Having experienced a record-breaking year of franchise growth in 2017, Smoothie King is charging into 2018 energized for continued success. The dynamic brand anticipates opening its 1,000th location by the end of the year.
Smoothie King signed 147 franchise agreements in 2017 for a total of 204 committed stores, an increase of more than 24 percent from the 111 franchise agreements signed in 2016. Most of those signings (67 percent) were with existing franchisees, which shows the scalability of the company’s vision and business model. Smoothie King also opened 96 new domestic franchise stores across 28 states last year.
Smoothie King’s growth in 2017 caught the attention of the franchising world, and the brand was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as the No. 1 franchise opportunity in the juice bar category for the 25th consecutive year. The brand also jumped 88 spots to move into the top 50 on the Franchise 500 list. Smoothie King is currently ranked No. 35. The revered list in the franchising industry ranks franchise companies based on several factors, including system size, number of years in business and franchising, and reputation.
Notable New Growth
Besides the large number of existing franchisees who signed on to expand their smoothie kingdoms, there were several franchisees new to the brand.
- Bob Viani, a former multi-unit franchisee with Planet Fitness, opened Smoothie King’s 900th store. The milestone location is in the Hudson Valley of New York, where Viani owned many of his gyms.
- Case Asset Management signed with Smoothie King to open 15 stores spanning five states and strategically located near gyms.
- Lynn Eskandari, a multi-unit franchisee with Houston, Texas-based Shipley Do-Nuts, signed to open six Smoothie King stores in the Houston area.
“These franchisees share our commitment to inspiring people to live a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as a desire to become a positive force in their local communities,” Kevin King, chief development officer at Smoothie King, said. “Bringing so many experienced operators into our system while being able to grow with current operators is a huge accomplishment. We are continuing to look for multi-unit franchisees in other complementary systems like restaurant or fitness franchisees who want to expand their portfolios.”
Consumers Also Drive Growth in New Year
Smoothie King listens to its guests, which can help drive sales growth. For example, more consumers are demanding better-for-you beverages and meal replacement options, and Smoothie King heeded the call with its Cleaner Blending initiative. That same demand also has the potential to spur unit growth.
The brand expects the buzz to remain strong as it continues to roll out the initiative. All Purpose Blends will be made with no added sugar – that spans more than 50 smoothies across the brand’s Fitness, Slim and Wellness menu categories. Smoothie King has already removed high fructose corn syrup, trans fat, hydrogenated oil, gluten, and any ingredients prohibited by any regulatory lists monitored by NSF from all its smoothie offerings. Under this initiative, Smoothie King will remove artificial flavors, artificial colors, artificial preservatives, added hormones and GMO fruits and veggies in 2018.
Smoothie King has its sights set on growth in 16 domestic markets in 2018:
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Miami, Florida
- Orlando, Florida
- Austin, Texas
- Dallas, Texas
- San Antonio, Texas
- Washington D.C.
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Columbus, Ohio
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Denver, Colorado
- Phoenix, Arizona
- New York
- Chicago, Illinois
“Our Cleaner Blending initiative is geared to improve our smoothies so that people will feel even better about what they’re putting into their bodies,” Wan Kim, Smoothie King’s Chief Executive Officer, said. “When we look at our ‘Smoothies With a Purpose®,’ I want each and every guest who comes into Smoothie King to truly feel like we are helping them achieve their goals to live a healthy and active lifestyle.”
If you’d like to learn more about exciting franchise opportunities with a purpose-driven brand, download a free Smoothie King Franchise Kit.