For the past few years, frozen yogurt shops have been rapidly expanding as niche, local businesses. With a frozen product healthier than ice cream, and touting a self-service, by-weight pricing scheme, frozen yogurt shops have popped up in every major U.S. market. For the past few years, frozen yogurt shops have been rapidly expanding as niche, local businesses. With a frozen product healthier than ice cream, and touting a self-service, by-weight pricing scheme, frozen yogurt shops have popped up in every major U.S. market. Wilton Swizzles owner Adam Ressner, however, worries this explosion is causing an oversaturation of the market in many small towns. Swizzles is a frozen yogurt shop at 5 River Road. \u201cPeople love the product. It\u2019s hugely popular right now, so everyone wants to be in the business,\u201d Mr. Ressner said in a recent interview. \u201cI see it as a problem, because there will be a saturation of the market. What\u2019s going to end up happening is that yogurt shops will cannibalize each other.\u201d According to The NPD Group\u2019s Recount Service, an industry association, there was an increase from 3,031 frozen yogurt shops nationwide in 2006, to 4,765 in 2011. This jump represented a 57% increase over a five-year period. Many froyo chains, he said, do not properly educate their franchise owners on how to run a successful business. As a result, franchisees are not well equipped to make good decisions relative to the business. Citing one Massachussetts company as an example, Mr. Ressner said, \u201cThe franchisees are constantly telling me that the company is saturating itself. They are going to kill themselves from the inside with the lack of business sense they are incorporating.\u201d When too many shops open in one area, Mr. Ressner said, they are forced to compete with each other for every shred of business. Unfortunately, the amount of business is often too small support multiple stores. \u201cThere are people with money opening [independent] shops who don\u2019t truly understand the business,\u201d he said. \u201cThey\u2019re opening in small towns to compete with other shops.\u201d Larger franchises moving into town, he said, can be even worse for local business. \u201cThe larger franchises are opening up on top of other companies,\u201d he said. \u201cThey just don\u2019t understand the economics of the business. They\u2019re investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into a business that\u2019s not going to make any money.\u201d Rather than remaining a steadfast example of a classic \u201cfroyo\u201d shop, Mr. Ressner believes his stores will survive by diversifying. An owner of 10 stores in three New England states and New York, he plans to hedge his shops\u2019 frozen yogurt offerings by promoting additional options for customers. \u201cEvery business had to evolve,\u201d he said. \u201cStarbucks started with coffee but now they have 20 different offerings. This is the evolution of Swizzles. Froyo will continue to be the staple of the store. It\u2019s where we started, it\u2019s who we are, but it\u2019s not going to be all that we are.\u201d Adrienne Richards, director of industry and public affairs for the National Yogurt Association, said she is aware of a few yogurt stores that are making the transition from froyo-only stores to more diverse shops. However, she said the National Yogurt Association does not believe the increase in shops nationwide represents oversaturation of the market. Instead, the association thinks the growing number of shops is a simple result of consumers\u2019 demand for more nutritious food offerings. \u201cThis increase speaks to an increasing awareness of the nutritional and health attributes of the foods they eat,\u201d she said in a recent phone interview. \u201cYou can walk into a froyo store, and there is something for everyone, whether it be low-fat, no-fat, or no-sugar-added yogurt.\u201d Innovation, she continued, along with storefront evolution, will continue to support a growing industry. \u201cThe frozen yogurt retail arena is definitely poised for growth in the coming years. That is due to in part to the innovation in the arena of yogurt. There are new flavors, textures, ideas, and concepts available in this space,\u201d she said. More than yogurt Three months ago in his Ridgefield store, Mr. Ressner began offering soups and salads to go along with froyo treats. So far, he said, the results have been encouraging. \u201cWe\u2019re building business there with our salad and soups. Week-over-week business is really picking up. It\u2019s a shop that can offer you more than just a treat,\u201d he said. \u201cWe now have healthy meals for lunch and dinner. Our salads are absolutely delicious, out of this world.\u201d Though he is currently not able to offer food items like soups and salads at his Wilton store due to lease agreements, he plans on diversifying the shop in a more traditional way. \u201cI\u2019m in the process of adding a 10-foot candy wall\u201d to the Wilton store, he said. \u201cI see us evolving into more of a caf\u00e9-style establishment. Froyo will continue to be the main component, but we want to continue to offer more to our customers by also adding smoothies and milkshakes to the Wilton store.\u201d The Wilton Swizzles was one of the first two shops Mr. Ressner opened, because the town fit perfectly into his vision of an area well-suited to support a frozen yogurt shop. \u201cI looked for towns with a nice-sized population with lots of great families,\u201d he said, \u201cand Wilton seemed to be a community with lots of great families. It\u2019s also next to a movie theater, and a nice little downtown area. It was mostly about the community feel of the town. Wilton\u2019s a great town in that sense.\u201d Ralph Serpico, general manager of the Wilton Swizzles, said he looks forward to becoming a larger presence within the community. In addition to offering sweet treats after a night at the movies, he hopes to offer many different fund-raising nights at Swizzles. \u201cWe really want to get school fund-raisers together this upcoming winter for school classes, clubs, sports teams, and more,\u201d he said. In addition, he said, Swizzles is a sponsor of the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life. Wilton Swizzles also offers catering, Mr. Serpico said, starting at $5 per person. \u201cWe\u2019ll bring everything to you,\u201d he said. \u201cAll of the options are listed on our website, but it\u2019s $5 per person for three flavors and four toppings catered.\u201d Information: swizzlesyogurt.com.