June 12, 2013 // Franchising.com // FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. - Eight Robeks franchises in Fairfield County have banded together to launch an advertising co-op to boost the local profile of the premium smoothie and juice business. The advertising co-op is a first for the Robeks franchise, and could become a national model for the brand, which started in Los Angeles in 1996 and has more than 100 locations nationwide.
The first Robeks opened in Connecticut in 2004. The company has earned a following by offering convenient, healthy and nutritious meals and snacks and by partnering with community groups.
Robeks has expanded to 11 stores in Connecticut, as well as 1 in Westchester County and 1 on nearby Long Island, but competition is heating up. As more Americans seek out healthy options, corporations like McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts have unveiled their own “smoothies,” seeking to cash in on consumers’ desire for a healthy alternative to the typical fat-laden fast food meal.
“We know there is tremendous pent-up demand for the smoothies and fresh vegetable juices that Robeks has to offer,” said Katrina Bickford, Regional Director for Robeks in Connecticut and Southeast New York. “This co-op will allow us to reach more customers and let them know that they don’t have to settle for unhealthy fast food, or the mediocre smoothies that have been concocted by fast food giants. Robeks is committed to natural ingredients — we use real whole fruits and vegetables — and we’ve become a brand that people who live healthy lifestyles trust. We want to make sure everyone understands what sets us apart.”
Robeks has distinguished itself by using only fresh or frozen whole fruits and vegetables for its smoothies and juices — no processed, prepackaged mystery ingredients; no artificial ingredients; no artificial coloring; no artificial flavoring. The company also provides full nutritional info for every item on its menu, and can easily adjust recipes to create a bevy of gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan options.
More recently, the company set itself apart by vastly expanding the number of fresh-squeezed raw vegetable juices on its menu. Kale, spinach, cucumber, carrots, beets, cayenne pepper, ginger — no other smoothie store, much less fast food giant, offers the farm-fresh variety found in a Robeks store.
“Fresh raw vegetable juices are hard to find anywhere else, even though customers who want the most nutrients and the least sugar seek them out,” Bickford says. “The good news is, if you live in Fairfield County, you don’t have to go far to get it. You can stop in and be on your way in five minutes, healthy drink in hand.”
“Whether you want a fruit smoothie or a vegetable juice, we want customers to know they can come to us for natural ingredients that taste great,” she said. “It’s what goes into the blender that counts.”
The co-op partnered with New Jersey-based marketing firm Lightning Agency to develop its first advertising campaign, which will feature billboards along Route 1 in Fairfield County, as well as movie ads in local theaters starting June 14, ads on Pandora and Cablevision.
Regional Director for Connecticut, Southeast N.Y.