Photo: Richard B. Levine / Alamy
Jamba Juice announced its fourth quarter earnings last week, and in the process, executives crowed about the chain's plan to expand its menu further beyond its signature smoothies and predicted there will be 50 to 70 new franchises opening by the end of 2011.
If you're like us, your first question on hearing that is: How the heck did Jamba Juice survive the recession?
Don't get us wrong. We've been known to hanker after an original Mango-a-go-go every so often. But in an era of near-nationwide household belt-tightening, it seems most people would have decided to forego all those post-workout Acai Super-Antioxidant smoothies with a shot of wheatgrass (and forego the gym membership to boot).
Well, a lot of people did, apparently, but not enough for all those blenders to stop whirring entirely. According to Nation's Restaurant News, Jamba Juice reported a nearly $17 million loss for 2010, but that was better than the almost $24 million loss of the year before.
As perhaps befits executives of a chain whose trademark product names include such relentlessly upbeat sobriquets as "Thrivin'" (Mango) and (Strawberry) "Alive," they're not letting a couple years of multimillion-dollar losses get them down.
Jamba Juice is getting ready to take its eight-flavor line of frozen yogurt national after testing it last year in Northern California. Customers can top their "Whirl'ns" frozen-yogurt treats with fresh fruit and other toppings.
The chain also recently unveiled its one-cup "Ideal Meals," its sort of Johnny-come-lately take on the whole granola-yogurt-and-fruit cup trend. Add to that plans to introduce a pre-bottled line of energy drinks under the company's name, and it looks like Jamba may be thrivin' indeed.
- Ever wondered how many calories are in a Jamba Juice Peanut Butter Moo'd smoothie? Find out at Thatsfit.com.
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