Words: Shamim de Brún
At the height of froyo mania, Mooch had four locations, including Sandford, Dundrum, Greystones, and Dublin City. The Dawson Street Mooch location shuttered its doors in 2018. Today Mooch announced the closure of its remaining branches.
Mooch announced the closure on Instagram yesterday. They said, “It is with great sadness that we are announcing the closure of Mooch. We can’t thank all of our loyal customers enough for making the last ten years so much fun.“
Mooch finished their announcement by saying, “Today is an emotional day for us. But we look forward to new beginnings and will hold all our Mooch memories with us forever.“
With this announcement, Dublin is officially exiting her fro-yo era. Frozen yoghurt kicked off in Dublin in the early tens when Yogism launched into the scene. Modelled off American fro-yo businesses, Mooch was the biggest chain in Dublin.
Froyo cemented itself into that time, along with the superficial chaos of 2012 Instagram, hair feathers, prom dress Facebook groups, and Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange.
Frozen yoghurt— which devotees dubbed “froyo” and subverters called “frogurt”—is tarter than gelato or ice cream and has a slightly different texture. Because it’s made from yoghurt, it has less added fat than ice cream. That made it more accessible for lactose-intolerant folks to digest. When it arrived, it was all about the toppings. Yogism introduced many, myself included, to melted Kinder Bueno sauce.
The Froyo boom occurred at a time consumers were focused on better-for-you, yet tasty, ice cream alternatives. The novelty of self-serve and personalization was also a growing trend in all things, including frozen desserts. With Pog, Tang and Yoogism all taking a wack at it.
I don’t know why grabbing a froyo stopped being a thing, but it happened around 2017 when Yogism closed. In those few years, people stopped heading to froyo spots to play weather-beaten Jenga. The lure of piling sugary toppings onto their “healthy” ice cream alternative just wore off.
Presumably, Froyo joined the rest of the oversaturated food fads; including cronuts, cupcakes, over-the-top milkshakes, and rainbow bagels, in sweet purgatory. As competing foods entered the market, most notably acai bowls the tart, refreshing dessert was left behind.
The aesthetically pleasing froyo dessert was an incredible marketing tool. You could snap an Instagram-worthy photo of your Froyo in a time when that was new. So naturally, Froyo shops relished in satisfying this itch until consumers grew fatigued with the same aesthetics and sought out the next big thing.
One niche dessert trend that shelved Froyo was rolled ice cream. As with desserts that blossom nationwide, rolled ice cream hailed from South Asia before being championed by Youtube, TikTok, and Reels.
Viral desserts catch on so quickly because they go beyond your wildest imagination. It becomes a status symbol to show off that you’ve tried the newest thing, and it definitely helps when that thing looks aesthetically pleasing for your feed or story.
Acai replaced the healthy aspect of Froyo on the Dublin food circuit as the Brazilian population became more assimilated.
Frozen yoghurt has also been falling out of favour thanks to non-dairy alternatives steamrolling the market. We just experienced the “year of the oat.”
But you know what they say about trends: They come back. So somewhere in the back of my mind, I have been expecting Froyo to come back into style along with indie sleaze. But with the closing of Mooch, it looks like the final nail in the coffin of Dublin’s FroYo era has been hammered. RIP.
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