensation in Provo, its history reaches farther back.

Ogden developed carbonated “sparkling” yogurt in the 1980s. With the help of the BYU Technology Transfer Office, it was patented in the 1990s and licensed later to General Mills for two years until the corporation sold it under the name “FIZZIX” for its Gogurt line.

In 1998, using BYU Creamery equipment, Ogden applied the fizzy technology to his own frozen yogurt recipe, and carbonated frozen yogurt, now branded as YO2.

“Dr. Ogden’s ‘sparkling yogurt’ was a favorite among family and friends and was even sold at the BYU creamery,” said Yeaman. “Part of the magic of the product was Dr. Ogden’s delicious yogurt recipe and flavors, which were enhanced by the CO2 that left a pleasant tingle on the tongue. The same is true for the frozen yogurt. It is truly addictive.”

This summer, the YO2 Frozen Yogurt brand was launched in Provo. What is it that makes YO2 different from normal frozen yogurt?

“All frozen dairy desserts have air incorporated into them while they are freezing to create a light and airy texture,” said Professor Laura Jefferies of the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science. “YO2, which is primarily yogurt with some added sherbet in to balance the flavor, is created using the same concept, except that carbon dioxide is infused into the mix as it freezes, instead of air. The carbon dioxide creates a light texture with a delightful tingle.”

YO2 can be purchased at Sumo’s Shave Ice shack until it closes for the season, which is located in the parking lot of Gold’s Gym on 900 East. Here, people can buy YO2 in raspberry, lime or twist, said Yeaman.

“Whether on a hot day at the water park, out for a treat at the snow shack or enjoying the sophisticated flavors and presentation at a local restaurant,” said Yeaman. “Dr. Ogden’s creation is truly delicious, beloved by all ages, and on its way to a bright future.”

Yeaman and Ogden have high hopes for carbonated soft-serve frozen yogurt.

“I see YO2 succeeding in high volume venues where its novelty and deliciousness speak for itself and become a destination product,” Ogden said.

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