The juice and smoothie industry is worth an estimated $2.5 billion and Dan Titus has blended in for more than a decade.
By J. Peters, The Business Press: 10:00 PM PDT on Sunday, July 22, 2007
After founding Juice Gallery in Chino Town Square in 1994, Titus almost immediately began to shift from operating the smoothie café to starting a consulting business. “Personally I could not handle retail,” Titus said. “I sold that location and I’ve been in consulting and publishing ever since.”
Three years later, when the lease ended on the café, Titus opted not to renew and instead shifted his focus to establishing the Juice and Smoothie Association, a trade group in Chino Hills dedicated to educating consumers worldwide about smoothies. Titus published two books, “Smoothies! The Original Smoothie Book” in 2000 and “Smoothies! The Original Smoothie Book: Volume 2,” in 2004 which provide a history and overview of the industry as well as blending techniques and recipes provided by juice giants such as “Juice It Up!” and “Jamba Juice.”
“When I came out with the books there were three smoothie books on the market,” Titus said. “Now there are over 95 smoothie books on the market.”
The Juice & Smoothie Association
Along with providing information about the smoothie industry and some of its industry leaders, the Juice and Smoothie Association also ranks smoothies on a four-tier scale ranging from bronze to platinum.
“You’ve got a lot of companies putting purées in cans and calling them smoothies,” Titus said.
“Smoothies are getting a lot of press these days but most people still don’t know what a smoothie is,” Titus said. “We’ve really made an attempt since 1999 to define what smoothies are all about.”
“Bronze being what’s in a can and as we go up higher as the ingredients are fresher, platinum would be 100% fresh, all-organic [and] gold level is what the juice bars are doing.”
A gold-level smoothie consists of a combination of fresh fruit and 100% juice concentrates and is made to order using seasonal fruit.
Initially the Juice and Smoothie Association sold the information in monthly newsletters, now the newsletters are available on the company Web site and are updated on a weekly basis.
The Juice and Smoothie Association is a subsidiary of Juice Gallery Multimedia, which Titus founded to aid entrepreneurs interested in establishing themselves in the smoothie industry.
Juice Gallery Multimedia; which consists of Titus, two partners; Paul Daniels and Shelly Kelly and two rotating interns. The company sells startup concepts to prospective clients.
The concepts contain information on starting a smoothie business, including an editable business plan, manuals on how to operate a smoothie business and a window of phone and e-mail support for the first six months.
For the past seven years the company has offered an in-depth 73 page business analysis and report on the juice and smoothie bar market.
The report discusses smoothie operation, product use and additional franchising tips and analysis of top-level smoothie companies and their strategies.
The currently available reports come in two versions, a 2003-2004 edition and a more recent 2006-2007 edition.
According to the company website, some of the companies that purchase the analysis reports include Baskin-Robbins, Subway Corp., Coca-Cola Co., and Quaker Food and Beverages.
Independent smoothie companies such as Samba Juice, World Juice and Florida Juice Club have used the recipies provided by Juice Gallery.
While Titus operates the Juice and Smoothie Association to promote the industry, his parent company Juice Gallery Multimedia puts him in indirect competition with some of the companies advocated by the association.
Providing information for the industry as a whole isn’t much of an issue because the recipes provided by smoothie companies published in his two books are not available in the packets sold to potential smoothie franchisers through Juice Gallery Multimedia, Titus said.
“We remain neutral, we’re purely informational,” Titus said about the informational reports available on his Web site. “And [smoothie companies] know we rattle the saber so much that we all win.”
Long-term, Titus wants to mass-produce the smoothie books and reach a larger audience with the information the books provide.
“The goal of the association is to promote the industry worldwide,” he said.