- Smoothie King has named Chris Bremer as its chief development officer. Bremer is charged with overseeing the brand’s expansion, as well as its franchise development, real estate, design and construction departments, the company announced Wednesday.
- Most recently, Bremer served as chief development officer at Nothing Bundt Cakes, where he helped the brand double in size, leading to its sale to a private equity firm.
- This appointment comes on the heels of Smoothie King’s recent agreements to expand into the Upper Midwest and Central Atlantic regions, as well as Colorado and Texas.
Smoothie King’s unit expansion plans come as the brand experiences solid systemwide sales growth. Its $602 million in systemwide sales in 2021 represented a 25% increase over 2020, according to a press release. The company also opened over 100 units in 2021.
Bremer’s deep foodservice experience could bolster Smoothie King’s continued growth. He has experience working with operators to develop strategies to impact topline revenue and bottomline profit and optimizing operations at multi-unit franchise organizations, according to the press release.
In addition to Nothing Bundt Cakes, Bremer previously served as the development director of TGI Fridays, overseeing the Asia Pacific market. Prior to that, he was vice president of global franchise development at Chili’s parent company Brinker International, where he helped expand Brinker from 90 locations to nearly 400 in over 38 countries.
Unit sales at Smoothie King are also growing alongside systemwide sales. In April, the company announced a record average unit volumes of $609,753, with the brand’s top 25% of stores reporting over $907,000 in average unit volumes. Higher unit volumes tend to drive franchisees to add more stores and in Q1, Smoothie King signed 51 new store commitments.
Competition in the smoothie category seems to be intensifying, however, and Smoothie King isn’t the only brand experiencing material growth. Tropical Smoothie, for instance, opened its 1,100th location in June and signed 139 franchise agreements during the first half of 2022. Jamba’s growth has been fueled by parent company Focus Brands’ nontraditional strategy. Further, its Jamba by Blendid robotic kiosks test has expanded, with plans to open 10 additional locations by the end of this year, according to QSR Magazine.
Still, there could be room for all to grow, as the global smoothie market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of over 10% through 2027, according to Market Data Forecast. Currently, Smoothie King has over 1,300 locations. The company is seeking both single and multi-unit development opportunities to support its growth plans.