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Jamba Juice dusts off its juicers

jamba juice, green juice, juice
(Photo: Jamba Juice)

Jamba Juice, the chain best known for its frozen fruit and yogurt smoothies, is making space next to the freezer for fresh veggies and fruit.

The company plans to introduce fresh juices to more than 500 of its stores across the country, by June 2, including locations in New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Dallas, and Seattle.

Jamba Juice started offering the juices in a bunch of California shops earlier this year—and because it was so successful, they’re rolling it out across the country. The juices, made on the spot, not cold-pressed, include a Great Greens with apple, cucumber, baby spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and chia seeds, a Carrot Cayenne with carrots, apples, ginger, and cayenne pepper, and more. Flavors that sound surprisingly sophisticated.

With this push towards fresh, the company appears to be returning to its roots. Jamba Juice, founded in 1990 as the “Juice Club” was one of the first of its kind at the time. But over the years, it started to become synonymous with sugar-filled smoothies, not health-boosting beverages, alkalinity, or all the things green juice has come to represent.

jamba juice, juice, green juice
The Kale Orange Power, a new juice at Jamba. (Photo: Jamba Juice)

As part of the new (old?) direction, all Jamba employees will get an MBA, a “Master of Blending Arts” (not to be confused with that other kind of MBA), says a press release. The training program teaches workers about the different juice blends and the nutrition factor of fresh versus frozen. Jamba says they’ll be sourcing more local produce to meet the demand for fresh juice, too.

All of this could be good for a lot of juice newbies, and those without Nutribullet obsessions. With Jamba Juice’s reach (they currently have more than 800 stores) not only can they provide elixirs to tons of people nationwide, but also at prices lower than many of their fresh juice competitors. (A 16-ounce green juice at Jamba will run you $7.61, compared to cold-pressed bottled brands in New York that run closer to $10.) Jamba does not claim to use organic produce, which keeps costs down.

Jamba Juice isn’t the first frozen franchise to add fresh juices to its menus. The fro-yo chain, Red Mango, recently added them to its menu, too. And this goes to show that there’s demand for the good stuff.

It’s an idea that Jamba Juice seems to be trumpeting. Their new website proclaims, “the best things in life are juiced,” so we hope to see support of that and lots of rinds, stalks, and cores behind their counters. —Molly Gallagher

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