NEW ORLEANS, March 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Long before smoothies became widely available, Smoothie King was hard at work creating its own category—one where nutrition and wellness matter just as much as flavor and convenience. That's a blend of attributes that Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim feels strongly positions the global franchise brand for significant growth in an increasingly competitive niche. And the brand's sales from 2016 are a good indicator that Kim's vision is right on track: From January 1, 2016 to January 1, 2017, Smoothie King boasted a 9.1 percent increase in same-store sales, building on the company's momentum of the past four years of record growth. The average annual sales per Smoothie King store has increased by 51% comparing 2016 to 2011. The innovative purveyors of "Smoothies With A Purpose®" also inked 111 franchise and development agreements—deals that will yield an additional 172 stores in the brand's growing 850-unit system.
"After achieving more than $350 million in system-wide sales last year, and with over 850 locations now open, Smoothie King's story is just beginning. We are well on our way to building an extraordinary purpose-driven brand that's an integral part in inspiring people to live healthy and active lifestyles," Kim said. "As we close out a successful year with impressive same-store sales, I feel strongly that this is still just the beginning for Smoothie King. We're poised to inspire more people than ever before to lead a more balanced lifestyle."
Fueling the brand's growth are six major area development agreements. During the first half of the year, new multi-unit area development agreements were signed for Chicago, Tucson, Dallas, Baltimore, Orlando and Virginia. Smoothie King also opened 39 new stores in 13 states across the Southeast, Northeast and Midwest. In total, the brand opened 100 new stores in 20 states throughout the year.
"The number of openings and signings the brand executed in top development markets during 2016 highlights Smoothie King's momentum as a record-breaking year for domestic openings. Our current franchisees are seeing the growth across the system, and they want to continue expanding with us. Interested candidates are eagerly joining the system to purchase open territories before they are sold out," said Tom O'Keefe, Smoothie King's President and Chief Operating Officer.
To aid in the brand's ongoing expansion efforts, Smoothie King brought on Kevin King as the new Chief Development Officer in May 2016. With a background working for well-known pizza franchises including Domino's Pizza and Papa Murphy's, King leads franchise development efforts as the brand works toward its goal of having 1,000 locations open by the end of 2017.
The demand for Smoothie King is not only evident in its ongoing development strides, but in its latest widespread consumer praise, too. In April, Smoothie King was voted the No. 1 brand in the Limited-Service Restaurant Beverage-Snack category in the 2016 edition of Nation's Restaurant News' Consumer Picks issue. To win the title, Smoothie King beat out brands like Krispy Kreme, Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. Most recently, Smoothie King was ranked No. 1 in the smoothie category in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Ranking for its 24th year.
Now, as the brand enters into 2017, it has its sights set on expansion in 16 key markets—Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas, Texas; Miami, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Austin, Texas; Washington D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Cincinnati, Ohio; Jacksonville, Florida; Denver, Colorado; Phoenix, Arizona; San Antonio, Texas; New York; and Chicago, Illinois.
"What makes our brand so unique is a team that is focused on expansion. Reaching new markets and new guests is what we do every day to ensure we reach our vision: to be an integral part of every health and fitness plan," Kim said. "Last year put Smoothie King on track to reach 1,000 locations globally by the end of 2017, and with openings in Dubai and Trinidad and Tobago, there is no stopping our international reach and expansion opportunities."
About Smoothie King
Smoothie King Franchises, Inc. is a privately held, New Orleans-area-based franchise company with over 850 units worldwide. By creating each smoothie with a purpose, Smoothie King helps to make it simple and pleasurable for guests to achieve their individual health goals as part of a low-calorie diet and regular exercise routine. The franchise also offers a number of nutritious retail products, including sports beverages, energy bars, vitamin supplements and more.
Smoothie King was founded in 1973 by Steve Kuhnau, whose mission was to help others achieve better health in a tasty way. In 1989, Smoothie King became the first franchised smoothie bar/health food store in the U.S. and currently operates in 33 states, the Caymans, Trinidad and Tobago, the Middle East, and the Republic of Korea. In 2015, Smoothie King was ranked No. 1 by Entrepreneur magazine in the juice bar category for the 24th year and No. 92 overall on the 2015 Franchise 500 list. In 2014, Smoothie King partnered with the New Orleans Pelicans to launch the Smoothie King Center, a multi-purpose indoor arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. Smoothie King offers veterans a 20 percent discount off the initial franchisee fee. Visit www.smoothieking.com or www.smoothiekingfranchise.com; engage on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SmoothieKing; follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/smoothieking.
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SOURCE Smoothie King