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Juice Bar Franchise | Top 10 Franchises | Industry Analysis

juice bar franchise and smoothie businesses– a growing niche market

The juice bar industry is estimated to have grown over $9 Billion worldwide. The U.S. alone accounts for $2.2 Billion, with over 5,200 locations across the states. The juice bar franchise industry is seeing consistent year to year growth of 7% or more.

Consumers are demanding healthier options at ever increasing rates. Quick serve restaurants have been excellent business opportunities for a long time, and now there is growing niche who choose to serve the health conscious consumer.

But the truth is that many juice bar franchises who market to the health conscious crowd are falling behind on the trends.

Consumers are becoming more intelligent in terms of their health awareness. There are many trends such as gluten-free or organic which have strong traction. People are continuing to demand higher and higher quality food.

Restaurants attempting to market themselves as healthy, while continuing to serve genetically modified food, processed dairy, wheat and sugar, as well as pesticide ridden produce, will not be able to compete with businesses who are serving customer who have a high awareness of the health detriments of these ingredients.

Superfoods are another hot trend right now that very few franchises in the healthy quick serve restaurant niche have capitalized on. Foods like goji berries, bee pollen and acai berries have been proven to be incredibly dense in nutritional value, and health conscious consumers are looking for items like these in greater numbers.

Cleanse programs are another growing market. On average people spend $300 when they do a juice cleanse. Juice and smoothie bar franchises who serve this market are setting themselves up for future success.

We have put together a list of 10 juice bar franchises who are marketing to health conscious consumers. Some are behind the trends, while others are leading the way.


1) SMOOTHIE KING

1,000 Locations | Founded 1973

Smoothie King is the largest franchise in the niche. They serve primarily fresh fruit smoothies with a commitment to no added sugars, artificial colors or preservatives. They do not offer any wellness shots, which is a product growing in demand from health conscious consumers. Many of their drinks do contain protein powders with a wide range of chemical additive ingredients.

Cleanse Program: No

Investment Range:

  • End-cap or Inline Location: $263,550- $631,535

  • Free-standing Drive-thru Location: $579,100-$844,485

Minimum Net Worth (1 Store): $300,000

Minimum Liquidity (1 Store): $100,000

Royalty Fee: 6% of monthly gross sales ($500 minimum per month)

National Marketing Fee: Currently 3% of monthly gross sales


JAMBA JUICE

900+ Locations | Founded 1990

Jamba Juice is an iconic brand in the juice bar industry. They are the largest franchise serving juice as their primary menu item. They also offer smoothies, bowls and wraps, flatbreads and other baked goods. Their current marketing is focused on whole food ingredients.

They have a number of items on their menu that health conscious consumers are starting to turn away from including genetically modified soy, processed cheese and yogurt, and factory farmed chicken.

Initial Investment: $238,600 – $504,300

Net-worth Requirement: $325,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $125,000

Initial Franchise Fee: $35,000 – $35,000

Ongoing Royalty Fee: 6%

Ad Royalty Fee: 3%


TROPICAL SMOOTHIE CAFE

700+ Locations | Founded 1997

Tropical Smoothie Cafe serves smoothies as well as bowls, wraps and sandwiches, and markets toward health conscious customers. They do offer a wide range of food that is behind on current health trends including factory farmed chicken and processed wheat.

They have a wide range of sauces on their salads and bowls, the ingredients of which are not disclosed on their website. Many pseudo health food chains create meals that look visually healthy, but hide added sugars and chemical food additives in the sauces. Consumers are starting to inquire more often about ingredients, so restaurants with less transparency are falling behind.

Cleanse Program: No

Liquid Capital Required: $125,000

Net Worth Required: $350,000

Total Investment: $222,770 – $525,400

Initial Franchise Fee: $30,000

Ongoing Royalty Fee: 6%

Ad Royalty Fee: 3%


CLEAN JUICE

100 Locations | Founded 2014

Clean Juice is one of the fastest growing franchises in the juice bar industry. They serve juices, smoothie and wellness elixirs, acai bowls and smoothie bowls. They are the only certified organic franchise and pride themselves on this. They place a high value on transparency. They were the 5th fastest growing franchise on 2018. They do use whey protein in some of their smoothies, which is a byproduct of the dairy industry, and is incredibly toxic.

Cleanse program: Yes

Franchise Fee: $42,500

Royalty Fee: 6%

Brand Marketing Fund: 1%

Initial investment: $254,000 – $502,000

Average Gross Sales: $846,556.25

Average Cost Of Goods Sold: $320,946.75   (38% OF SALES)

Average Labor: $213,083.25   (25% OF SALES)


LIQUID NUTRITION

100 Locations | Founded 2004

Liquid nutrition is organic, plant based, gluten-free and soy free. Their menu is very simple, offering a select few smoothies and smoothie bowls. They offer a lot of general health and wellness information to their customers.

They are up on certain superfood trends, offering items like maca, hemp seeds and goji berries. They also use dates and maple syrup as sweeteners, another growing trend in the health community. More consumers are aware of scams like fake “honey”, and other sweeteners marketed as healthy such as agave.

Initial Franchise Fee: $10,000.

Initial Investment: $135,300 – $334,900

Net-worth Requirement: $250,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $100,000

Initial Franchise Fee: $25,000 – $40,000

Ongoing Royalty Fee: 6%

Ad Royalty Fee: 2%


ROBEKS

80 Locations | Founded 1996


Robeks markets their fresh smoothies and juices to health conscious consumers. They are ahead of many franchises in the respect of offering superfoods such as spirulina, bee pollen and chia seeds. They also serve wheatgrass shots, a growing trend in the wellness community.

They do use a few less than desirable ingredients including agave–a highly processed form of sugar–non-fat frozen yogurt–a very difficult to digest and thus toxic milk derivative–and whey protein, another dairy industry by product toxic to humans.

Cleanse Program: No

Liquid Capital: $100,000

Net Worth: $300,000

Initial Franchise Fee : $15,000 – $30,000 (Depending on location size)

Royalty Fee: 6% to 7% of Net Sales depending on number of stores the franchisee operates.

Advertising Fees: 2.5% of Net Sales.

Local Advertising Expenditures: 2.5% of Net Sales.


NRGIZE LIFESTYLE CAFÉ

79 Locations | Founded 2006

NrGize–pronounced Energize–markets to health conscious consumers, primarily to the gym crowd. They offer meal replacement shakes and custom protein shakes. They try to keep calories carbs, fats and sugars low, while maintaining a delicious flavor.

NrGize does use agave in their drinks, which is a highly processed from of sugar. They also use whey protein in many of their smoothies, a toxic byproduct of the dairy industry.

Initial Franchise Fee: $7,500 to $30,000 (Depending on location size)

Initial Investment: $98,650 to $341,050

Required Credit Score: 680

Net worth: $250,000

Liquid capital: $100,000.

Royalty Fee: 6% of weekly gross sales or $150.00 (traditional location).


I LOVE JUICE BAR

48 Locations | Founded 2013

I Love Juice Bar is plant based, gluten-free and organic when possible. They serve primarily juices, smoothies, shots, smoothie bowls, and also offer food including gluten-free sandwiches and pasta.

Their shots menu is expansive, with a variety of health supporting options. They definitely get it in this area and are serving the growing wellness shot market.

They offer a variety of trending superfoods including maca, hemp seeds and flax seed oil. Overall their menu is very clean in terms of the ingredients they offer.

Cleanse Program: Yes

Initial Investment: $170,860 – $302,805

Net-worth Requirement: $250,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $60,000

Initial Franchise Fee: $25,000 – $25,000

Ongoing Royalty Fee: 5%

Ad Royalty Fee: 1%


FRESH HEALTHY CAFE

30 Locations | Founded 2001

Fresh healthy cafe markets to health conscious consumers. They pledge to source the highest quality ingredients and acknowledge the benefits of fresh food on the body and mind. They use 100% biodegradable packaging material.

There menu is large, and generally it is difficult to find out the ingredients of their menu items. They have a focus on showing nutritional information such as calorie counts, fats, sodium and sugar counts. This is information that the most health conscious consumers, a growing category, does not care about. More and more people want to know all of the raw ingredients in their food including sauces and sweeteners.

Fresh healthy Cafe does offer some behind the times options including agave–a highly processed sugar–greek yogurt–a toxic dairy product–factory farmed meats containing GMOs and pesticides, and processed wheat products in their sandwiches and paninis.

Cleanse Program: Yes

Initial Investment: $176,000 – $343,500

Net-worth Requirement: $250,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $100,000

Initial Franchise Fee: $30,000

Ongoing Royalty Fee: 6%

Ad Royalty Fee: 1%


GRABBAGREEN

24 Locations | Founded 2013

Grabbagrean offers juices and smoothies as well as a variety of food including sandwiches, bowls, soups and wraps. They have many organic options on the menu. They serve wellness elixirs targeted to treat various conditions. They are up on the trending acai bowl business.

They do serve factory farmed chicken and beef. These animals are typical not fed their natural diet, which causes disease, which in turn requires farmers to treat the animals with drugs, which end up in the meat. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of this and demanding organically raised animals, or simply boycotting meat altogether and adopting a vegan diet.

Cleanse Program: Yes

Franchise Fee: $30,000

Minimum Cash Required: $150,000

Total Investment Range: $282,688 – $413,768

Net Worth Required: $500,000

Ongoing Royalty: 6%

Ad Royalty: 1%


why you should consider creating your own brand

Industry Leaders Are Behind the Times

The biggest franchises, including Jamba Juice and Smoothie King are way behind the times in terms of the overall health of their menus. Franchises like Clean Juice are leading the way toward cleaner menus. However, there is really no major franchise who has completely capitalized on the upper echelon of the juice bar market.

Binding Contracts

It can be difficult to exit relationships with franchisors because of contract termination fees. Some franchises charge fees of $10,000 or more just to sell the business.

No control over vendor selection

If you’re getting into the juice and smoothie business because you actually want to help people, it’s important to consider the quality of ingredients you source. Many companies claim to be organic when they are not. And beyond that, having certified organic ingredients no longer insures that the ingredients are healthy. Organic farms can now spray hundreds of certified organic chemicals on their land.

Large franchise companies have pre-selected vendor relationships that franchisees have no control over. It would be a bad feeling to get into a business wanting to empower people to greater levels of health, and find out that you are being forced to serve poor quality drinks to your customers.

No Control Over Menu

Many of the biggest juice bar franchises do have a lot of great options on their menu. In addition to that, almost all of them have items that health conscious consumers are moving away from.

Times are definitely changing, and people are continuing to demand higher quality food. Franchises that are not up with the times will face challenges in the future as the market evolves.

Franchises Go Out of Business too

Often people want to get into a franchise because they see it as a guaranteed vehicle to success. But big franchises go bust too. Remember blockbuster? The video rental giant had 9,000 stores at it’s height, and just this year finally closed up it’s last remaining store in Alaska, which was still operating due to slow internet connection in the remote state. On a side note, Netflix is now worth $20 billion.

Bennigans, an American bar and grill restaurant brand had 288 locations across the U.S. in 2008, and now has only 15. This was an interesting case, as the brands parent company filed for bankruptcy in 2008, which caused the 150 corporate locations across the U.S. to close. The remaining 138 franchisee locations remained opened, but faced serious PR challenges because people thought the brand had gone out of business.

Chi Chi’s was a popular Mexican restaurant operating in the United States with over 150 locations. After serious competition in the Mexican fast casual niche, plus a major food poisoning scandal in 2004, the company closed all of it’s U.S. locations.

This story has been told many times. And the sobering truth is that franchisees have very little control over their fate. The franchisor has high control over pricing, menu items and market positioning, so if they make a huge mistake, it leaves the franchisees to bear the burden. Additionally, franchises tend to change management hands very often. New corporate management could all of a sudden steer the company in a nasty direction.

Interested in creating your own concept?

The Start A Juice Bar Agency specializes in helping entrepreneurs succeed in open juice, smoothie and acai bowl businesses. We can help you with business plan development, menu development and costing, vendor section, staff and operation training, as well as logo and branding and in store design. We are the one stop shop for your independent juice bar success. Fill out the form below to request a quote on our services.

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