Smoothie King is Not Just a Smoothie Bar, But a Lifestyle Center
May 16, 2017
BY: ROCKY GETTYS, SMOOTHIE KING VICE PRESIDENT OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
A guy walks into a smoothie bar and leaves with a box of protein snacks. That’s no joke; rather it’s a common occurrence at Smoothie King franchises worldwide.
Guests often walk out of a Smoothie King location enjoying a smoothie to satisfy their wellness, fitness, slim, or “take a break” purpose, along with retail products to keep them on track. Those new to Smoothie King initially perceive the brand as just a smoothie bar, but soon realize the stores are lifestyle centers set up to help them achieve their health and wellness goals.
While the products add value for guests, they also strengthen our franchisees’ bottom line with an additional revenue stream.
Smoothie King offers retail products such as supplements and snacks that can help guests achieve their purpose as part of a sensible diet and regular exercise routine, such as firm up, slim down, stay well or just take a break. In order for us to live up to our vision – to be an integral part of every health and fitness plan – Smoothie King strives to offer as many nutritious products as possible. It’s what we’ve always done since opening our doors in 1973.
In fact, Smoothie King started out as a health food store. Founder Steve Kuhnau developed and sold smoothies in the back of the store, but only as a secondary reason for guests to choose his shop. However, over time, smoothies became the primary reason guests returned. Smoothie King was never supposed to be just a smoothie bar. Knowing what the trend is in the retail environment helps us evolve our smoothie offerings. For synergy, we tie our products on the shelf to what we’re selling at the smoothie bar.
The Perfect Marriage of In-Store, At-Home Products
Smoothie King sells the same supplements it uses in its smoothies, allowing guests to make their own nutritious smoothies at home. That might sound like a risky move, but several factors work to our advantage:
- Convenience – If you’re out and about and want a smoothie for lunch, or if you’re on your way to or from the gym, it’s easier and takes much less time to stop into a Smoothie King.
- Top-of-Mind Awareness – The supplements are an extension of the Smoothie King brand that keeps us top of mind among our guests. Even though they may make their own smoothies at home, they still come to us for smoothies and to buy more retail product.
- Proprietary Recipes – We’ve been making smoothies for more than 40 years with sophisticated equipment and proprietary recipes. It’s not easy to duplicate what we do in the store at home.
Our retail snacks include nuts, muffins, cookies, yogurt, chips and protein bars. While many of these serve the same purpose as our smoothies, they’re meant as accompaniments.
Many of our guests come in for a smoothie and grab a snack to go with it. We also serve as a one-stop nutrition and wellness shop, which drives shoppers’ decisions. Guests get their smoothies and a box of snacks at the same time, saving them a trip. It also provides them with sustenance to last them throughout their day.
Shelves Reflect Health and Wellness Trends
Of course, quality standards for the products sold in our stores are the same for the smoothies we develop with our Product Development Team.
Just as when developing our smoothies, we pay close attention to emerging health and wellness trends when considering which products to carry. We stay current on what’s happening in the nutrition industry, not just the smoothie industry. We attend specific health food trade shows to check out snack products and ingredients that we might be able to incorporate into our smoothies.
We also obtain information from market research reports from the nutrition industry as well as from the smoothie industry. We’ll speak with our vendors, manufacturers and distributors to find out what’s new or trending. And, most importantly, our franchisees provide us with a lot of good information about what is popular at their stores. Sometimes they let us know about retail products we haven’t seen yet.
Our snack items selection reflects the health and wellness trends of the day and the purpose of our guests. For example, we have protein-based chips for guests in search of snacks looking to increase their protein intake.
From a snack standpoint, we always try to get something that will go along with a smoothie. That snack has to have a purpose that complements the smoothie’s purpose.
Learn more about our franchise opportunities by downloading the Smoothie King Franchise Kit.