Jamba Juice plans to triple Washington area presence

Jamba Juice, the California-based smoothie chain, has plans to open at least 10 new stores in the Washington area in the next three years, roughly tripling the company’s area presence, as demand for fresh fruit and vegetable juices continues to grow.

The area’s fourth Jamba Juice location, in Rockville’s Federal Plaza, opened last week. The Washington area franchise is owned by tennis player Venus Williams, who is also a spokeswoman for the company.

“The D.C. area is one of our most critical growth areas for Jamba Juice,” said James D. White, the company’s chief executive and president. “If you think about the number of folks cycling, jogging, walking around town, it’s really a great fit.”

The company recently started offering fresh vegetables such as kale and beets in its juices to keep up with burgeoning demand for fresh juices, White said.

“There is increasing demand for healthier fruits and vegetables that people can consume instead of coffee as a healthy way of filling up,” White said.

Williams, who plays for the Washington Kastles, opened the area’s first Jamba Juice at Westfield Montgomery Mall in 2011. Since then, she has also opened outposts in Union Station and Dupont Circle.

The company expects sales to grow between 2 percent and 4 percent in 2014, White said.

Last year, annual revenue increased 0.2 percent to $229.2 million, while profits rose to $2.1 million from $300,000 the year before.

The Federal Plaza store has been in the works for about nine months, White said, adding that Jamba Juice is currently scouting more locations in the Washington area. Each store typically has between 25 and 30 employees.

“We’re looking at both urban and suburban markets,” White said. “We want highly-populated areas where people are looking to consume healthy items on the go.”

The company, founded in California in 1990, has more than 850 locations throughout the world, including stores in Canada, South Korea and the Philippines. This year it plans to open 50 new stores in the United States and 25 internationally.

Abha Bhattarai covers local retail, hospitality and banking for The Washington Post. She has previously written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.
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