The Mile-High City often towers above other U.S. cities when it comes to health rankings.
It could be because Denver is within easy reach of all the recreational fun that the Rocky Mountains have to offer, or perhaps the altitude and fresh air provide their own natural, built-in health benefits. According to Forbes for example, 61 percent of Denver residents are in “excellent or very good” physical health. Studies have shown cardiovascular disease is far lower than average, and residents in the area are less likely to be obese, have diabetes or asthma.
So it only make sense that the nation’s leading health and wellness QSR brand to have a presence here, and that’s exactly what Smoothie King’s franchise development team is laying the groundwork for.
“Not only is the health-conscious population in Denver a perfect match for our brand mission, but demographically, the DMA is right in our sweet spot,” said Franchise Development Manager Chad Tramuta. Smoothie King appeals to a broad range of guests, though the target demographic for the brand is 18-34 with an appeal to women with children.
In a market analysis, Smoothie King found that not only does Denver have a large population in the desired age range, roughly 15 percent are ages 25-34 and 14.4 percent are ages 35-44; but close to 35 percent of the population is married with kids.
“The data is there to support how well the Smoothie King concept will work in Denver, and we’ve also got a great blueprint in place in St. Louis, a market we would consider comparable to Denver,” continued Tramuta.
St. Louis is known for having a similar climate to Denver and similar demographics - and is also one of Smoothie King’s strongest performing markets in the nation.
Tramuta went on to say, “Our locations in St. Louis boast some of the highest average unit volumes in our system and it’s been one of the fastest awarded territories in our history - we’ve fully awarded franchise agreements for the market in just under 2 ½ years.”
A similar growth trajectory is in the making in Denver as the brand has begun early discussions with prospective franchisees.
“The greater Denver DMA is a large market and our target capacity is 45 locations,” said Tramuta. “We’re going to be highly selective in this market simply because of the enormous potential here. Specifically, we’re looking for strong multi-unit operators to make a minimum commitment of 5 stores.”
Early discussions have indicated that the first location in the market is likely to open its doors toward the end of Q1 in 2016 and the current plan would have 25-30 locations up and running within 5-6 years, and having the market at capacity within the next 8 or 9 years.
“Initially we’re working with brand new franchisees, however with the dynamic potential of this market, I do see a blend of new franchisees, some of our existing multi-unit operators opening additional locations here and corporate locations,” said Tramuta.
With the abundance of athletics in the region - not only professional sports but activities including recreational swimming, hiking, tennis, cycling and volleyball to name a few - there will be no shortage of opportunities for franchisees in the area to hit the ground running with community involvement and sponsorships, which have proven to be one of the most effective marketing tactics in other established Smoothie King markets.
Whether looking for the perfect pre- or post-workout smoothie, or a healthy alternative for after school snacks for the kids, consumers are sure to welcome Smoothie King to Denver with open arms.