Why Consumers are Leading the Charge for Cleaner Restaurant Franchises

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With varying tastes and diets around the world, “healthy eating” can look different to everyone. Still, one thing resonates globally – the call for cleaner ingredients and greater food transparency.

Three-fourths of the world’s consumers say they’re concerned about the long-term health impact of artificial ingredients. And, when it comes to cleaner eating, consumers are willing to put their money where their mouth is. The vast majority of them pay more for food and beverages that avoid undesirable ingredients.

When we decided to launch our Clean Blends Initiative at Smoothie King, we knew it would be beneficial not only for our guests and their well-being, but it could also be a strong differentiator for our franchisees. By listening to our guests and adapting our menu accordingly, we’re able to offer cleaner, better-for-you smoothie options.

What’s in Our Food and on Our Minds

With so many contradictory health claims backing trendy diet and weight loss programs, it can be difficult for consumers to sift through the noise. While fad diets have run the gamut, from lemon detox to baby food diets, they are often just that – fads. These trends don’t usually have staying power, and their success is often short-lived and unsustainable.

That’s why it’s important for brands to focus on larger shifts in collective behaviors and paradigms, and really listen to what their consumers want, instead of investing their resources into misleading fad diets that come and go.

Less is More: Giving Consumers What They Want

Clean eating isn’t a diet, but rather a style of eating that emphasizes the quality of the foods. It’s a lifestyle change that allows consumers to take back control of what they put into their body.

At Smoothie King, we saw the gradual shift favoring cleaner ingredients long before it came to the forefront of consumer mindsets. We also understood the importance of staying true to our mission and providing a strong product for guests on their health and wellness journey, while offering a profitable and fulfilling business opportunity for franchisees.

We invested more than five years of research and development to pin down the right reformulations for our smoothies. Since launching the Clean Blends Initiative, we have made more than 150 changes to our ingredients, including removing all artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

None of our blends contain high-fructose corn syrup, GMOs, NSF-banned substances, gluten, hydrogenated oils or trans fats. But, we’re not done yet. We’re also in the process of including more whole fruits and vegetables in our smoothies and removing added sugar to many of our blends.

Cleaning Up More than Just Our Diets

Our Cleaner Blending Initiative is part of our broader effort to stay a clean brand in every sense of the word – cleaner for consumers, the planet and franchisees. Clean ingredients mean more health benefits for our guests.

A clean, streamlined store layout and business model translates into smooth guest flow and easy operations, and cleaner-ingredient smoothies can accommodate growing demand while bolstering profitability.

Whether you buy or serve our smoothies, you’re making a positive decision you can feel good about.

By listening to consumers, adapting to their evolving wellness priorities and staying true to our mission, we’ve been able to provide guests with a better-for-you product and help generate demand for franchisees.


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