Retail sales of frozen yogurt and non-dairy ice cream have dropped 10% over the last two years. Though the industry still sold $299 million worth of product in 2016, there seems to be a need for some innovation when it comes to producing, distributing, and selling frozen yogurt.
Leave it to one of the most prolific golfers to lead this delicious and niche charge.
According to the New York Post, beloved (at times) golfer Phil Mickelson is now investing in a futurities frozen yogurt chain that utilizes self-checkout screens and robots. Yes, you read that right, Phil Mickelson is investing in frozen yogurt robots.
What a wonderful world this is.
Reis and Irvy’s “froyo meets robo” premise uses robot-engineered vending machines to serve up to seven flavors of frozen yogurt, equipped with up to six toppings, and deliver it to customers within one minute.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of such transformative industry change,” Mickelson said. “I’ve pushed boundaries my whole career and that mind-set carries over into the business world.”
Speaking of pushing boundaries, the entire golf world is mad at Phil right now… no matter how creative and cool his next business venture is.
There are a lot of specific and thorough rules when it comes to the Professional Golf Association. For instance, regulation golf balls must weigh less than 1.620 ounces and have a diameter of at least 1.681. A universal rule on every golf course, however, is a lot easier to grasp: don’t hit the ball while it’s in motion. Phil broke that rule last week on one of golf’s biggest stages: the U.S. Open.
Mickelson struggled tremendously at this year’s Open, shooting 16 over by Sunday’s end. It wasn’t his poor golfing that has the entire golfing community in a rage, however, it was a penalty on the 13th green.
Putting accounts for approximately 43% of your total strokes. Mickelson missed a putt on the 13th green and it rolled down the hill. Instead of waiting for the ball to come to a complete stop, Mickelson rushed toward it and hit it back towards the hole (another miss). It seemed as though the ball would have rolled well past the hole and likely off the green, and in a moment of frustration, he putted it back. He was given a two-stroke penalty and finished the round with an 81, tying his highest score ever in the U.S. Open.
Following the round, he didn’t necessarily apologize, making a lot of the old-school golfers quite upset.
“I don’t mean it disrespectful; if you’re taking it that way, that’s not on me,” Mickelson said. “I’m sorry that you’re taking it that way, it’s certainly not meant that way. Sometimes in these situations, it’s just easier to take the two shots and move on.”
A few days after the tournament, he sent an apology to Golf.com:
“I know this should’ve come sooner, but it’s taken me a few days to calm down. My anger and frustration got the best of me last weekend. I’m embarrassed and disappointed by my actions. It was clearly not my finest moment and I’m sorry.”
Despite his recent controversy, the five-time major champion will not only get back onto the golf course and hope to bring home another victory, as well as open up 30 innovative frozen yogurt locations (robots and all) across San Diego.