Jamba Juice launches next phase of growth


Pronouncing the turnaround complete, Jamba Juice officials on Monday outlined a second phase of the smoothie chain’s ongoing plan to accelerate its growth into a global health-and-wellness brand.

James White, chief executive of Jamba Juice parent Jamba Inc., told Nation’s Restaurant News Monday that the company has achieved all the goals its set three years ago with its BLEND turnaround plan.

The plan’s goals included transforming the chain into a more franchised brand through refranchising; bringing more food offerings to the menu that have built same-store sales across all dayparts; building a retail presence with branded consumer packaged goods, or CPG products; and initiating international growth.

The Emeryville, Calif.-based chain said company-store same-store sales for fiscal 2011 will likely be on the high end of the predicted increase of between 2 percent and 4 percent.

For fiscal 2012, the company is projecting same-store sales increases between 3 percent and 4 percent for company-owned stores, White said, with 40 to 50 new locations scheduled to open in the United States, as well as 10 to 15 in international locations.

This year, however, Jamba Juice will face a new competitor as Starbucks Corp. opens the first of its new juice bar concepts.

The Seattle-based coffeehouse giant last year acquired the Evolution Fresh juice brand, saying a new juice chain concept would debut later this year, in addition to its ongoing growth of retail juice products.

White has said he welcomes the competitive challenge, noting it will raise awareness for the Jamba Juice and the health-and-wellness category as a whole.

Calling the next phase BLEND Plan 2.0, White outlined several initiatives scheduled for 2012 to take Jamba Juice to the next level:

Become a top-of-mind brand: Jamba plans to simplify and sharpen its marketing message to better clarify value and make the brand more relevant, White said.