Frozen yogurt has been the latest craze here in Kuwait, but when it comes to creating a frozen yogurt brand that stands above the rest, Zero Degrees is definitely the place to visit. Created by three long-time friends, Hasan Zainal, Saud Al-Aujan and Sulaiman AlDerbas, the partners have focused on the branding of the store just as much as they did on their six different flavors of frozen yogurt.

Zero Degrees is actually a planet that breeds superheroes, or flavors in this case, and the varied menu offers frozen yogurt as well as fruit smoothies, milkshakes and sodas. The Khaleejesque team interviewed the people behind the concept to know more about their brand and what lies in the future of Zero Degrees.

What inspired you to open up Zero Degrees? Seeing that the frozen yoghurt industry is booming in Kuwait with new stores constantly popping up.

Frozen yogurt was fresh on our minds in late 2009 and it seemed simple at first. Frozen yogurt was a global craze and could easily cater the growing health conscious populace in Kuwait. However, it took us a while to truly understand the concept of frozen yogurt, study and forecast the competitive landscape to derive the best way to present the idea in Kuwait.

What would you say is Zero Degrees edge that sets it apart from the competition?

A lot of frozen yogurt joints deliver only the illusion of healthy food, while being anything but healthy. While we are a local frozen yogurt joint, all of our products have been verified to comply with industry standards. Frozen yogurt is not going to make you lose weight, but will aid in burning fat rather than storing it.

How so?

Well, if we look at a full spectrum of people with the two extremes being the sweet tooth chocolate junkie and a super healthy celery diet person. Eating chocolate all day long is super bad, while eating celery is extremely boring. That’s when our frozen yogurt comes to play, as we have designed a product that is both healthy and fun. Healthy, since it contains live bacterial cultures that stimulate the immune system, promote better digestion and increase absorption of calcium and other nutrients. Fun, since at Zero Degrees it’s all about the experience. Flavors are always on a change and no longer boring as each flavor is represented by a super hero. We believe that we all have an inner child that we should let out every once in a while. At Zero Degrees, you are whoever you wish to be, a super hero fanatic, a chef who wants to create his own flavor or a person who simply wants to truly indulge his senses.

You've paid great attention to the design, brand and characters of Zero Degrees. How important do you think branding is in the gastronomy experience?

The idea started by the need to create a brand that stands out among competitors as not your ordinary yogurt place. The most important part in that sense was that we didn’t want our name to be associated with three words or their derivatives “frozen” “yogurt” or any type of lame “fruit”. Zero Degrees is not a cold place or an extreme sports brand, but a planet that breeds super heroes, or flavors in a sense. Those heroes, led by Captain Ori (original flavor) have come to planet earth to deliver satisfaction and fun to the frozen yogurt experience. Each hero, has his own personality and today we have more than 10 flavors, including but not limited to Captain Ori, Promo-ganettes (pomegranates), Octagreen (kiwi) and Mr. Passi Yoni (passion fruit).

Zero Degrees are known for presenting different yoghurt flavors and constantly offering new unique toppings. Are there other future plans for Zero Degrees?

What sets Zero Degrees apart from competitors, aside from the unique flavors, wide variety of toppings and quality of product, is the local brand that we created. To compete this brand has to be constantly evolving, be it through the introduction of new characters, unique toppings, and new product offerings including but not limited to our first issue of a comic book that we will roll out soon. We continually try to partner with and support creative local talent in all our operations be it through interior design and branding, or chef work and consultation. As for our customers, we strive to build a strong relationship with them, listen to their concerns and comments to better shape our business.

What are each of your favorite frozen yoghurt creations?

Hasan: El Macho Mango with alphonso mango top- bottom and pomegranates

Sulaiman: Zero Blends; creating own flavor of Captain Ori mixed with strawberry & raspberry topped off with shaved coconut

Saud: Octagreen topped off with blueberry, pomegranate, granola & vimto syrup

To know more about Zero Degrees, check out their site www.zdyogurt.com or visit them at their branches located in Jabriya and the strip in front of Seif Palace.

– Khaleejesque Staff

Images: Fatima Al-Otaibi

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