Coke Solutions
Beverage Trends

11 Tips for a Strong Smoothie Game

All the ways restaurants can take advantage of the smoothie trend

The multi-billion dollar snack business has found its way into cups and glasses. With Specialty Beverages made from Minute Maid® Smoothies, position your operation to take advantage of this hot daypart, which is growing across the foodservice industry.

"Smoothies offer a perfect way to boost your snack revenues with a high-margin product," says Registered Dietitian and Cookbook Author Donna Shields, MS, RD. "They appeal to consumers for the same reason they are valued by foodservice operators — smoothies are quick, convenient and cost-effective. It's an easy way to add something to the menu without investing in a lot of ingredients, equipment or labor."

Here are some useful ideas to help you establish a successful smoothie snack program:

Build on Favorite Smoothie Flavors
A few Minute Maid Smoothie products deliver a lot of mileage. For example, three base flavors can be served alone or mixed together in double or triple combinations, resulting in seven different selections. Determine what's appropriate for your customers. Core flavors, such as strawberry, have broad appeal; mango and pomegranate berry reflect popular trends. Another idea: rotate flavors to encourage customers to return and try the latest.

Offer Specialty Recipes
For speed and efficiency, QSRs tend to keep blends simple. Yet it's easy to transform smoothies into Specialty Beverages by adding fresh or frozen fruit to the mix. (Minute Maid Smoothies, by the way, contain real fruit.)

Eye Appeal Commands Higher Prices
Full-service restaurant operators can easily command higher prices by pouring beverages into decorative glasses topped with garnishes. For example, perch a beautiful, fresh strawberry on the rim of a glass with an interesting shape. "This looks great, adds eye appeal and makes a big impact," says Shields.

Wake Up Your Breakfast Menu
For a breakfast smoothie, mix fruit — fresh bananas are perfect — into the Minute Maid Smoothies non-fat vanilla yogurt flavor. Pump it up by blending in Minute Maid Smoothies strawberry flavor, along with flaxseed and granola. Garnish with a sprinkle of the last two items, which provides the customer with visual clues about these extra ingredients.

Offer Dessert in a Cup
Sweeten your dessert menu with a smoothie treat in a cup. The Minute Maid Smoothies dairy-based vanilla ice cream flavor works well with these recipes. Blend with chocolate syrup, crumbled cookies, brownies, candy or nuts and you quickly have a tasty treat.

Double the Impact with Nutritious Options
Get in on another hot trend. Create a nutritious snack. Among the ideas recommended by Shields:

  • Minute Maid Smoothies non-fat vanilla yogurt provides a great foundation for these recipes and infuses calcium into the mix. Enhance the nutritional value by adding fresh or frozen fruit.
  • Flaxseed adds valuable omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Want to contribute vitamins and entice adults who may prefer a less sweet snack than younger consumers? Add vegetables to fruit smoothie bases. For tasty combinations: cucumber blends well with strawberry; carrot juice pairs nicely with peach.

More Smoothie Insights

  • Consider serving various sizes, such as 12, 16, 22 or 24-fluid oz. portions.
  • In QSRs, serve in clear plastic cups. The color adds to the appeal and attracts attention from other customers.
  • Offer a variety of recipes that can be sipped through a straw, as well as eaten with a spoon. Some people prefer a thicker consistency or chunks of real fruit.

Visit the Recipe Box for smoothie recipes.


Published: February 19, 2014