NORTH AMERICA: Canadian smoothie and juice chain Booster Juice has plans to expand its airport network, with the USA and Mexico as its prime targets.

Booster Juice was shortlisted for the New Food & Beverage Concept of the Year award at the sixth annual Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards in Toronto. The company was also a sponsor of the event, which is organised by The Moodie Davitt Report and its sister title The Foodie Report.

The Booster Juice concept includes ‘hardcore’ and high-protein smoothies and fresh juices, paninis and wraps, along with ‘superfoods’ including wheatgrass, Japanese Matcha Green tea and the açaí Brazilian berry.

“A game changer”: Toronto Pearson Terminal 3 Booster Juice Fit & Fun store

The company operates over 360 stores across Canada. Nine are located in airports – Toronto Pearson (four outlets), Edmonton (two), Halifax Stanfield, Ottawa and Vancouver – with four further airport outlets planned for Canada in 2018. Booster Juice has a limited operation in the USA and Mexico, but said it plans “aggressive” growth of its domestic store base in the USA, on both coasts and in the Midwest. The company will also open outlets in two major Abu Dhabi malls next week.

Booster Juice Director of International and Non-Traditional Development Glenn Tucker said the brand was looking to develop the US market “in a big way” and underlined the importance of travel retail in the brand’s development plans.

“Travel retail is enormously important to us. Any time your brand is seen by millions of people each day going to and from cities all over the world, it’s exponentially beneficial to the brand and all of its stores. It helps to reinvigorate the brand. In our case the yellow smoothie cup is iconic to the Booster Juice brand; to see our yellow cups all over airports and on aircraft is gratifying.”

Booster Juice President & CEO Dale Wishewan said Booster Juice, based on its successful track record in Canadian airports, is “a great fit” for airports and transit-based locations.

“Think of the stress associated with flying today: packing, transportation to the airport, long check-in queues , security checks and flight delays. Booster Juice is ideally suited to injecting passengers with a boost of energy to carry them through to the next destination.

“We are laser focused on working with progressive primers (food-service companies) for US and Mexican airport store openings in 2018,” Wishewan said.

“Our products are healthy and mobile, ideal for the airport environment, and very high in demand. The USA has over ten large airports with annual traffic of 45 million; Toronto Pearson airport’s traffic count falls into this category and we have four very successful stores operating there.”

Booster Juice is described as a “great fit” for airports and transit-based locations

Tucker added: “Our airport and train station portfolio prove that these are our highest sales volume locations with travellers looking for a true healthy option versus the regular quick serve fare. Having a choice to grab a healthy snack fits many of today’s active, health-conscious travellers.

“We have also looked at adding more airport stores in Western Canada. Most airports are driven by a combination of local and the brands/product category their customer base wish to have access to. We have been approached by many airports, large and small from various parts of the world, and know that we can provide a great healthy option for their customers. We can work in a large format or small format physical location as well as in a small or large flight count airport.”

In 2018 Booster Juice will open at St. John’s International Airport in Newfoundland. A third store at Edmonton International Airport is under discussion, as are further locations at Toronto Pearson.

Booster Juice aims to promote a stress-free customer experience through its Fit & Fun outlets

Tucker said one of Booster Juice’s strengths was to transform unused space at an airport into a “massive revenue generator”. The Toronto Pearson Terminal 3 Booster Juice Fit & Fun store has a sports theme with interactive virtual games.

“It’s a game changer; it provides an enhanced experience within an airport restaurant unlike any other in Canada or North America. We turned a sterile passenger waiting area into a vibrant playful, fun environment that invokes images of sport, activity and healthy living for kids as well as the average traveller.

“Parents can watch and be amused by their kids blowing off steam, leading to a more pleasurable flying experience.”

Wishewan said the ultimate goal of the Fit & Fun store was to “elevate and promote a stress-free customer experience”.

In other airport stores Booster Juice has used selected design elements – Grab & Go, aspirational messaging and TV screens with digital programming – to motivate parents and young passengers to stay active before flight.

“We have always prided ourselves in cutting-edge product innovation and new product development,” Wishewan added. “We are mindful that in our business – the customer experience business – you must innovate or stagnate. We do not need to reinvent ourselves every few years but we must remain relevant to our customers; be it by bringing new products to market or enhancing the look of our stores or how we craft our marketing messaging.”

NOTE: The Moodie Davitt Report also publishes The Foodie Report, the world’s only media focused on airport (and other travel-related) food & beverage. The Foodie Report e-Newsletter is published every two weeks and The Foodie Report e-Zine every month.

Please send all news of food & beverage outlet openings, together with images, menus, video etc to Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com to ensure unrivalled global exposure.

The company also organises the annual Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards.