NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Smoothie King Franchises, Inc., the originator of the nutritional fruit-based smoothie, today announced it has posted another record year in new franchise licenses, with a total of 129 signed franchise agreements in 2007. Despite economic conditions challenging the development of other franchise brands — both within and outside of the category — the privately owned New Orleans-based company has posted an average growth rate of 27 percent in each of the past four years.
Smoothie King credits its commitment to building and maintaining a solid business foundation for its franchisees and implementing systems to support and foster steady growth for its year-over-year success.
"Smoothie King is no stranger to being original, and we have taken that same approach in licensing our brand," said Michael Powers, Executive Vice President of Business Development. "All of our new business has been generated without the use of brokers, trade shows, agents or other traditional means. Our development team has done an exceptional job over the years of cultivating our candidates from within our four walls, by drawing in candidates who were loyal Smoothie King guests before they decided to go into business with us. We believe this builds a stronger foundation for Smoothie King's relationship with its franchisees. We're proud of what we've accomplished for a company of our size, but we are most satisfied that we've been able to do so while upholding the quality standards for franchise operators and their belief in our mission."
Powers said Smoothie King continues to build on the momentum, and expects to license more than 150 new locations in 2008.
The brand's franchisees have a sustainable advantage over fast food concepts because of the brand's health-related category and attractive unit-level economics, according to Steven Shields, Manager of New Business for Smoothie King. Shields said Smoothie King is aggressively vetting candidates to become new partners, and he noted that "the development team is charged with building the business with individuals who believe in the company's mission to relentlessly influence more and more people to achieve a healthier lifestyle." It is that common vision that has sustained the brand as category leader, according to Shields.
"We seek partners who share our passion in promoting better health and want to be crusaders in their own communities against unhealthy fast food choices and dependency upon pharmaceuticals," said Powers. "Clearly, our growth over the last 10 years is evidence that the world wants to be a healthier place. We will remain focused in aligning ourselves with the right partners and continue to pioneer our industry through innovation and educating our guests."
To date, more than 200 million Smoothie King smoothies have been served at 520 locations in 32 states across the United States and in South Korea. Smoothie King has ranked number one in its category for 15 years, and ranked number 109 in the top 500 franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine, as well as ranked number 99 as a top global franchise.
Smoothie King is a privately held, New Orleans-area-based franchise company and the premier Smoothie Bar and Nutritional Lifestyle Center in the industry. Smoothie King Centers offer guests the industry's first, original nutritional fruit- and function-based, fresh-blended smoothies. Each Lifestyle Center also offers healthy retail product solutions, including sports beverages, energy bars, healthy snacks, vitamin supplements, herbs, minerals and other sports nutrition products. Smoothie King opened its first store in 1973 and started as the first franchised smoothie bar/health food store business in the United States in 1989. Smoothie King currently has more than 500 units operating in 32 states and the Republic of Korea. For more information, visit www.smoothieking.com.