NEW ORLEANS, May 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Smoothie King, the leading smoothie company with more than 900 locations worldwide, continues its record-setting growth in 2018. The company signed 36 new franchise agreements this quarter across 14 states that will add 36 new stores to the brand's growing footprint.
Momentum continues to build for the brand, which is already the fastest-growing chain in its category. In 2017, Smoothie King added 147 franchisee agreements, and it expects to open 150 new locations in 2018, the most stores it has ever opened in the U.S. in a single year.
CEO Wan Kim credits the company's continued growth to its Cleaner Blending initiative and its ongoing focus on Smoothies With A Purpose.
"Our customers are recognizing our vision – that Smoothie King is an integral part of their health and fitness journey," said Kim. "As a result, we are attracting multi-unit and experienced operators that are committed to supporting healthy and active lifestyles. With five consecutive years of positive same-store sales, we see a real opportunity to combine vision and financial success."
In 2017, Smoothie King launched its Cleaner Blending initiative, eliminating high fructose corn syrup, trans fat, hydrogenated oil, gluten and ingredients prohibited by any regulatory lists monitored by NSF from all its smoothies. Already in 2018, it has added whole blueberries and spinach to its ingredient list and will remove artificial flavors, artificial colors, artificial preservatives, added hormones, GMO fruits and vegetables, and all added sugar from more than 50 smoothies by the end of this year.
Franchisees are also responding positively to the company's vision, according to Smoothie King Chief Development Officer Kevin King. "Many of our existing franchisees are expanding their franchise agreements, adding new locations and new markets. They are inspired by Wan's commitment to Smoothies With A Purpose and see the opportunity to make a living by inspiring people to live a healthy and active lifestyle."
For example, a franchisee opening its first location in Joplin, Missouri, this year voted to expand into Tulsa, Oklahoma, based on Smoothie King's financial success and commitment to the vision. Resilient, LLC, led by Steven and Tristan Taggart, will open three Tulsa locations over the next three years. The company's Joplin location will open in 2018.
Smoothie King's expansion will continue to expand organically with a focus on 16 key markets: Dallas; Miami; Baltimore; Indianapolis; New York; Cincinnati; Denver; Phoenix; San Antonio; Chicago; Orlando, Florida; Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C.; Charlotte, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; and Jacksonville, Florida.
About Smoothie King Franchises, Inc.
Smoothie King Franchises, Inc., the original U.S. smoothie franchise, is a privately held, New Orleans-area-based franchise company with more than 900 units worldwide. It was founded in 1973 by Steve Kuhnau, whose mission was to help others achieve better health through smoothies, and today, it continues its "Smoothies With A Purpose" mission through its Cleaner Blending initiative that focuses on better ingredients including whole fruits and vegetables. The franchise is currently ranked No. 1 by Entrepreneur magazine in the juice bar category for the 26th year and No. 35 overall on the 2017 Franchise 500 list. The company also offers retail products that include sports beverages, energy bars, vitamins, supplements and more. Visit www.smoothieking.com or www.smoothiekingfranchise.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SmoothieKing and Instagram at www.instagram.com/SmoothieKing.
SOURCE Smoothie King