Jamba Juice’s expanded fresh-juice platform is proving particularly fruitful for the smoothie chain, which posted steady gains for its July 2-ended second quarter this week despite a choppy economic environment that company officials see as the “new normal.”

James White, chair, president and chief executive of the smoothie chain’s parent Jamba Inc., said Monday that the fresh-juice platform, which has been added to 23 remodeled units, has increased sales between 3 percent and 4 percent with minimal marketing. At those units, fresh-juice sales now account for about 12 percent of the mix, he said.

While Emeryville, Calif.-based Jamba Juice has long offered juice, its new platform expands offerings to include freshly squeezed drinks and handcrafted blends incorporating whole foods such as beets, kale, carrots, cucumbers, apples and ginger. 

The move is part of an ongoing effort by Jamba to recreate the smoothie concept as a more on-trend, healthful lifestyle brand. In recent weeks, for example, the chain has added several new trendy smoothie boost offerings such as Quaker Whole Grains — a hearty scoop of finely ground oatmeal that can be added to smoothies — along with Greek yogurt and chia seeds.

Last month the chain introduced a seasonal Kona Berry Blast smoothie featuring coffee fruit, the part of the coffee plant that surrounds the bean, which offers natural energy and antioxidants. Jamba Juice also added a Kona Berry Blast Bowl featuring the “Hawaiian superfruit” juice in a bowl with soy milk, bananas, strawberries, blueberries and granola.

The fresh juices and whole-food additions offer the chain an opportunity to differentiate in an increasingly competitive market, said White.

“Everybody has a smoothie these days,” he said. “There is a significant consumer move to more fruits and vegetables, and more whole foods in their diets, and juice is one of the easier ways to deliver higher nutrition that we think consumers are now rushing to find.”

Consumers who “juice,” or use juice beverages to replace meals, are more habitual users, he noted. “It will take away the seasonality of our business as we scale.”