Comparing Franchise Brands in the Health-Focused Food Industry
Comparing Franchise Brands in the Health-Focused Food Industry

Breaking down the number of locations and FDD Items 7 and 19 for some of today’s leading health-focused food brands.

While fast-food brands remain popular—and profitable—franchise concepts, Americans are becoming more health-conscious by the day. With increasing interest in gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan options and more, the time is ripe to consider investing in a health-focused food franchise option. 

More good news here is that there are a variety of such concepts from which to choose. From salads to smoothies to acai bowls, the options by which to appeal to health-conscious diners—particularly millennials—are endless. Here are 10 franchise brands in the health-focused food industry that are looking to help people live their best lives. 

CoreLife Eatery

Locations: 54

Item 7: $786,000 to $1.25 million

Item 19: Average unit volume of 1.7 million (2017)

This relatively young brand got its start in Syracuse, New York in May 2015. CoreLife Eatery boasts hearty bowls that are filled with “greens, grains and bone broths,” and any chicken and steak included are free of antibiotics and hormones. The brand is seeking multi-unit development partners for the U.S, with opportunities available in every state except for Michigan and Utah. Prospective franchisees should have a minimum liquidity of $300,000.


Locations: 24

Item 7: $282,688 and $413,768 

Item 19: Average unit volume of $1.1 million (2017)

This chain was founded in 2013 by two mothers who wanted more on-the-go healthy eating options. The brand offers a variety of menu items, including smoothies, bowls and wraps, soups, juices, acai bowls, cold brews and elixirs. Grabbagreen started franchising in 2015 and prides itself on having a franchise development team that consists of industry food veterans and younger restaurant professionals who all understand the changing times and demands for healthier eating options. Grabbagreen requires prospective franchisees to have a net worth of $500,000 and $150,000 in liquid assets, and entered a new phase of growth in 2018 by joining Kahala Brands.

Maui Wowi Hawaiian 

Locations: 450-plus

Item 7: $85,000 to $350,000

Item 19: Not available

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, this brand was clearly ahead of its time when it began offering Hawaiian coffee and smoothies back in 1982. The brand takes the concepts of ‘ohana’ (family) and Aloha very seriously and wants its franchisees to enjoy a solid business model while also having a work-life balance. To that effect, Maui Wowi has several different franchise models, including food trucks and concession trailers. The brand also maintains an active blog for its franchise system that explores relevant topics such as growing a mobile business. Franchise prospects need to have a minimum of $50,000 in liquid capital and a minimum of $100,000 in total net worth.

NrGize Lifestyle Cafe

Locations: 79

Item 7: $98,650 to $341,050

Item 19: Not available

Owned by Kahala Brands, NrGize targets consumers who want something healthy and delicious to complement their workout activities, providing products from smoothies to meal replacements. Prospective franchisees are required to have a net worth of $250,000 and liquid capital of $100,000. Those who do not meet the financial or operational criteria required to run a franchise with the brand are allowed to have a partner who owns at least 50 percent of the organization. 


Locations: 100-plus

Item 7: $415,273 to $596,455

Item 19: Average unit volume near $900,000

Founded in 1986 in New Jersey, Saladworks serves grain bowls, signature salads and wraps. Saladworks opened its first international location in 2013, and today has a presence in Singapore, Kuwait and more. Protected territories are given to traditional locations, and the brand’s target growth areas include major metro markets, college campuses and airport and hospital food courts. The brand requires franchisees to have a net worth of $350,000 and at least $125,000 in liquid assets. Active duty military and veterans receive 50% off of the initial franchise fee.

Smoothie Factory

Locations: 40-plus

Item 7: $227,000 to $320,700

Item 19: Not available

This smoothie brand was founded in 1996 by taekwondo Olympian athlete James Villasana. In addition to smoothies, the brand offers juices and energy shots that are crafted to fit the dietary and fitness needs of individual consumers. Benefits of owning a Smoothie Factory franchise include flexible store formats, centralized purchasing and distribution management and continual improvement to the franchise system. Smoothie Factory is currently offering two franchise incentives, including a 50 percent discount on the franchise fee for military veterans who open traditional stores. 

Smoothie King

Locations: 950-plus

Item 7: $263,550 to $844,485

Item 19: Average unit volume of $681,724 for the top quartile of franchisees

Smoothie King got its start in 1973 and became the first smoothie franchise in the U.S. by 1989. Smoothie King received the No. 1 ranking among juice bar franchises in Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise 500 in 2018, ranking No. 35 overall that same year. The benefits of franchising with Smoothie King include minimal waste, no required cooking and lower labor costs. The brand saw same-store sales rise 9.56% in 2018 thanks to renewed brand positioning.


Locations: 32

Item 7: $174,800 to $249,500

Item 19: Not available

This acai bowl franchise believes in keeping things simplewhen it comes to both its ingredient list and its operations. SoBol’s menu offers gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly options; in addition to acai bowls, the brand offers pitaya bowls, green bowls, waffles and fruit smoothies. While the brand is sold out in its home market of Long Island, New York, the brand is looking to expand nationwide and is currently looking to expand into the southeastern U.S. to capitalize on its more than 40 new units in development. SoBol requires prospective franchisees to have $125,000 in liquid assets.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Locations: 730

Item 7: $222,095 to $569,335

Item 19: Average net revenue of $938,500

This Florida-based smoothie brand first opened in 1997 before beginning to franchise a year later. Tropical Smoothie Cafe offers flatbreads, wraps, quesadillas and more, while its “Grab-N-Go Bundles” and catering options appeal to group diners—and to franchisees looking for multiple revenue streams. The brand currently has available territories in every state besides Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma and Utah. The brand boasts easy-to-operate establishments that do not require deep fryers, grills, hooding systems or ovens. Franchise candidates should have $125,000 in liquid assets and a minimum net worth of $350,000.

Vitality Bowls

Locations: 70

Item 7: $170,100 to $604,000 

Item 19: Average unit volume of $1.2 million

Founded in 2011 by husband-and-wife team Roy and Tara Gilad, Vitality Bowls provides healthy eating options to consumers and a prime franchising opportunity to entrepreneurs. The only market that the brand is currently sold out in is the Bay Area. Ideal franchise candidates should be health conscious, customer service-oriented and have management experience.