The Planet Smoothie Story
A national smoothie franchise brand in the making
The Planet Smoothie franchise started in Atlanta in 1995, when smoothies were first beginning to gain a solid niche in the market. Before the 1990s, smoothies were almost completely associated with hardcore health fanatics — people who did a lot of their shopping at health stores or who were disciples of the late, great Jack Lalanne. Lalanne preached the virtues of exercise and nutrition for 80 years, and he inspired countless people to slim down and muscle up.
Smoothies gained a foothold in the dining marketplace thanks to people who wanted to be able to order something tasty and nutritious, with the convenience to fit their busy lifestyles. Fitness buffs were the first smoothie customers, and as it became easier to obtain a good smoothie, they told their friends — “Hey! Here’s a new place you should try. It tastes good, there are lots of choices, and you get fruits and vegetables!”
As more people discovered smoothies, the market exploded, and Planet Smoothie quickly spread throughout the Southeast, becoming a dominant brand across the Southeastern and Northeastern United States.
A new era for the Planet Smoothie franchise
The opportunity to rapidly expand Planet Smoothie excited a team of veteran franchise executives who had helped build other iconic brands, including Cold Stone Creamery and Blimpie. Together with all the great Kahala Brands, Planet Smoothie now has the capabilities and resources to accelerate growth and drive stronger results for franchisees.
Under new ownership since 2015, the management team has been busy improving supply chains and introducing new innovations within Planet Smoothie.
That’s just the beginning. Planet Smoothie is expanding nationwide. The hunger for healthy foods has increased dramatically since the 1990s — especially for healthy foods that taste great. A customer survey by public relations giant Edelman found that 83% of customers want food and beverage companies to offer healthy foods that taste great, but only 50% of them think the industry is doing a good job. More than half of consumers said they avoid processed foods whenever possible.
Planet Smoothie is focused on delivering exceptional nutritional value and great-tasting items to customers, and our leadership team is committed to innovation and continued business improvement. For instance, we developed our own sweetener, LeanLeaf, made from stevia, which allows us to create great-tasting smoothies that have fewer calories and lower sugar content. We also reformulated classic Planet Smoothie menu items to use cocoa powder rather than chocolate syrup, which lowered calories and raised the amount of antioxidants without changing the flavor. We added leafy greens as an option on our menu to add to any of our smoothies. All of these changes have made Planet Smoothie menu items even healthier and were undertaken after careful research into ways we could better serve our customers and encourage more people to visit our stores.
The changes, as well as an aggressive marketing and promotion plan, have helped drive up sales for Planet Smoothie franchise owners.
“I am very happy with our new corporate group,” says Colin MacGuire, who opened his Planet Smoothie in Winter Garden, Florida, in 2007. “We are definitely staying ahead of the competition, which makes me happy. We are in good hands.”