Here we look at the fastest-growing ingredients in smoothies on Canadian menus over the latest two-year period.
Leafy green vegetables are gaining swift momentum, with spinach and kale rising by 47.4% and 38.5%, respectively. With more than four-fifths of consumers (81%) reporting that they find beverages with a full serving of vegetables healthy and almost a third (32%) willing to pay slightly or significantly more for them, operators are spotlighting these two veggies in smoothies, often together or with other superfoods. For example, Yogen Fruz offers an Avocado Kale smoothie. Restaurants should continue to roll out nutrient-rich veggie-packed smoothies, highlighting popular superfoods or nutritional components in the menu item name.
Whey, the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production, also grew by 10.5%, catering to the growing demand for protein-rich, energy-filled beverages. Available as chocolate- or vanilla-flavoured powders, whey supplies the missing protein content that common vegetables and fruits lack. By incorporating whey, operators are essentially curating a “complete package” smoothie—one that is filled with antioxidants, vitamins and protein. For instance, Booster Juice menus its Banango Burst smoothie, spotlighting mangos, banana and whey protein. Energy-rich smoothies are certainly resonating with consumers, since over a quarter (27%) are willing to pay slightly or significantly more for beverages that are high in protein.
Pineapple and orange juice also increased by 8.8% and 6.9%, respectively. Restaurants are featuring pineapple as both blended fruit pieces and as a juice, commonly pairing it with other tropical ingredients, such as coconut water. And orange juice’s sweet and slightly tart tastes are frequently paired with apple juice. When marketing juices in smoothies, operators should emphasize purity, as over a third of consumers (38%) would be more likely to purchase a beverage if it contains 100% fruit juice.