Jamba Juice to roll out smoothie robot kiosks
Jamba, the retailer of health beverages and smoothie drinks, has announced the opening of its second co-branded robotic smoothie kiosk in partnership with Blendid.
The new Jamba-bot will be in Stonewood Center in Downey, CA, a shopping mall located in the broader Los Angeles metro area. The first co-branded kiosk by Jamba/Blendid, which opened in late 2020, is located in a Walmart on the outskirts of Sacramento. By opening its second location in a shopping mall, it looks like the health drink operator of nearly a thousand locations is trying out new types of venues in which it can put unattended retail bots to serve up healthy beverages. As hinted at in the release, it won’t be long before the company drops a smoothie bot in a gym or college campus:
Building on the successful 2020 opening of the first Jamba by Blendid in Dixon, CA, this is the next step in the effort to open Jamba by Blendid kiosks in additional types of venues – from big box retailers and shopping malls to gyms, hospitals, and college campuses.
Jamba operates using a franchise model, one which it plans to continue even as it enters the robotic vending era.
“After a successful launch of our first Jamba by Blendid kiosk, we’re excited to open a second test kiosk at the Stonewood Center, bringing freshly blended smoothies to mall shoppers,” said Geoff Henry, president of Jamba in the news release. “Jamba by Blendid provides an opportunity for our local franchisees to make smoothies more accessible to Jamba fans, while leveraging the latest in technology to deliver contactless food.”
With the company sticking to its primary franchise business model to fund expansion of the Jamba-bot, the possibility of a smoothie robot becomes an exciting new option for franchise entrepreneurs. Opening up potential new high-traffic venues like gyms, campuses, or even airports gives existing franchisees a new way to expand in the same city without cannibalizing their existing storefronts. It also gives them an accelerated pathway to open a location that doesn’t put them through the same hiring and construction headaches that often accompany a traditional franchise location.
It's part of a big picture thought process; Jamba is owned by franchise store conglomerate Focus Brands, which also owns Schlotzsky’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, and Aunt Annie’s among others. Robots and food, it' becoming a thing!