Half of Ireland's smoothie bars shut in the last five years - but sales are strong for those still standing

New figures show that there are 80 fewer juice and smoothie bars in Ireland since 2013.

By Laura Roddy Reporter, Fora

THE NUMBER OF juice and smoothie bars operating in Ireland has more than halved in the last five years, but sales are strong for the chosen favorites.

According to a new report by Euromonitor International, which carries out global market research, there are 80 fewer juice bars operating in Ireland than five years ago.

The figures show that 142 juice bars existed in 2013, with only 62 left standing in 2018. Sales in juice and smoothie bars decreased from €32.9 million in 2013 to €17.7 million in 2018.

Though it may appear grim for smoothie fans it’s not so bad for the 62 establishments that are essentially juicing it. 

The report shows that these juice bars increased their share of the market. Combined sales dropped by 46.6% in 2018 compared to 2013, despite the fact the there are less than half the number of bars. 

This rings true for Charlie Scanlon, the owning managing director of Jump Juice Bars, who said his company has seen sales increase year-on-year during the time period.

Specialist offering

Scanlon told Fora that juice bars attached to deli counters or sandwich bars are in the same category as bars dedicated to only making juice and smoothies, and these account for a lot of the closures over the five year period.

“They don’t have the same offering that dedicated bars like Jump Juice Bar is offering,” he said. 

“People trust our brand and enjoy our product, we are specialists and we are not the latest fad, we view our product seriously,” he added. 

According to Scanlon, the popularity of smoothies and juices is not in question.

“You only have to walk into St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre at lunch time to see how popular juices are,” he said.

“The food and beverage market is getting a lot of focus at the minute and we are operating in the wellness category which is performing very well. If you are in the right location, the business will be very strong,” he added. 

Scanlon and his wife Claire launched the business in 2002, opening the first juice bar in Waterford and the following year Denise and Conor Phelan joined the business as directors.

Since then, the brand has expanded and is now in 23 different locations nationwide, having opened a new location last month in Cork. Scanlon said the company plans to open a further two by the end of this year. 

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