How Big Is the Juice and Smoothie Industry?
Juicing and smoothies already generate billions in sales each year, and the segments are growing
Juicing accounts for more than $5 billion a year in the United States alone. That’s billion. With a B. And it’s growing daily. Many suppliers are single-store operations, but there is a growing number of juice bar franchise operations, as well.
Why is that? Because just as the coffee shop craze started here and there and then grew until there seemed be one on every corner, so will it be with juice bar franchises. And I Love Juice Bar looks to take the trend by storm and stay successful long after other players fall out of the market.
What’s more, an I Love Juice Bar franchise will likely be even more successful than its java counterpart. The crowd that haunts coffee shops also is looking for a fresh, healthful way to eat more fruits and vegetables. They’ve found juice, and when they find a place they like, they become repeat customers. They also tell their friends with social media, so a juice bar franchise with a savvy social presence quickly becomes a destination for many different demographics.
That bears repeating. For a culture that is ever more busy and perpetually on the go, as well as increasingly health conscious, the juice bar franchise is not just a lifestyle stop, but also a gathering place. People are turning away from packaged and canned sugary drinks loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavorings. They are reading labels. The vitamin-rich, nutritious alternative is becoming the mainstream choice. Natural sugars, natural ingredients are the calling cards for people who want more green in their diet, but who don’t have the time or desire to hit the farmers market and cook up all those vegetables.
How big is that group? Well, according to Technomic’s Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report, 64% of consumers polled in 2012 agreed that it was important to eat healthy and pay attention to nutrition. That’s up from 57% in 2010. Now pair that with the farm-fresh products found at I Love Juice Bar, plus the personal service and advice that customers get from staff members who know their product. The result? Strong sales and customer loyalty.
Juice bar franchises grab growing market share
That combination of healthy food and trendy meeting spot packs a serious economic punch. As premium coffee did before them, premium “cold-crafted” juices are commanding a greater and greater market share. When even Starbucks is trying to jump on the smoothie and juices train, you know growth potential is strong. Venture capitalists have targeted the industry as the next big thing, which means that more and more people will be looking for opportunities to cash in.
That’s already happening in markets like New York City, always a good bellwether for cultural shifts. Franchises on the ground are on their way to doubling their number of locations in the coming months.
What once was the domain of raw foodies and uber-health geeks has expanded into a populist, and very commercial, trend. And while there surely will be many players entering the market, there is no dominant presence as yet. That’s largely due to the mixed-menu concepts already out there, where juices are a side item next to premixed smoothies, desserts, coffee and other “grab and go” items. Concepts like I Love Juice Bar, which focus first and foremost on fresh juice drinks, and whose smoothies are equally healthful, already stand out with consumers. At the end of the day, that will be what separates a successful franchise operation from the “me, too” shops that will quickly open, and close.