Does Tropical Smoothie make acai bowls?

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a popular national fast casual restaurant chain known for its smoothies, wraps, and flatbreads. In recent years, acai bowls have become an increasingly popular menu item at many smoothie and juice bar chains. Acai bowls feature acai berry puree blended with other fruits and toppings like granola, fruit, and nuts. With tropical fruit smoothies as a core part of their menu, some customers wonder if Tropical Smoothie Cafe has jumped on the acai bowl trend.

What is an acai bowl?

Acai bowls originate from Brazil, where the acai berry is grown. The acai berry is a small, deep purple fruit that grows on acai palm trees in Central and South America. Acai packs an antioxidant punch and has gained popularity as a “superfood” in recent years.

To make an acai bowl, acai berries are blended into a thick puree or smoothie bowl base. The puree often contains other fruit like bananas and strawberries for extra sweetness and thickness. The blended acai is then topped with a variety of mix-ins like:

  • Granola
  • Fresh fruit like bananas, berries, mango
  • Dried fruit like coconut flakes, raisins, cranberries
  • Nuts and seeds like walnuts, pecans, chia seeds, hemp seeds

The toppings add crunch, flavor, and texture to contrast with the creamy blended acai base. Acai bowls provide nutrients from the variety of fruits, toppings, and the antioxidant-rich acai berries. They are also filling yet healthier than many traditional breakfast or snack options.

Does Tropical Smoothie Cafe sell acai bowls?

Currently, acai bowls are not on the menu at any Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations. Tropical Smoothie offers many blended fruit and yogurt smoothies, along with oatmeal bowls and flatbreads for breakfast. But an acai-based bowl has not made it onto their nationwide menu.

Some Tropical Smoothie Cafes may offer limited time acai bowl specials or test items depending on the individual franchise location. But as of November 2023, there is no permanent acai bowl item being promoted on their menus.

Why doesn’t Tropical Smoothie offer acai bowls?

There are a few potential reasons why acai bowls are not part of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe menu:

Focus on signature smoothie menu

Tropical Smoothie has an extensive menu of blended fruit and yogurt smoothies in many tropical-inspired flavors. These fruit-based smoothies are their specialty and claim to fame. They may have decided to keep focus on smoothies rather than expanding too much into other formats like acai bowls.

Ingredients not in supply chain

The acai berry has a short shelf life and can be difficult to import and supply consistently across a large chain. Tropical Smoothie may have determined it was not cost effective or operationally feasible to add acai products to their supply chain and keep them consistently stocked.

No customer demand

Tropical Smoothie may have tested acai bowls but found there was not enough customer interest and demand to justify adding them to the permanent menu. With smoothies as their staple item, customers may not have been looking for another blended fruit option like an acai bowl.

Too much competition

The acai bowl trend has already been tapped into by competitors like Jamba Juice, Juice It Up, and other regional smoothie chains. Tropical Smoothie may have decided there were enough acai bowl options at competitors and they did not need to make it a menu focus.

Are there any Tropical Smoothie locations with acai bowls?

As of November 2023, there are no company-wide acai bowl offerings at Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations. However, individual franchises may test out limited time acai bowl flavors or have added their own acai items to the local menu.

Some examples of Tropical Smoothie franchises that have offered acai bowls include:

Tropical Smoothie Cafe (Camp Hill, PA)

This location in Camp Hill, PA advertised an Island Green Bowl made with acai, spirulina, pineapple, mango, spinach, and kale on their Facebook page in August 2022. However, it appears to have been a temporary summertime special rather than an ongoing menu item.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe (Port St. Lucie, FL)

A Tropical Smoothie franchise in Port St. Lucie, FL promoted a new acai bowl flavor on Instagram in July 2021. They advertised a Dragon Fruit Acai Bowl blended with dragon fruit, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. Once again, this seemed to be a limited time offer rather than a permanent menu addition.

Tropical Smoothie (Conway, SC)

This South Carolina Tropical Smoothie location lists a Paradise Acai Bowl on their online ordering menu. It features acai, strawberries, banana, and almond milk topped with granola, bananas, strawberries, and honey. This appears to be an acai bowl option added to the menu exclusively at this franchise location.

So while not a chainwide menu item, some individual Tropical Smoothie owners have tested offering acai bowls, at least for a short time. Check your local Tropical Smoothie store to see if they happen to offer any specialty acai bowls not on the main national menu.

Does Tropical Smoothie Cafe sell acai products?

Along with acai bowls, Tropical Smoothie also does not use acai berry puree as an ingredient in their classic smoothie recipes. So you won’t find it mixed into their menu items. However, some locations do offer acai-based products and supplements for individual sale.

Products that some Tropical Smoothie Cafes have been spotted selling include:

  • Sambazon Original Acai smoothie packs
  • Bossa Nova Acai juice or puree packets
  • Sunfood Acai powder packets
  • Navitas Organics Acai powder packets

These are third-party acai products, typically sold in single-serve packs, that customers can purchase individually and mix at home. Availability likely varies by location. But if you are looking for acai products, check the retail shelves at your local Tropical Smoothie.

How does Tropical Smoothie’s menu compare to competitors?

Many smoothie chains similar to Tropical Smoothie Cafe have embraced the acai bowl trend on their menus. Here is how Tropical Smoothie stacks up against key competitors in offering acai bowls:

Chain Offers Acai Bowls?
Jamba Juice Yes
Smoothie King Yes
Juice It Up Yes
Robeks Yes
Planet Smoothie No
Tropical Smoothie Cafe No

As shown, major competitors like Jamba Juice, Smoothie King, and Juice It Up have incorporated acai bowls onto their menus. Regional chains like Robeks also offer acai bowls.

Planet Smoothie seems to also not offer acai bowls, instead focusing on fruit and yogurt-based smoothies like Tropical Smoothie. But among the largest national smoothie chains, Tropical Smoothie Cafe currently stands out for not having an acai bowl menu item.

Should Tropical Smoothie start offering acai bowls?

There are good arguments on both sides of whether Tropical Smoothie Cafe should add acai bowls to their permanent menu:

Reasons to add acai bowls:

  • Acai bowls are a growing consumer trend that competitors have successfully added
  • Would attract new health-conscious customers looking for acai bowls
  • Lowers barriers for current customers who want acai bowls
  • Can be positioned as a premium, nutritious menu option
  • Complements their smoothies and provides a new texture and format

Reasons to not add acai bowls:

  • May take focus away from signature smoothie menu where they excel
  • Additional operational work to source acai and train employees on a new menu item
  • Unproven demand from current customer base
  • High competition in the acai bowl space from established brands

On balance, the growing popularity of acai bowls likely warrants Tropical Smoothie testing them as a limited time offer to gauge customer response. But there are reasonable arguments on both sides for and against bringing acai bowls into their permanent menu.


While acai bowls are offered at most competing smoothie chains, they are currently not an option on the menu at Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations. Individual franchises may test out temporary acai bowl specials due to the growing popularity of this breakfast and snack trend. But there is no company-wide acai bowl item available across all Tropical Smoothie stores.

Fans of acai bowls hoping to see them added to the permanent menu at Tropical Smoothie Cafes may be disappointed. However, customers can request acai-based products or check if their local store has any off-menu acai bowl specials worth trying out. With competitors embracing the acai bowl craze, there is a case for Tropical Smoothie Cafe to test adding acai bowls in the future to keep up with consumer demand.

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