How Smoothie King cut back on sugar and won

A Deeper Dive: Wan Kim, CEO of the fast-growing chain, discusses how the chain risked its growth to stay true to its healthy mission.

This edition of A Deeper Dive is brought to you by Adentro.


How did Smoothie King convince franchisees to go along with a complete menu overhaul? And how did customers react?

This week’s episode of the Restaurant Business podcast A Deeper Dive features Wan Kim, the CEO and owner of the Texas-based Smoothie King brand.

Kim was a franchisee of the brand in South Korea before he bought the company and moved to the U.S. Smoothie King has been one of the country’s fastest-growing chains and smoothies are increasingly popular among consumers. The brand’s sales grew 25% last year alone.

Kim discusses a wide range of topics, including the smoothie business, the impact of McDonald’s smoothies and where the brand is headed.

Yet he also reveals the risk the chain made when it decided a few years ago to cut back on sugar, even at the expense of some customers and even some operators.

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