With the warm weather blessing the streets of Manchester, it seems the perfect opportunity to enjoy a frozen dessert as the rays beat down this May. And one local business in Spinningfields has teamed up with a food waste fighting app to offer frozen yoghurt for even less.
If you hadn’t already guessed, I’m talking about Frurt, on Peter Street. The venue is best known for its fat-free frozen yoghurt, and has grown quite the cult following since its inception in 2012, followed by it’s Spinningfields branch the following year.
Launched by Syed and Shaza Ul Hassan, the frozen yoghurt parlour has even been visited by member of boyband JLS.
But a decade on, they’re still as popular as ever with Mancunians looking to cool off with a yoghurt made fresh in-store each day – with dairy-free options also on the menu.
The store has teamed up with Too Good To Go to offer shoppers a chance to bag frozen yoghurt and other delicious treats such as cakes and fruit cups from their counter for less than half the usual price, to save it from going in the bin when it’s past its best.
The free-to-download app sees retailers partner with the company to prevent food that hasn’t sold in time from going to waste. Often, customers can snap up perfectly edible treats for up to 70 per cent off the retail price. Partners often include cafes, restaurants, hotels, shops and independent businesses.
Too Good To Go said: “The Too Good To Go app lets you buy and collect this food – at a great price – so it gets eaten instead of wasted. You won’t know exactly what’s in your order until you pick it up – it’s all part of the surprise.”
As you have probably noticed by this point, I’ve been doing the rounds of businesses partnered with the app to show you the kind of things that you can find inside. Some are better than others, so you can see which bags you might like to reserve in the future throughout this series.
At Frurt, you have the option to reserve a regular bag or a dairy free bag, depending on your dietary requirements. Their bags cost £3.33, and include around £10 worth of goodies, such as ‘fat free, low in sugar and full of live cultures delicious yoghurt’, and dessert time treats.
I reserved a regular bag, but be warned that you have to be prepared. While some retailers offer collect-on-the-day bags, some of them you have to reserve the day before, and Frurt is one of them. They do have a pretty generous collection time, though, as you can pop in anytime between 11am and 3pm to collect your treat.
Inside, the restaurant was quite when I turned up at 11am on the dot, but that’s probably because it’s takeaway only until 11.30am, when customers can then pull up a pew either inside, or outside on Peter Street.
As well as frozen yoghurt in flavours such as vanilla, strawberry and green tea, Frurt also sells smoothies, cookies and truffles. My server swiped my collection on the app and headed off to put together my ‘magic bag’ while I browsed the array of toppings that could be had.
Taking my mystery bag outside, I couldn’t help but unbox it right away, discovering a large vanilla frozen yoghurt that would usually be twice the price of what I paid for the bag. Seeing as the weather was glorious, it was a welcome treat that was likely to have been far cheaper than a supermarket ice cream tub, or one from an ice cream vendor in town.
But not only was I blessed with an icy dessert, I also received two Kinder swirls from their cake counter. My all-time favourite chocolate is a Kinder Bueno, so this really had my heart. Well packaged in two plastic boxes, the chocolate cake swirl was filled with a hazelnut cream, topped with a frosting and sprinkled with hazelnuts.
I couldn’t see the price of these on the menu or at the counter, but I can tell you they were worth every penny of my mystery bag. You’d possibly think that these cakes had been sat out on the counter slowly going stale, but they were still soft, moist and looked exactly as I’d want them to if they were served fresh in a cafe or restaurant.
For just £3.33, I had paid an average of £1.11 for each item in my bag, and it really was the cherry on top of a glorious day in Manchester.
But one thing I’ve seen mentioned time and again in this series is the argument about poverty that I wanted to address. These bags are available in the Too Good To Go app for anyone to purchase, and it could be argued that in doing so, it’s ‘taking it away’ from those in poverty who may need it.
Manchester Evening News reporter Bethan Shufflebotham has been making her way through the Too Good To Go app finding partnered retailers to see what’s inside their ‘magic bags’.
The bags vary in price but are often 70 per cent cheaper than their usual retail value, offering shoppers huge savings. The food would otherwise end up in the bin, adding to the huge issue of food waste in the UK.
Bethan has been digging out the best shops, supermarkets and cafes to reserve a Too Good To Go bag. You can find all of her verdicts here:
However, customers using the app can purchase more than one bag, too, should they want to keep one for themselves, and gift another to someone who needs it. The Too Good To Go bag is a really useful tool for those looking to pick up a reduced-price meal, but it’s also a huge lottery and could end up being a waste of money if someone was banking on it for their next meal only to discover that the contents aren’t suitable for them.
Too Good To Go encourage anyone using their app to be proud of doing so, in helping fight food waste, and suggest sharing extra food with neighbours or those in poverty. The brand said: “You’re doing something good! It’s totally cool to give yourself a high five. And while you’re at it, give one to your fellow food heroes in the shop.
“If you have extra to share, you can donate to different charities in the app. A small amount can go a long way. If you’ve bought too much food, we would love it if you shared it with someone as well. Could be a neighbour. Your BFF. Or even a homeless person. Sharing is caring.”