Smoothie King Unveils the Secret to Natural Energy; Introduces ``Drink of the Gods'' With Yerba Maté Smoothie

New Orleans--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yerba maté (pronounced YER-ba MA-tay) has folks revved up as nature's latest contribution to the highly functional "superfood" category. Following its mission to encourage more and more people to achieve healthy lifestyles, Smoothie King has made the ancient yerba maté plant available to mainstream America. Berry Stimulating Maté, a combination of blackberry, strawberry, blueberry, Guayaki organic yerba maté, turbinado and nonfat milk, is now available at Smoothie King's more than 550 locations across the country.

"Often called the 'drink of the gods,' yerba maté is one of the cleanest forms of energy on earth. It provides all the advantages of caffeine, naturally — without the jitters or drastic highs and lows," said Steve Kuhnau, Smoothie King's co-founder and president. "Every smoothie on our menu was created with a specific health function in mind, and this one really packs a punch with its wide range of beneficial properties."

Yerba maté boasts a host of attributes, including helping to induce mental clarity, sustain energy, aid in weight control and digestion, increase metabolism, and lessen the effects of allergies and diabetes.

The yerba maté plant is indigenous to the rainforests of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil and has been served as a favorite beverage of South Americans for hundreds of years. The plant contains a natural blend of caffeine, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, providing an invigorating flow of energy and clarity of mind. Yerba (meaning herb) and maté (meaning cup), is traditionally served out of a hollow gourd and sipped through a metal straw (called a bombilla). The drink is passed, shared in a gesture of community and friendship.

Smoothie King's supplier, Guayaki, was the first to offer certified organic, fairly traded and rainforest-grown yerba maté to the marketplace. Guayakí works with farmers in South America to promote sustainable growing practices, to preserve and reforest the land, and to create a renewable income stream — effectively bettering the lives of the local communities.

A 20-ounce blend of the new Berry Stimulating Maté smoothie contains caffeine equivalent to one cup of coffee, 348 calories (298 when made "skinny"), four grams of protein and six grams of fiber. For more information on the new yerba maté smoothie, visit http://www.smoothieking.com/smoothies/yerba-mate.php.

To date, more than 200 million Smoothie King smoothies have been served at more than 550 locations in 32 states across the United States and in South Korea. Smoothie King is consistently ranked number one in its category and ranked number 109 in the top 500 franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine, as well as ranked number 99 as a top global franchise.

About Smoothie King Franchises, Inc.

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 550 units operating in 32 states and the Republic of Korea. For more information, visit www.smoothieking.com.

About Guayaki

Founded in 1997, Guayakí is the leading provider of organic, fairly traded, rainforest-grown yerba maté in North America with products sold at thousands of natural foods stores, cafes and supermarkets. For more information about Guayaki and their invigorating products, please visit www.guayaki.com.

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