At Smoothie King, providing great-tasting vegan options has been part of the game plan for quite some time.
The trick for the brand was making sure its vegan offerings provided guests with the same great flavor they’ve come to expect from all Smoothie King smoothies.
“As with all of our products, we’re balancing flavor and health,” said Stephen Foley, franchise development manager at Smoothie King. “We sourced multiple vegan proteins to find the right balance we knew our guests would expect.”
Jason Finley, a Smoothie King franchisee in Mandeville, La., was a driving force in bringing great-tasting yet healthy smoothies to market, doing much of the testing in the beginning. It was his passion that helped introduce Smoothie King’s vegan options to fans across the country.
Smoothie King also worked with the most popular vegan protein products available and eventually chose Sunwarrior® as its partner for this new product line. Sunwarrior® is well-known in the vegan community and is committed to the same quality ingredients and healthy, active lifestyle as Smoothie King.
With the best vegan protein powder secured, Davis Jaeger, Smoothie King’s new product manager and food scientist, began to blend Sunwarrior® with Smoothie King’s ingredients. The result was vegan Mango Kale and Vegan Dark Chocolate Banana using Ghirardelli 100 percent cocoa. The attention to high-quality ingredients and flavor propelled this line to the top 20 within week s of launch.
“Response to our vegan smoothies has been very positive,” said Smoothie King Franchise Development Manager Chad Tramuta. “Our vegan line continues to perform in the top of our product mix, just last week making it to our top five!”
“We wanted to create a product that not only appeals to vegans, but also to mainstream vegetarians and people who just want a great-tasting option,” Foley said.
The popularity of its vegan line has led Smoothie King to branch out with their newest smoothie: Nutty Super Grain. This new smoothie not only extends the vegan line, but also introduces almond milk and super grains, a fast-growing trend being utilized by Cheerios and Chobani® Greek Yogurt.
“I can tell you right now - I’m not vegan, but my favorite smoothie is the Nutty Super Grain vegan option,” Tramuta said.