Smoothie King is a popular smoothie chain with over 1000 locations across the United States. The company was founded in 1973 in Kenner, Louisiana and has grown to become one of the largest smoothie chains in the country. But what states actually have Smoothie King locations?
States with the Most Smoothie King Locations
The states with the most Smoothie King locations are:
- Texas – 172 locations
- Louisiana – 68 locations
- Florida – 61 locations
- Georgia – 52 locations
- Alabama – 38 locations
Texas has by far the most Smoothie King locations of any state, with over 170 stores statewide. This isn’t surprising given Texas’ size and population. Louisiana, where Smoothie King originated, comes in second with 68 locations. After Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama round out the top 5 states with the most Smoothie Kings.
Complete List of States with Smoothie King Locations
Here is a complete list of the 30 states that have at least one Smoothie King location as of November 2023:
|Number of Locations
As the table shows, beyond the top 5 states, Smoothie King has locations scattered across much of the southern and eastern U.S. Notable states where Smoothie King doesn’t currently have any stores are New England states like Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Smoothie King also lacks a presence in the Midwest and Western states outside of Arizona, California, and Nevada.
States with Only 1 Smoothie King Location
There are a handful of states that have just a single Smoothie King location. These states are:
- West Virginia
- New York
West Virginia and New York are the only states that currently have just one Smoothie King location open. West Virginia’s lone Smoothie King is in Charleston, while New York’s is in the Bronx. For these states, Smoothie King has minimal presence compared to Smoothie King strongholds like Texas and Louisiana that have over 60 locations.
Notable States Without Smoothie King Locations
While Smoothie King has over 1000 total locations, there are still quite a few states where the chain doesn’t have any presence. Some of the most notable states without a Smoothie King include:
- California – Despite being the most populous state, California only has 4 Smoothie Kings in southern areas like San Diego.
- New England States – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut lack Smoothie Kings.
- Midwest States – Outside of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio, most Midwest states don’t have Smoothie Kings, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and the Dakotas.
- Pacific Northwest – Oregon and Washington have no Smoothie King locations.
- Alaska & Hawaii – Smoothie King has not expanded to Alaska or Hawaii yet.
Clearly, Smoothie King still has plenty of room for expansion in western, midwestern, and northeastern states. However, the company’s focus has clearly been on southern states so far, which is where most of its locations are concentrated.
Why Smoothie King is More Popular in the South
There are a few key reasons why Smoothie King has gained more popularity and locations in southern states compared to other regions:
- Originated in the South – Smoothie King started in Louisiana, which gave it an early foothold in the southern market.
- Warm climate – The warm southern climate lends itself well to smoothie consumption year-round.
- Health trends – Southern states like Texas and Florida have seen rising interest in health food and beverages.
- Strong franchisee networks – Smoothie King’s franchise model thrives on having connected, clustered networks of franchisees, which are strongest across the South.
- Lower costs – Real estate and other costs for launching new locations may be more affordable in southern markets.
With its Louisiana roots and concentration of franchisees across the South, Smoothie King has found its strongest market in the southern U.S. However, competitors like Jamba Juice demonstrate that smoothie chains can thrive across all types of markets, geographic regions, and climates. As smoothies continue growing in popularity nationwide, Smoothie King may look to expand more aggressively into untapped markets across the Midwest, Northeast, and West Coast.
Growth Potential for Smoothie King in New Markets
Despite Smoothie King’s southern stronghold, there is still enormous potential for growth for the company in markets across the U.S. Some areas with particular potential include:
- California – As the most populous state, California offers tremendous potential for Smoothie King’s expansion. Major metro markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and their suburbs could support dozens of new locations.
- Northeastern states – Dense urban centers across New England and the Mid-Atlantic represent untapped markets for Smoothie King, where locally-owned smoothie shops currently dominate.
- Midwestern cities – Midwest urban centers like Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cleveland etc. lack Smoothie King locations but have growing middle class populations interested in smoothies.
- Pacific Northwest – Health-conscious cities like Seattle and Portland have no Smoothie Kings yet, but likely have pent-up demand. The cooler climate may feature more hot smoothie options.
- Large college towns – Smaller metro areas with big universities are ideal targets, giving Smoothie King exposure to students seeking quick, healthy meals.
Based on Smoothie King’s current geographic clustering, a smart growth strategy would be to identify one or two anchor franchisees to spearhead expansion in each new target market. Building clusters of locations would help increase brand awareness and make each location more profitable.
Challenges Smoothie King Faces Expanding to New Markets
Though new markets represent major growth opportunities, Smoothie King also faces some challenges expanding beyond its southern U.S. roots. Key challenges include:
- Low brand awareness – In many untapped markets, Smoothie King simply lacks visibility and consumers are more familiar with brands like Jamba Juice.
- Finding qualified franchisees – Launching new locations hinges on signing deals with proven, qualified franchisees in each local market.
- Unfamiliarity with regional tastes – To succeed, Smoothie King will need to customize its menu for local flavor preferences in each market.
- Higher costs – Realty rates and operating costs may be higher in places like California and the Northeast.
- Fierce competition – Markets like California already have popular regional chains like Robeks that Smoothie King will have to compete against.
Expanding beyond core southern markets won’t come without its hurdles. But by taking a smart, calculated approach to choosing new markets to enter and franchisees to partner with, Smoothie King is still well-positioned for steady, sustainable nationwide growth.
The Future of Smoothie King’s Nationwide Expansion
Smoothie King has built an incredibly successful brand and store footprint across its southern stronghold. But expanding smoothly across the U.S. will come down to strategic market selection, finding the right franchise partners, localized menu offerings, and ultimately building consumer awareness market-by-market.
The smoothie category is only growing, and Smoothie King already competes strongly with leader Jamba Juice in their overlapping markets. As the category expands, new and existing markets across the U.S. have more than enough room for Smoothie King to plant its flag without cannibalizing existing locations. Partnerships with grocery stores and retail outlets can also help build brand familiarity in new markets before permanent physical locations open.
With over 1000 existing locations and average unit volumes exceeding $500K, Smoothie King clearly has a profitable, scalable business model. The brand is well-positioned for steady nationwide growth of 100 or more new locations per year. Within the next 5-10 years, Smoothie King can realistically achieve a nationwide footprint and compete head-to-head with Jamba Juice across all 50 states.
Smoothie King has built a dominant presence across the southern U.S. since its founding in Louisiana in 1973. While the South remains its stronghold, Smoothie King has ample growth opportunities in markets across the Midwest, Northeast, West Coast and beyond. Capturing this growth involves tailoring menu offerings, choosing franchise partners wisely, and building brand awareness locally. While challenging, continued calculated nationwide expansion can help Smoothie King maintain its position as one of the top smoothie chains in America.