Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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50 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • AUGUST 2017 2017 BEVERAGE SERIES Smoothies Offer the Ultimate Meal Replacement Smoothies (and their sibling juices) have taken over a new corner in the health arena as a way for consumers to pack more nutrients into their day. By Amelia Levin S moothies in all forms — from classic beverage form to thicker, nut, granola and berry packed bowls — are taking the nation by storm, particularly in urban environments where a younger generation of eaters looks to improve its diets and fuel its day. In fact, smoothies now account for $5 billion in sales a year with the foodservice industry serving more than 1 million a year, according to Technomic. The Chicago-based research firm reports limited-service concepts represent about 68 percent of smoothie volume. Even the once-popular frozen yogurt cafes are evolving. Many now offer fresh fruit smoothies infused with live and active probiotic cultures. Frozen yogurt chain Red Mango, for one, changed its name to Red Mango Yogurt Café Smoothie and Juice Bar. The chain now has more than 300 locations across the U.S. with expansion plans abroad. Trending Smoothie Flavors Green smoothies, like juice, continue to lead the pack in health-inspired blender beverages. Kale, spinach, and greens in general have all increased their presence on beverage menus. Kale in particular has increased a whopping 400 percent over the past four years compared to other greens, according to Datassential's MenuTrends data. Other savory smoothie ingredients include avocado, ginger, celery, parsley, cucumber and cilantro. And add-ins like whey protein, almond butter, nuts, flax, chia and hemp seeds pack more protein in the punch. Operators often combine superfoods like maca powder and goji berries with all-natural sweeteners like dates, beets and agave nectar as well as alternative milks like almond and coconut milk and coconut water, according to Datassential. Project Juice Test Kitchen, which has expanded across California since first opening in 2015, serves a Marina Greens smoothie with cold-pressed orange and lime juices, coconut water, aloe, kale, spinach, avocado and spirulina. According to research from IBIS- World, the originally perceived high sugar content of some smoothies and juices has forced the industry to adapt its offering, which has led to more cold-press juices Photo courtesy of Real Good Juice Co.

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