Jamba Juice has launched a new line of kids meals intended to attract health-conscious moms and kids on the go.
The new menu was kicked off Friday morning when Jamba Juice chief executive, chairman and president James D. White rang the opening bell at NASDAQ in New York City. The event was followed by a discussion with a panel of experts, including Olympian Summer Sanders and Elizabeth M. Ward, a registered dietitian.
The new menu additions are four 9.5-ounce smoothies — Strawberries Gone Bananas, Blueberry Strawberry Blast-off, Popp’in Peach Mango, and Berry Beet It — which are intended to be paired one of two new food items: a Pizza Swirl withor a Cheesy Stuffed Pretzel. Each kids meal, which includes a smoothie and a food item, costs $4.79.
The new menu is targeted toward children ages 4 to 8, White said. And a complete kids’ meal, with a smoothie and a food item, is fewer than 500 calories, he noted.
“Jamba has always been a family favorite,” he said. “This just makes the brand more accessible. We say it’s ‘kid and mom approved.’”
Jamba worked in partnership with the Healthy Living Council to develop the kids’ menu. Each smoothie contains 2.5 servings of fruit or vegetables.
Elizabeth M. Ward, a registered dietitian, mother of three, and member of the Healthy Living Council said she felt the new kids meals filled a big need within the quick-service segment since the new smoothies have no added sugar and each new food item contains whole grain.
Sanders, who has two children, said the meals are a good option for an after-sports snack, too. “We realize that we’re all busy,” she said. “And sometimes, the next meal needs to happen right now.”
The menu additions match Emeryville, Calif.-based company’s existing branding: Creating good-for-you food that tastes good, White said. “We’re very focused on being a solution provider,” he said. “This platform will just be a complement to what we already do.”
Julie S. Washington, senior vice president and chief brand officer at Jamba Juice, said that the menu additions are also in line with the company’s strategy to add more full-meal options to the menu, not just snacks and treats, for both kids and adults.
The idea for the kids’ meals came from listening to customers, Washington said. “One of the best places we can hear the consumer speak is in the store,” she noted.
Team members and operations employees reported back to Jamba Juice management about how customers were behaving when they came into the store, Washington said. Employees found that parents wanted to share their Jamba Juice with their kids, but even the smallest size was too big for a child, and it wasn’t easy to split, she said.
So, it made perfect sense to introduce kids meals into the product mix, she said.
“My expectation is that when people come in, it should expand average check,” Washington said of the kids’ meals. “It won’t just be to expand the check, it will also expand trips.”
Jamba Juice is targeting the 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daypart with the new kids’ meals, she said. To start, the kids’ meals will only be available at Jamba Juice stores, not Jamba GO locations. However, further rollouts may happen in the future, she said.
As of October 2, Jamba Juice had 788 store locations worldwide.