BRIX Holdings Will Add Clean Juice to Its Portfolio

Clean Juice and BRIX Holdings

Organic Juice Franchise Aims for Rapid Growth Under New Ownership

Multi-brand investor BRIX Holdings LLC announced on Friday that it would acquire the Clean Juice franchise known for using USDA-certified-organic ingredients. The acquisition will include about 75 currently operating Clean Juice locations along with a dozen more that are in development.

Smoothie and juice bars such as Clean Juice are increasingly popular in the United States, with about 5,400 that employ approximately 59,300 people, according to industry statistics from Ibis World. The American smoothies market is expected to grow steadily from this year through 2033, based on projections from Precedence Research; it valued the smoothies market at $4 billion last year and forecast it would exceed $9.8 billion by 2033, a compound annual growth rate of 9.4%.

Clean Juice BRIX Holdings

Troubles at Clean Juice

Despite the anticipated industry growth, Clean Juice’s recent history has been tumultuous. Last year Clean Juice operators said sales plunged when the brand moved to high-pressure processing for juices instead of making them on-site, QSR Magazine reported. Clean Juice executives said they modified preparation techniques to streamline operations, reduce customers’ costs, and improve consistency. Operators were convinced that the change bit into their sales and caused customers to migrate to competitors. 

Clean Juice ended up shuttering several sites in 2023 and settled some arbitration filings from franchisees who asserted the business model didn’t work, according to Franchise Times. Clean Juice also had sued two franchisees who closed their units and subsequently launched competing businesses, QSR Magazine reported.

But BRIX Holdings CEO Sherif Mityas believes Clean Juice is poised for a comeback. “Clean Juice has gone through a bit of troubled waters lately with a group of franchisees that, for a variety of reasons, struggled in making their units work,” he told Franchise Times. “Most of those troubles are behind the brand.

“The model works, but you have to have committed, engaged franchisees that understand the brand, understand what it takes to locally market the brand, understand what it takes to serve guests and create a great experience,” Franchise Times quoted Mityas as saying. 

About BRIX Holdings

The Clean Juice acquisition brings BRIX Holdings’ total locations to more than 300. In addition to Clean Juice, the Texas-based company’s brands include Friendly’s restaurants; Humble Donut Co.; Orange Leaf frozen yogurt; Pizza Jukebox; Red Mango, whose menus include menus offer frozen yogurt, smoothies and flatbreads; Smoothie Factory + Kitchen; and Souper Salad.  

In a news release about the acquisition, Mityas said, “Our BRIX portfolio of brands all share a common thread: Each has a unique and differentiated position in their sector with loyal guests and fans. Clean Juice fits right into that mold with a strong foundation of beloved and certified-organic offerings.” 

Mityas further stated that BRIX plans to grow the brand, with Franchise Times citing a goal of Clean Juice reaching 300 units within about four years. BRIX is known for leveraging new technology within its brands, and noted that it uses robot technology to make pizzas at Pizza Jukebox.

About Clean Juice

Clean Juice was founded in 2014 by husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Landon and Kat Eckles who began franchising in 2016. The menu exclusively features certified organic fresh and bottled juices, smoothies, wraps, sandwiches, açaí bowls, toasts, and salads. In the news release about the acquisition, Landon Eckles said the couple founded the brand “with a vision of redefining the fast-casual landscape by introducing an option that truly supports an overall healthy and organic lifestyle.” He is “confident that Clean Juice will be well positioned for future growth and success within the BRIX family of brands.“

Clean Juice has made its mark as the nation’s first USDA-certified juice and food bar franchise. Its menu emphasizes a plant-based diet. When the deal is completed within a few weeks, Clean Juice headquarters will move from Charlotte, N.C., to BRIX Holdings’ headquarters in the Dallas suburb of Addison, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.  Mityas will take over as CEO of Clean Juice, reported, and Landon Eckles will stay on board as a consultant for 90 days after the acquisition closes. 

Clean Juice ranks No. 387 on the Franchise Times Top 400 list. In 2022, the brand’s then-132 units posted $64.5 million in sales, Franchise Times reported. Drawing on Clean Juice’s franchise disclosure document, Franchise Times and QSR Magazine cited an average unit volume of $580,445 in 2022.  

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
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