The economics of the meal replacement industry are continually trending upwards. While meal replacement powders and shakes have been on the market for decades, recent health trends and popular diets have created an unprecedented increase in demand for these types of products.
In just the last five years, the meal replacement industry experienced a near six percent annual growth rate, generating over $3 billion in revenue. This is in part due to growing consumer demand for nutritious and convenient food options.
Smoothie King has been ahead of the meal replacement trend with the development of several product lines. Specifically, the Slim-N-Trim™ and high protein fitness blends cater to this growing demographic of meal replacement dieters.
What is Meal Replacement?
Simply put, a meal replacement is a substitute for a solid food meal. Examples include soups, protein bars and shakes with controlled quantities of calories and nutrients that serve to help satisfy a person’s appetite – without leading to over-eating.
“There’s no official guidelines from a government agency regarding what constitutes a meal replacement smoothie. For us, it boils down to a guest’s purpose,” said Mitch Grittman, Smoothie King Product Developer and Food Scientist. “Whether a guest wants to lose, gain or maintain weight, add muscle or stay well, we tailor-make our smoothies to give them the nutrients needed to help achieve their goals as part of a sensible diet and regular exercise routine.”
The Science of Meal Replacement
Smoothie King’s recently re-launched line of Slim-N-Trim™ smoothies is one of our most popular meal replacement products.
“For those interested in drinking smoothies as a way to help manage their weight, the Slim-N-Trim™ smoothie provides a well-balanced meal replacement option,” Mitch said. “The combination of protein, fiber and carbohydrates means they’re receiving a rich, balanced blend of macronutrients. It leaves guests feeling full for a sustained period of time. When the body has to break down just one macronutrient – such as protein, sugar or fat – it’s going to be able to do it very quickly. However, when you combine all those macronutrients together at once, the body has to take more time to break down each component because of the added complexity.”
In place of eating a full meal, guests can choose from popular flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry and still receive the nutrients they need. Each 20 oz. cup contains fewer than 250 calories while boasting 11 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
“The addition of the fiber blend creates a filling feeling because the body absorbs those nutrients at a slower pace,” Mitch added. “This also allows our guests to retain the energy they obtained from the smoothie for longer and evenly sparse it out throughout their day.”
Convenient and Affordable
In addition to the nutrition and wellness benefits associated with our meal replacement smoothies, there is also the added convenience factor. People that regularly workout, run and live active lifestyles generally need a higher calorie diet in order to sustain the kind of energy output they’re exerting. In some cases, even three full meals a day isn’t enough. Instead of having to invest time and money into a fourth meal, a meal replacement smoothie can quickly supply some athletes with their needed nutrients.
“Cooking another full meal each day can be tricky for people with busy schedules, not to mention costly,” Mitch said. “Instead, they can incorporate one of our fitness blends that are designed to contain a high protein and calorie count. That is certainly a more time and cost-effective option.”
A Meal Replacement Differentiator
While other meal replacement shakes are available at grocery stores and online, Smoothie King continues to stand out due to its commitment to customization. Everybody’s body is different and requires a specific combination of nutrients to achieve their goals. Whether a guest needs to slim down, firm up, or feel better, Smoothie King’s wide array of options helps allow the brand to create the perfect smoothie to suit all their meal replacement needs as part of a sensible diet and regular exercise routine.
“If you look at the nutritional information on our menu, you’ll see that our smoothies can give you more than 100 percent of many of the nutrients you need for an entire day,” Mitch said.
For more information about becoming a smoothie franchise owner with a brand that’s dedicated to a meal replacement and encouraging people to live healthy and active lifestyles, download our Franchise Kit.