Jamba Juice opens a new Innovation bar in Pasadena, California.


Could avocado and sea salt toast become a menu item at Jamba Juice?

That’s one of the ideas explored in a new Innovation Bar unit opened by Emeryville, Calif.-Based Jamba Inc. earlier this month, which hosted an inaugural celebration on Thursday.

Dave Pace, CEO and President of Jamba Juice, described the unit as a learning lab where the chain will test various menu options and design elements that could be deployed in the system.

“It’s an opportunity to push the boundaries and try new things,” he said. “It’s more of an interactive or educational experience.

Jamba Inc. opened a new Innovation Bar unit earlier this month. Photo: Jamba juice

The Innovation Bar’s unique format is vastly different from most Jamba Juice locations at around three times the size, with an interactive juice bar where people can sit and watch their drinks brew. A large seating area is Wi-Fi compatible and there is a patio.

Customers can order flights of cold-pressed juices or bar snacks, like pistachios, or that avocado toast with sea salt, a bowl of acai, or a homemade cashew milk blend.

One of the menu items the chain is working on is cold-pressed juice, which is available as a ready-to-drink product. But Pace said the company is reworking that offering. “We didn’t set up the distribution properly,” he said.

The décor of the Innovation Bar is vibrant and colorful, with a fruit-inspired bas-relief sculpture on the wall incorporated into digital displays.

“People are going to come in and say ‘wow’ I didn’t think it was a Jamba,” Pace said.

The Innovation Bar is one of some 68 units operated by the company. Photo: Jamba juice

But don’t expect to see more units like this, Pace said. While some design elements may translate into the rest of the system, this is not a format that will be offered to franchisees as a package.

The Innovation Bar is one of 68 units operated by the company, which has steadily re-franchised the chain to 885 units over the past two years.

The Innovation Bar is also designed to support Jamba Juice’s efforts to grow as a young, contemporary brand that inspires healthy living, the company said.

Jamba Inc. said earlier this year that the company plans to move its headquarters to Frisco, Texas, later in 2016 in an effort to cut costs, retain talent, and provide a more central location for the company. market expansion.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter @livetodineout

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