It all started in a blender on a sunny California beach in the 1960’s, when orange juice, strawberries and ice were thrown together to create a bit of summertime refreshment for thirsty beachgoers. They called it a smoothie. They were a hit at the beach, the vegetarian crowd loved them, and soon smoothies were adopted by the health food industry. The rest is history. Today the international smoothie franchise industry is a multi-billion-dollar revenue generator. Smoothies have come a long way since their days at the beach.
Why a smoothie franchise?
The Juice and smoothie franchise market in the United States has grown steadily over the past five years to nearly $3 billion annually, with a year over year average growth of 1.3%. So, what exactly is a smoothie these days? There are many varieties to suit various markets. The great thing about smoothies, is they are adaptable to just about any trend. Looking for low sugar? Want more protein? Avocados trending? Okay…we can take care of all of that within a smoothie.
While trying to narrow down the different smoothie varieties for this article, it became evident that that is an impossible task. Smoothie ingredients come in thousands of combinations. The key ingredients however must include ice and fruit, whether its whole, juiced or heat pressed. Beyond that, any ingredients can be added, and it will still be called a smoothie.
About Juice bar franchises: Who drinks smoothies?
According to a Mintel Consumer Report, consumers age 18-34 are the main demographic who spend their earnings on smoothies, and that jumps a staggering 69% for households with children. This may be because it is easy to disguise healthy greens in a smoothie. That’s one way to make sure kids eat their vegetables!
17% of consumers add a vitamin supplement to the mix, followed by 14% who add protein. Yogurt is a common addition to the fruit or juice, especially frozen yogurt. Tropical flavors that include mango, strawberry and banana top the flavor list, but up and coming flavors include coffee and tea varieties. Caffeine in a smoothie elevates its purpose and brings an afternoon pick me up with it.
This is where a smoothie bar franchise, juicing franchises or any healthy food franchise that include them can up its revenue by adding multiple day parts. Smoothies can be advertised as a breakfast item, but more and more they are being purchased in the afternoon for a snack. Other high-protein smoothies have been created as part of weight loss programs and are sold as meal replacements. The target markets for smoothie consumption are as flexible as a smoothie’s ingredients. All of this is good news for food franchises.
Adding a smoothie list to your menu may bring in traffic you didn’t know you were missing.
Food franchises who advertise healthier fare already enjoy the fruits of the smoothie target market. Adding smoothies may be a way to bring customers in at different times of the day – smoothie only time – when they aren’t looking for a full meal. A delicious, healthy, sweet smoothie also may be just what the doctor ordered to finish off a meal as dessert. It isn’t often a food can represent any meal of the day, including snack and dessert!
UpFresh Kitchen understands the role smoothies play in their meal prep franchise business.