Posted by Tara Webber
The reason smoothies have become so popular during the past decade is pretty simple: They're versatile, quick, highly nutritious and delicious. In essence, they are the perfect food for busy people who want to make sure they get all of their nutrients.
It’s one of those rare foods that gym rats, dieters, on-the-go vice presidents and toddlers all seem to want.
Smoothies, like people, come in many forms. If you are thinking of adding smoothies to your fast and casual restaurant, here are some prevailing trends to be aware of.
As more people have become wary of the health effects of fast food, expect to see more options to replace those empty calories with healthy smoothie meals.
For instance, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a chain of over 500 restaurants, recently unveiled a whole menu of new smoothies meant to be taken as an entire meal. For instance, the Chia Banana Boost with peanut butter is a complete breakfast shake made out of roasted banana, chia seeds, whole-grain oats, coconut and strawberries.
Likewise, their Detox Island Green smoothie contains five whole fruits and vegetables, including mango, spinach, kale, banana and pineapple.
These days people accept that more than fruit and yogurt go into a smoothie. With the right combination, in fact, you can come up with a hearty meal consisting of veggies, fruit, grains and more, all served in a handy portable cup.
Adding some international zest
Many restaurants are having great success serving smoothies that reflect global culinary trends. Now, most obviously, this would include a tropical smoothie.
The traditional Horchata is one example; it is a Spanish drink that combines rice, almond milk and nuts. Another one is Lassi, a yogurt drink enjoyed in India that combines delicious spices and fruit, which has made its way to many juice bars and smoothie menus.
As with many foods, the more smoothies people drink, the more varieties they want to try. This explains their rising popularity and why having various options makes more sense now than previously.
Keep the basics in mind
Finally, keep in mind these two fundamental aspects regarding smoothie menus.
The first is that you should have the option to customize them. That’s really part of the appeal, and from a business perspective, the add-ons people purchase are highly profitable.
Second, even if you operate a sit-down restaurant, giving people the option to add “boosts” to their smoothies is very important. Boosts are basically powdered nutrition supplements, such as protein, immune boosters or supplements specially formulated for women or seniors. Many customers expect this and, as a benefit for you, the profit margin can be very attractive.
If you want to add smoothies to your menu, you'll need the right equipment. Check out our Blender Resource Guide to help determine the right model for your operation.
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