We strive to have a smoothie for every age group and a blend for every unique purpose. While we offer many better-for-you blends oriented to fitness-conscious adults, just as important are our blends for children.
Providing smoothie options for kids 12 and under assists us with delivering on our mission – inspiring people to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Since we truly want to change the world one smoothie at a time, working with kids the way we do plants seeds that will hopefully begin their journey to a healthy and active lifestyle.
For us, providing delicious and nutritious smoothies to kids is much more than additional income for our franchise owners. We understand kids are the future of the world. And if we really want to make a difference in society, we have to introduce as many kids as possible to the concept of healthy eating with a purpose. It starts with diverse menu offerings, which catalyze strong smoothie demand among parents and children alike.
The Evolution of the Kids Smoothie Menu
During our early days as a franchise company in the late 1980s and early ’90s, we noticed how much kids loved our smoothies. But at the time, we only had one size, so parents had to either share their smoothie with their child or purchase two smoothies and drink much of what was left over by their child. We also wanted to introduce kids to more nutritious options just like we were doing for their parents.
These two factors led to the development of our Kids Blends smoothies, which we introduced in the late ’90s. Flavors then included Berry Interesting, Choc-A-Laka, Smarti Tarti and Gimme’ Grape. As more time passed, we found that many kids wanted to drink the same smoothies their parents were drinking. This led to the development of Lil’ Angel, which is similar to our best-seller Angel Food, and Strawberry Bluegurt Blitz, which is similar to the Greek Yogurt Strawberry Blueberry. We even sell a kids version of our green smoothie, Apple Kiwi Kale, in a kids’ size, which is named Apple Kiwi Bunga.
Careful Considerations for Kids
However, we couldn’t just settle on serving blends intended for adults to kids in smaller cups. The offerings on our kid’s menu require a little more engineering than our blends for adults because children are often more finicky about flavor, texture and appearance. They also have different nutritional needs.
Kids are more particular than adults when it comes to flavor. While we find some adults are willing to sacrifice flavor, texture or appearance to meet a specific nutritional purpose, most kids simply will not consume anything that isn’t delicious to them. And, they are quick to let you know when they do not like something.
For this reason, we started an informal focus group with the founder’s grandchildren and their classmates. It was primarily a gut check before we started doing more formal testing. This helped us realize a kid’s expectation of a smoothie was far different than what adults expected sampling the same smoothies. This process helped us fine-tune the recipes and saved us time and money during the more formal testing, where we conducted focus groups with kids in many age groups. It was quite an effort to get our Kids Blends just right.
While we develop kids smoothies with the same high-quality ingredients we use in smoothies consumed by adults, we do not offer enhancers or nutritional supplements in our kid’s smoothies as we do for adult blends. However, every Kids Blend comes with an optional, kids-sized serving of multivitamins, which parents can request. We also limit sugar and calorie content without sacrificing flavor in 12 oz. cups, as opposed to the 20, 32 and 40 oz. adult serving sizes.
Kids Smoothies a Favorite Among Parents
As more Americans make efforts to eat a healthier diet and live a more active lifestyle, consumers who are parents strive to make their children’s diets healthier, too. This is increasing the demand for smoothies blended for kids. Therefore, we market our Kids Blends to parents, letting them know they can find a better-for-you smoothie for their child at any Smoothie King franchise location.
However, we know wellness extends beyond the physical human body. The health of a child’s environment contributes to every child’s well-being. We provide smoothies to schools, youth sports groups, vacation bible schools, and other child-centered organizations at a discounted rate. This gives them an opportunity to sell nutritious smoothies to the students and keep the profit for a specific need. Our fundraising programs have helped us raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to support schools and other children’s organizations in our communities, which, ultimately benefits the kids.
These efforts would not work as well if we didn’t develop our Kids Blends with children in mind or if we hadn’t created a kid’s menu at all. And, parents appreciate the confidence that comes with providing their child a nutritious smoothie while being allowed to finish their own.