The High-Tech Way Blendid Plans To Reshape The Smoothie Industry

Smoothies have been around longer than you might think. Their birth in concept predates the blender – the traditional Indian drink lassi, made with yogurt and fruit, is a sort of proto-smoothie, per Cocktail Ways. But it was the invention of the Waring blender in the 1930s that paved the way for the development of the drink as we know it today. As noted in "Food and Drink in American History: A 'Full Course' Encyclopedia," health food stores were at the forefront of helping to popularize smoothies during the 1960s, but the icy blended fruit drinks had yet to hit the mainstream.

The word smoothie went from generic to branded when Steve Kuhnau opened the first Smoothie King in 1973. His company was franchised in 1989, Smoothie King's website confirms, leading to nationwide expansion. The following year, Kirk Perrin opened his first Juice Club in California; although by 1995 the growing concern was better known as Jamba Juice, which now just goes by Jamba (via the company's Facebook page)

Smoothies have undergone an interesting evolution in the decades since – one characterized by extreme market growth. By 2025, according to Smoothie King, the juice and smoothie market is projected to be worth $17 billion. Innovations in the industry may soon necessitate new calculations, however. Notably, a groundbreaking new innovation from Blendid.

Robotic smoothie makers are going nationwide

Blendid's new robotic kiosks are poised to forever change how smoothies are made. An innovator in automated food and drink service, Blendid has already confirmed it is moving forward on more than 500 artificial intelligence-enabled kiosks in partnership with big-name brands – including Walmart and Jamba – and has pinpointed 70,000 nationwide locations that it's targeting for fully automated kiosks in the future.

Last week, Blended announced via PR Newswire press release the unveiling of its first Jamba by Blendid robotic smoothie kiosk at a Love's Travel Stops location in Williams, California. The kiosk is open for customizable smoothie service round-the-clock, and advanced ordering is available through Blendid's app. According to Entrepreneur, the Jamba by Blendid partnership is also taking root on campuses, with automated smoothie kiosks already in service at UCLA, Georgia College, and Kennesaw State University. Additionally, Jamba by Blendid has had a robotic smoothie kiosk open at a California-based Walmart location since December 2020, per Business Insider.

Love's Travel Stops boasts almost 600 locations across 42 states, per the press release, so there's plenty of room for expansion and additional smoothie kiosks from Jamba by Blendid. But that may be just the beginning. As Entrepreneur notes, Blendid has established an important foothold in the immensely lucrative ($300 billion) quick-service food and drinks market. The company was formed in Silicon Valley in 2015, the press release explains, but is continuing to raise money for new ventures.