The Robeks smoothie franchise has seen a massive surge in inquiries from potential franchisees, with the number of people asking about opening a franchise up 1,900% since the beginning of 2012.
"We have been getting a lot of calls and emails over the last year, and we have a full pipeline of people who are ready and eager to open stores," said Robeks Chief Development Officer Mike Reynolds.
The 20-fold increase in inquiries has thrown the 18-year-old brand back into expansion mode. Robeks, which was founded in Los Angeles in 1996, has about 100 stores nationwide and has locations in California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Connecticut, Missouri, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and will soon be expanding into New York and Pennsylvania.
"More entrepreneurs have recognized that Americans are crying out for healthier food options that are still fast and convenient," Reynolds said. "Smoothie franchises meet the needs of consumers perfectly. You can come in with your whole family and be on your way a couple of minutes later with a meal that is chock-full of fruits and vegetables."
There is a huge market for healthier foods. According to the National Marketing Institute's 2012 Health & Wellness Report, 17% of Americans are extremely proactive about seeking out healthy dining options and are willing to pay more for it; 18% want to eat better but are more price-sensitive; and 21% want to make healthy choices but are busy and want grab-and-go convenience. Together, these three groups make up 56% of the consumers who power the $660 billion restaurant industry -- and entrepreneurs are finally rushing to serve them.
Robeks is the premium brand within the smoothie industry. The smoothie franchise uses whole fruits and vegetables that are either fresh or frozen to deliver the best possible nutrition, and it doesn't use any artificial ingredients, preservatives or flavorings. Its menu is designed to cater to the full range of healthy eaters, accommodating avid nutritionists, athletes and people on restricted diets, as well as people who are simply looking for something tasty, healthy and fast.
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