Smoothies deliver revenue all year long
Smoothies are not just for the warmer months of the year anymore. They have become a year-round lifestyle choice for many consumers – a mainstay in their diet and a treat they look forward to all year-round.
So, serve up the smoothies in your store, too. They are a solid revenue stream that you can depend on all year long.
Why Cold Beverages Are Hot
Over the past couple of decades, the large smoothie and restaurant chains helped to establish the habit of year-round smoothies. Many people now look forward to smoothies as a regular source of nutrition or functional benefits.
More broadly, the trend in made-to-order beverages is toward cold over hot. The younger generations especially prefer cold, high-quality beverages with innovative flavors. Presently, about 74% of the drinks sold at large coffee chains are cold rather than hot, with younger consumers citing the increased convenience and flavor of cold coffee drinks. In Asia, premium cold tea drinks – bubble tea, milk tea and fruit teas – are all the rage, and that trend is already making headway in the U.S.
Another related trend is the premiumization of beverages, a growing preference for drinks that bring added value in terms of health and wellness, flavor, presentation or origin. Simply put, people are willing to pay more for a distinctive beverage experience, including smoothies.
Which Smoothies for the Cold-Weather Months?
The smoothies you sell in the warm-weather months can be the same ones you sell in the cold-weather months. Establish your menu mainstays and keep them year-round. Then, rotate in a couple of seasonal offerings – for example, items with pumpkin, cinnamon and all-spice in the fall and during the holidays.
In general, what consumers want year-round are functional benefits. They want their smoothies to serve a particular health-related purpose – like building immune health, improving brain function, recovering from a workout, getting an energy boost, etc.
The point of functional foods is to answer the “why” question – why this beverage and not another one. To help people make sense of their options, give the smoothie a purposeful name and list upfront some ingredients that support that purpose. Patrons will appreciate this effort.
Made-to-Order – or Grab-n-Go
Smoothies are usually a made-to-order item, but in grocery and convenience stores you have a special option because of your refrigerated displays. Smoothies will keep on ice for up to eight hours and will not separate if blended properly in a Vitamix®. So, you can use The Quiet One® by Vitamix Commercial to blend up to eight 6-oz. smoothies per batch – or your Vitamix XL® to blend up to 32 6-oz. smoothies per batch – and set them out on ice for a grab-n-go option. If encouraged, people will learn to pick up a smoothie as they walk through your store. As they see others doing it, more will join the trend.
For more information, contact Steve Hosey at SHosey@vitamix.com.
The Vitamix Culinary Team consults with food service professionals, not only on blending, but also on kitchen efficiency and recipe and menu development.