Although some might debate the official beginning, it is generally accepted that the smoothie craze began in the 1980s with the creation of the Orange Julius frozen juice drink. This led to an explosion of juice and smoothie products and stand-alone juice and smoothie bars. By the early 2000s, smoothies were showing up everywhere with category sales growing at an astounding rate. Smoothies have become a mainstream product offering and are now available in high-end coffee shops, casual dining restaurants, convenience stores, outlets on college campuses, and even in leading national hamburger chains.
So what’s the appeal? Why smoothies? Well if we look at some of our current lifestyle trends, it’s easy to understand. With today’s busy lifestyles, smoothies fit well into all parts of the day: breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Many times smoothies are used as a meal replacement or as an on-the-go meal. Smoothies are becoming the new delivery device for sustained energy. The drinks incorporate bold and exciting flavors and are perceived as symbols of health and wellness. What’s most interesting is that smoothies are not just for kids – more adults are drinking smoothies than ever before. In fact, a recent Mintel survey showed that 42% of adults in the 18 to 35 age group ordered ready-made smoothies in the last 90 days.
To the operators out there: are you meeting the desires of an ever-growing consumer base? Are you creating a destination beverage opportunity for your customers? Are you in sync with the health and wellness trends of today’s consumers? If not, maybe you should be! Offering a quality smoothie product is easier than ever with the wide range of smoothie base products available today. From shelf-stable fruit mixers, purees, and syrups, to frozen concentrates, frozen fruit, and fruit packets – the choices are endless.
And with the availability of today’s high performance blenders, making creamy, great-tasting frozen smoothies has never been easier or more profitable! Can you say, “Smoothies anyone?”