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A bagel and a smoothie might not seem like a natural pairing, but Bruegger’s Bagels and Jamba Juice are looking to build a relationship that benefits both brands.
“We had done some cobranding with Caribou in the past [and] what we learned was that the power of two really good brands can make an impact on the experience of our guest,” says Bruegger’s president Paul Carolan.
Bagels and smoothies could appear to cannibalize each other’s sales at breakfast, but Carolan says that the two categories actually complement each other with their daypart coverage. Fifty-four percent of Bruegger’s sales take place in the morning, while more than half of Jamba’s sales occur in the afternoon and evening hours. Diversified offerings help both operators “get the bang out of our buck for real estate,” Carolan adds.
Beyond symbiotic sales and dayparts, the two strengthen each other’s brand recognition. Although Carolan says that the companies share many of the same customers, those who are unfamiliar with one will be introduced to it by the other.
“It just fits us really, really well: great partnership, great people to work with—very easy to work with—and I think that’s because we both have the same common goals,” Carolan says. He adds that Bruegger’s and Jamba Juice share a commitment to authenticity and handcrafted food.
The idea to cobrand first came from franchisee David Katz who had licenses for both Bruegger’s and Jamba Juice units. Katz’s Bruegger’s near the University of Connecticut was exceptionally large. After checking with corporate, he decided to maximize the space by installing a separate Jamba kiosk inside.
The cobranding was a success, and Katz installed a kiosk at a second Bruegger’s location. His setup also helped inform the design of the upcoming company-owned stores. Whereas Katz had two brand-separated POS’s with two lines facing each other, Carolan says the corporate, cobranded stores will feature a single system with two POS stations serving items from both brands. One will exclusively serve beverages (coffee, espresso, juice, and smoothies), and the other will offer bagels, sandwiches, smoothie bowls, and other foods.
“The strategy is to provide speed and convenience to our consumers,” Carolan says. “When our guests come in and say, ‘I just want something to drink,’ they can go to the beverage express line.”
Five cobranded stores are scheduled to open this fall: Two in Boston, one in Pittsburgh, one in Minneapolis, and one in Iowa. These locations will serve the full Bruegger’s menu and most of Jamba’s menu—save for overlapping products such as oatmeal. Contractually, Bruegger’s will operate as a Jamba Juice franchisee.
By Nicole Duncan