Bonnie Mulligan

Fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies have become more popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. They’re both easy to make and chock-full of nutrients, allowing you stay healthy even when you’re on-the-go. That said, these two beverages are not interchangeable. Although there may be overlapping benefits — and your customers may like both — there are some differences between the two. We’ll delve further into this topic in today’s post.

First of all, these two processes require totally different equipment
Smoothie bar equipment, of course, is the ideal choice for blending, while commercial fruit juicers are the obvious go-to for your juicing needs. You might assume that if you have juice bar equipment, you can easily use it to make smoothies, too. But actually, your smoothie bar equipment works very differently from your average juice maker. A commercial juicer will actually separate the juice from the fiber within the fruit. Your smoothie bar equipment, on the other hand, will combine everything together.

The differences in how these beverages are made translate to different benefits
There are positives about both of these processes. When you make a smoothie, you’ll end up with a greater amount of fiber in the final product, since that isn’t removed during the blending process. However, the nutrients and sugars will be absorbed more slowly when a customer drinks a smoothie. That will keep them more satisfied over time, but they won’t get the instant burst of energy you’ll get with juice. When your customer drinks one of the juice items on your menu, they’ll get one serving of fruit in just a four-ounce serving (which means more fruit and veggie servings in one juice). They’ll absorb those nutrients more quickly and experience an instant pick-me-up. That means that one option isn’t necessarily better than the other; it really depends on the experience your customer is after.

Although both provide a flavor punch, each has its own purpose
You can certainly make juice blends and offer unique juice experiences (such as sugarcane and wheatgrass) at your establishment. But smoothies may be a bit more versatile because you can add fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, nut butters, protein powders, milk and milk substitutes, and more. In that same vein, customers who order smoothies may not be quite as concerned about their sugar or caloric intake. Juices can be a fantastic accompaniment to start your day or as a quick snack, whereas smoothies will fill customers up for a longer period of time (and may even order them as a meal substitute). That said, there’s no reason that juice can’t be your main focus, particularly if you run a health-conscious establishment or want to promote the most natural, organic ingredients you can find. But if you’re trying to appeal to families with young children or a wider demographic, you may want to consider including smoothies on your menu.

Ultimately, the beverages you’ll make with juicers and smoothie bar equipment can both be nutritious and delicious
One option is not inherently healthier than the other. It really depends on the quality of the ingredients you use, the caliber of your equipment, your knowledge of nutrition, and your dedication to developing new offerings. Many eateries and juice bars offer both options, while others stick to just one or the other. The choice is really up to you and how you see your business thriving. To find out more about how our equipment can help get you started, get in touch with us today.