For Steve and Alexis Schulze, it seems like just yesterday when they opened their first Nekter Juice Bar in 2010 yet on Saturday, July 8, the brand’s co-founders will celebrate the opening of the healthy lifestyle brand’s 200th U.S. location in Kirkland, Washington. To show their appreciation to their loyal guests, who have made the brand one of the most successful, next-generation juice bar concepts, Nekter will give away 200,000 free smoothies nationwide on July 8. Guests can simply enter a code in Nekter’s award-winning app on July 8 for a free, 16-ounce smoothie of their choice to be redeemed that day. That code will be shared on Nekter’s Instagram account, @Nekterjuicebar, at 8:00 a.m. Eastern / 5:00 a.m. Pacific to kick off the celebration.
“We are incredibly proud of this milestone, not only from a growth perspective, but also because it validates and underscores what we set out to do with Nekter Juice Bar – to help people on their individual paths to wellness,” says Steve Schulze, co-founder and CEO, Nekter Juice Bar. “Alexis and I had a humble dream but now as we see it blossom across the country, we are more energized to grow and bring health and wellness to even more communities. We also would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the incredibly hard work of our team and our dedicated franchise family, who have all contributed so much to the brand all these years.”
According to Steve Schulze, growing from 150 locations to 200 is a huge step for any brand. “You really learn who you are, what you can do, and more importantly, what you can’t do. We’ve seen too many restaurant brands, even some of our competitors, grow too quickly, or too sporadically, and unfortunately, they crash and burn.
Today, with approximately 330 locations open or in development across 26 states, Nekter Juice Bar, on the other hand, has leveraged a dependable and proven business model the past 13 years with franchisee profitability and collaboration at its core. That combined with simple and straightforward, cost-effective operations, efficient supply chain strategies, and robust marketing have created a sustainable brand that continues to promote long-term success for its franchise partners. The result is one of the category’s highest top quartile average store sales of $913,314, per Nekter’s 2023 Franchise Disclosure Statement.
Also driving franchisee success is the fact that 31 of Nekter Juice Bar locations are corporate-owned, effectively making Nekter Juice Bar its largest “franchisee.” These locations serve as fertile testing grounds before new menu items, equipment or other operational changes are introduced and implemented across the system.
For example, this past May, Nekter teamed up with the popular cosmetic brand Too Faced to create a limited-edition smoothie that became Nekter’s most successful limited time offering (LTO) smoothie, surpassing all of Nekter’s expectations with product demand far exceeding initial projections. The promotion’s success was attributed to the smoothie’s exceptional flavor appeal and to the strong collaboration between the two brands, plus a robust and integrated marketing campaign including in-store presence and social and digital amplification supported by both brands. In fact, Nekter saw increases of 21% in new Instagram followers and 25% in profile visits from the previous month. Moreover, the healthy living brand enjoyed more than 2 million organic views or engagements on social channels related to the collaboration.
“People are continuing to raise the stakes when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, increasingly demanding authenticity and truthfulness, and that’s where Nekter delivers real value for its guests,” said Alexis Schulze. “Our mission has always been to support our guests’ paths to wellness through a menu rooted in nutrient-rich foods that can really make a difference in people’s lives, and we have never veered from that vision.”
“We chose to become a part of the Nekter family because we believe in the mission of providing healthy and delicious food options that are affordable and accessible to all,” says Kyle Victor, Nekter Juice Bar franchisee and owner of Nekter’s 200th location in Kirkland, Washington. “As adults, we’ve become increasingly aware of, and passionate about, the importance of eating a healthy diet, filled with whole ingredients. Juices, bowls and smoothies offer such an easy and delicious way to combine whole fruits, veggies, proteins and other superfoods into an easy and fun to consume meal or snack. We love the idea of ‘total ingredient transparency’ that we offer at Nekter. What you see on the menu board is exactly what you get, no hidden fillers or concentrates. As a Nekter franchisee, it’s also fun to take part in the constant innovation and experimentation that occurs with the menu, always looking for fun new ways to ‘Live Life to the Freshest’!”