The last decade has witnessed an incredible rise in juice, smoothie, and açai bowl concepts, particularly as American consumers have turned their attention toward more nutritious and plant-forward dining options. Nekter Juice Bar was one of the first to capitalize on this movement, having opened its doors in 2010 and then franchising across the country.
Nekter cofounder and CEO Steve Schulze, who launched the brand with his wife, Alexis, after a successful career in the infomercial industry, says they wanted to create something that was easy to understand for the countless Americans who were looking to supplement their diet with juices, smoothies, and other healthful items.
"The menu's very simple," Schulze says. "And for us, I think that the goal was to make it simple and also make it taste good. I think a lot of times, when you're talking about something new like this, it's hard to understand thie green juices that people are used to, or maybe a shot of wheat grass. And so the trick really was making it affordable, making it accessible to anybody."
In the latest episode of QSR's podcast "Fast Forward," Schulze offers a look inside the company's rise and explains how a fresh product, convenient model, and investment in franchising have helped it expand to more than 120 locations.