Just in time for New Year’s resolutions, raw food, including fresh-pressed juices, continues to gain momentum among the health conscious and indulgent alike as an occasional detox tool.
The trend in beverages has steered cold in the form of cold-pressed juices, according to Mareya Ibrahim, chef and author of EatCleaner.com. These juices, which use traditional citrus and vegetable juicers to extract liquid rather than heat, are thought to retain more of the natural enzymes and vitamins in the produce used.
This 83-unit juice chain with locations throughout California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas was founded in 1995 but has seen recent expansion amidst a growing juice craze.
FE&S: Do you find juice/raw food is becoming more popular? Why?
CS: The raw juice industry saw positive growth over the last five years leading into 2014, with revenues reaching $2.2 billion. Sales are expected to increase 2.3 percent per year on average through 2019. The increasing popularity of juicing is due to consumers becoming more mindful of health and fitness. This change in mentality has been influenced by society and political trends as well as the juicing industry itself. With the recovery of the economy, discretionary spending is also up and as our society is more health conscious and more on-the-go, consumers are seeking quick and convenient ways to get their nutrition to enhance their lives.
FE&S: What are the most important pieces of equipment at your juice bars?
CS: Definitely top-of-the-line refrigeration to maintain freshness as well as high-quality commercial juicers to ensure we get the maximum yield from the fruits and vegetables we squeeze.
FE&S: Considering Juice It Up! uses a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, what’s your cold storage like?
CS: At our smaller locations it can be tight at times. With that said we provide extensive training and resources to ensure our operators order the right amount of produce for each delivery to ensure they aren’t under- or over-utilizing their precious cold storage space. At our larger locations we have ample walk-in cold storage space and for the most part don’t run into issues regarding storage.
FE&S: How do you work to maintain consistency across your various franchised locations?
CS: We measure our recipes precisely given that fruits and vegetables yield different amounts of juice depending on their size and the season. For this reason, our franchisees are trained extensively and are required to adhere to our recipes.
FE&S: What’s the most popular juice on the menu?
CS: The Energizer, Immunizer, and Detoxifier are the most popular by far. All three are green juices that pack a powerful nutritional and delicious kick!
FruVe’ xPress Juicery in Chicago after traveling to numerous juice bars around the world and looking for more variety and non-juice offerings. The shop offers a variety of nutrient-rich juices using a commercial cold press machine that can produce up to 30 gallons of juice per hour. A whopping 3 to 4 pounds of fruits and veggies go into making each 16 ounce bottle. Customers can choose to add such superfoods as spirulina, barley and wheat grass to drinks as vitamin boosts. FruVe’ also offers various smoothies as well as soups, salads, savory paninis and acais bowls.Co-founders Dominique Dunn and Sayyed Binwalee started