Boost Juice founder and CEO Janine Allis developed the concept of offering quick, affordable, healthy and natural snacks in her Melbourne garage to keep her three young sons energised. Today, all the company’s freshly squeezed and blended fruit juices and smoothies contain no preservatives, artificial flavours or colours and are at least 98% fat free. The business prides itself on the promotion of a healthy and active lifestyle mixed with an uncompromising addiction to fun.
Two months after opening the UK’s first Boost Juice Bars on his own doorstep in Manchester and also Oxford, UK international owner and dyed in the wool Mancunian Richard O’Sullivan (above centre) formerly co-owner of the Millie’s Cookies chain, is adopting a ‘one store at a time’ sustainable strategy, to expand the soaraway success Australian Boost Juice brand in the UK.
O’Sullivan and his lifelong business partner Mario Budwig plan to have between seven and ten Boost Juice Bars in the UK by the start of 2008, including in Manchester’s Piccadilly train station and at the Chill Factor indoor ski slope in Manchester. Boost Juice are also in negotiation to secure retail partners in London, confident that they will increase their partners footfall through the addition of their delicious business.
Success and innovation
Boost’s success so far is not only due to the innovative menu of high quality, healthy, fantastic juices, smoothies and crushes, but also a strong, fun brand and excellent customer service.
Key to its success is the astute expansion strategy developed after over 20 years of experience expanding Millie’s Cookies across the UK. This strategy aims to test the brand in different indoor environments where customers are likely to want the product: shopping centres, railway stations, high streets and entertainment centres. By focusing on ‘one store at a time’, they can ensure that each bar is a success in its own right, and that lessons are learned and that expansion is sustainable. Richard O’Sullivan says: “We understand the business of running 300 square foot boxes. We owned the cookie category. People didn’t go to buy a cookie – they went for a Millie’s. I expect people will soon say, ‘I’m going for a Boost’.”
O’Sullivan is passionate about Boost Juice Bars. Introduced to them by his daughter who was on a gap year in Australia, he has fallen for the ‘love life’ brand, and has even spent the Christmas holidays with its Australian founder Janine Allis and her family. “Boost ticks all the boxes for me,” he says. “It’s a fantastic product, brilliantly marketed; a product for this time – it’s healthy, it’s funky, it’s great music, it’s great staff, it’s full of young people. It’s all the things I want in my life!”
It’s this passion that offers Boost Juice its greatest competitive advantage, as O’Sullivan explains: “Many of our competitors are venture capital backed. Their horizon is get in, buy the market and get out. We have no interest in building to sell. We’ve done that. We want our business to be alive. That’s a significant competitive advantage.”
“Boost has experienced phenomenal growth in the last seven years and the brand is now the largest juice and smoothie chain in the Southern Hemisphere. There are more than 200 stores worldwide. Boost is operational in Australia (approximately 160 stores), UK, South Africa, Portugal, Chile, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao, Estonia and Kuwait, and Boost will be moving into Thailand and Dubai soon.
“Growing awareness about healthy eating and in particular, the health benefits of eating or drinking more fruit and vegetables are factors that have contributed to Boost’s success. However, there are dozens of juice and smoothie bars out there, which Boost continue to outperform due to their unbeatable and proven formula: ‘to die for’ healthy products, fantastic service delivered with an in-store vibe and the best class marketing and innovation.
“Boost offers a healthy alternative to fast food – it’s a healthy meal in a cup, containing no artificial anything. Secondly, Boost’s ‘love life’ culture runs through every aspect of the business, with the company priding itself on the promotion of a healthy and active lifestyle with an uncompromising addiction to fun.
“The most popular product is Mango Magic Smoothie, containing mango, banana, mango nectar, TD4 (to die for) vanilla yogurt and ice. The most popular juice is our ‘5 a day Juice’ containing the juice of two oranges, two apples, two carrots, celery sticks and one beetroot, plus a vita booster (multi-vitamins and minerals).
“Boost has always worked with nutritionists to formulate their recipes, to ensure that the health benefits from delicious juices and smoothies are maximised.
“As Shane Bilsborough – one of Australia’s leading nutritionists, and a Boost fan – said: ‘A smoothie with real fruit, yogurt and juice or milk acts as a great natural pick-me-up, or a freshly squeezed fruit or veggie juice can be a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that still tastes great’. All Boost’s juices and smoothies are at least 98% fat free and contain nothing artificial whatsoever.
“Boost also offers Boosters products to supplement a juice or smoothie. One example is the ‘Energiser’, which contains guarana, ginseng, and vitamin E. Boost sells shooters for that intense hit of goodness: including Açaí NRG shooter, and Wheatgrass shooters.
“The TD4 low-fat yogurt in Boost’s smoothies has been specially formulated by Boost, and contains inulin, an oligofructose that is known as a prebiotic, as well as live cultures steptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus delbrueckii.
“And the big issue for juice bars? There are over 30 independents or multiples in the UK chasing the same retail sites, which invariably drives rents upwards. Many of the earlier entrants to the market are suffering from declining like-for-like sales due to the proliferation, and many have either ceased trading or have just become cafe’s that sell juice.
“Boost aims to become the ‘world’s best-loved brand’ and Boost UK hopes to emulate the Boost Juice Bar phenomenon as Australia experienced it. Consumers won’t go for a juice or smoothie, they will go ‘for a Boost’. The plan is for Boost to be a household name with a Boost Juice Bar in every city in the country. This will of course mean there will be thousands of healthier people in the UK getting more of their five a day!”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019