Issue 48, Number 1
Written By: Jennifer Febbraro
Ever heard of the cookbook Fifty Shades of Kale? It’s not just a play on the Fifty Shades of Grey book series, it’s reflective of how popular previously hard-to-palate veggies have become in cuisine, juices and, yes, smoothies. Green smoothies are the hot new trend.
Kale is the superfood that’s packed with a high dose of folate, magnesium and vitamin C, and it’s often used as the core vegetable in green smoothies. Karen Sterling, chief marketing officer of Yogen Früz, says the veggie has become so popular that the company has created a marketing opportunity out of it. “We launched Kale-lify, which means a customer can add a 50-cent kale shot to any smoothie they order,” enthuses Sterling. “People can’t seem to get enough of it.”
Yogen Früz has even coined its entry into the green smoothie market with its Go Green With Früz campaign. It began by offering two green smoothies — a kale/almond/banana smoothie ($5.50) and an avocado/kale smoothie ($5.50). While only available in 16 ounces, Sterling says green smoothie sales have been going so well that the company plans to expand its vegetable offerings. So far, the chain’s bestselling green smoothie is the Kale Almond Banana.
Yogen Früz has a good strategy considering studies show health matters more to customers now than ever before. The “2014 Canadian Beverage Consumer Trend Report,” conducted by Chicago-based research firm Technomic Inc., confirms that the healthiness of a beverage directly impacts a customer’s likelihood of ordering it in the future. The same report shows fruit smoothies grew by 40 per cent on the top 250 limited-service restaurant menus since 2012. It also reveals consumers anticipate that two years from now, they will be 43 per cent more likely to order made-from-scratch smoothies from foodservice locations as compared to today.
That’s good news for the team at Toronto’s Thrive Organic Kitchen & Café, where Otilia Kiss, an integrative nutrition health coach, designs healthy smoothies for the restaurant. “Smoothies are a huge part of our business,” explains Kiss. “They work as medicine, so they can be customized to meet the needs of our customers.” Of course, Thrive Organic Kitchen never sacrifices taste for health. “You don’t need to,” enthuses Kiss, “because fruit can even out bitter flavours, which some vegetables contain.”
Each 16-oz. smoothie is a whopping $8, but customers are willing to pay up and return for their favourites. At the moment, the most popular is the Iron Boost. “This green smoothie packs a huge punch as an energy boost, too,” says Kiss. “It’s got banana, mango, pineapple, broccoli, kale, spinach and vitamin C, which helps the iron bind better.”
Who knew getting your seven fruits and vegetables a day could be such a cinch.