- An acai bowl is a Brazilian fruit-based dessert or snack that is usually served either in a bowl or as a smoothie and features a mashed or mixed version of the acai fruit.
- According to a recent Market Data Forecast, the market size for acai berries was $720 million at the end of 2021.
- The franchise model has proven to be exceptionally profitable for quick-service, healthy food options, including acai bowls, smoothies, juices, and more.
- The potential upside of owning an acai bowl restaurant cannot be overstated—this industry is still rapidly expanding and as more Americans become open to consuming tasty acai bowls, this expansion can be expected to continue.
Due to the supply chain structure and importance of brand recognition, quick-service food stops have always been extremely compatible with the franchise business model. In fact, Americans alone spend more than $300 billion on quick-service restaurants and related food locations.
That number is almost certainly why there are close to 800,000 franchise locations currently operating in the US (with more than half of these locations connected to the food industry). And as time has gone on, many consumers have begun looking for alternative quick-service food options, including new options that are considerably healthier.
This is why the concept of the acai bowl franchise location has recently become so popular. Twenty years ago, finding a good spot to grab an acai bowl (which comes from Brazil) was difficult. Today, you can find hundreds of acai bowl franchise locations across the country, particularly in health-conscious regions such as California.
In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss some of the most common questions you might have about the opening an acai bowl franchise, including the current and future market outlook, the health benefits of acai bowls, and the pros and cons of opening an acai bowl franchise location. By taking the time to get to know this quickly evolving market, you can decide if opening an acai bowl location is right for you.
WHAT IS AN ACAI BOWL?
An acai bowl is a Brazilian fruit-based dessert or snack that is usually served either in a bowl or as a smoothie and features a mashed or mixed version of the acai fruit.
The acai palm fruit is found in northern Brazil (including many parts of the Amazon) and has an appearance similar to a raspberry. The texture of the acai palm fruit is often described as creamy and the taste is often described as “tart.”
Acai fruit often pairs well with common berries, including blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and more. Mixing acai and bananas is also very popular, especially in Brazil where both fruits are abundant. Acai bowl enthusiasts will often include granola, honey, and other toppings to help create a more complex flavor profile. Many acai bowl franchise will have a “buffet style” set up, where customers can add ingredients as they see fit.
ARE ACAI BOWLS ACTUALLY HEALTHY?
In general, yes, acai bowls are quite healthy, especially if you mix the acai with healthy fruits and other fresh ingredients. Many bowls (depending on what you put in them and how large they are) will be 300 calories or less, while also containing a very dense distribution of nutrients.
Some of the biggest health benefits of acai bowls include high amounts of fiber, antioxidants, manganese, potassium, and Vitamin C. Many of the micronutrients that can be found in the acai bowl can only be found in other fruits. Currently, the FDA recommends having at least 2 (preferably 3) servings of fruit per day.
Other benefits of the acai berry include high levels of zinc, folic acid, and several of the most important B vitamins. When compared to other snacks, acai berries also have fairly high levels of protein and even calcium.
One of the reasons that acai bowls have become popular is that they are significantly healthier than alternative options, like ice cream. It’s common to have a craving for something sweet. Choosing an acai bowl instead of a bowl of ice cream can potentially cut out hundreds of calories while also significantly increasing nutritional value.
So, as long as people will continue looking for healthy food options, acai bowl franchise and their partners will likely continue to thrive.
ACAI BOWL MARKET OUTLOOK
According to a recent Market Data Forecast, the market size for acai berries was $720 million at the end of 2021.
However, the market is rapidly expanding. Currently, the anticipated compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is an impressive 12.6%. This is a considerably faster rate of growth than you’d find in most other quick-service and health food markets and, by 2027, the total market for acai berries is expected to reach $2.1 trillion.
That means the market is expected to nearly triple in just a few years. As a result, people across all 50 states have explored the possibility of opening an acai bowl franchise location or, at the very least, incorporating acai bowls alongside similar healthy products, such as cold-press juices and fruit smoothies.
Keeping these things in mind, you might be considering the possibility of opening an acai bowl franchise of your own. Pure Green, a company well-recognized for its outstanding juices, is a leading acai bowl franchise partner that currently has more than 50 franchise locations spread out across 50 states.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits—and possible challenges—that come with choosing to open an acai bowl franchise:
BENEFITS OF OPENING AN ACAI BOWL FRANCHISE
The franchise model has proven to be exceptionally profitable for quick-service, healthy food options, including acai bowls, smoothies, juices, and more. In exchange for paying a franchise fee, the location owner (the franchisee) will gain access to a wealth of new resources, including a well-developed brand, a helpful support team, marketing materials, industry connections, and more.
In other words, by choosing to start an acai bowl franchise—rather than creating an entirely new brand of your own—you will be well-positioned to start generating cash flows. Customers who have had positive experiences at other franchise locations will be much more likely to want to visit your own store. This will help you develop a starting base to help cover initial costs until you’ve built a more regular stream of customers.
In order to run a successful acai bowl restaurant, you will need to have access to consistent, reliable supply chains (and it’s even better if you have access to supply “backups”, as well). Most acai bowl locations will be heavily reliant on tropical fruits, many of which—including the acai berries themselves—are mostly grown in other countries (especially Brazil). By being a part of a franchise, rather than going at it on your own, you can take advantage of these established supply chains and optimize your inventory practices.
Furthermore, the franchise model is popular because it helps you gain access to industry-grade legal assistance, accounting assistance, marketing assistance, and more. This is why most new acai berry locations will choose to partner with a franchise.
But there are also plenty of reasons to be intrigued about the acai bowl industry in general. To start, it’s important to remember that the industry itself is still quite new. Twenty years ago, almost nobody in America had ever had an acai bowl. Today, most people have at least heard of this tasty, healthy snack and many more have tried it. As time goes on, and more people get the chance to try a bowl at some point, the market will continue to grow.
The very fact the market is currently so underutilized is why the 12.6% mentioned above is completely reasonable—in fact, while it’s impossible to know for sure, this estimate might even be modest and industry growth will be even greater. This is why, over the next few years, billions of dollars are expected to be poured into the industry. Those who are able to establish their acai bowl franchise location while the industry is still young will find themselves in a position for long-term success.
CHALLENGES OF OPENING AN ACAI BOWL FRANCHISE
Of course, while it is easy to see why acai bowl franchise locations continue to pop up around the country, every owner will inevitably encounter some challenges.
Here are some of the challenges that might occur when running your own acai bowl franchise, along with some of the most viable solutions:
· Volatility: with COVID-19, corresponding lockdowns, above-average levels of inflation, and other challenges, the past few years have been tough. Being adaptable and finding ways to continue expanding your network (such as offering delivery) can help acai bowl owners navigate tough times.
· Competition: there have been a lot of acai bowl franchises popping up over the past few years—naturally, this means the market can be competitive at the time. Luckily, working with an effective franchise partner can help you immediately establish a competitive edge.
· Changing Tastes: one common fear people have about the acai bowl market is that it is currently a “fad.” While there isn’t a lot of data to back this claim up—in fact, pretty much all the numbers suggest acai bowls are becoming a more normal part of the American diet—having a flexible business model and diverse menu (including juices, smoothies, etc.) can help you adapt to any future changes in taste.
· Operational Challenges: as is the case when you running any business, it is easy for operational challenges to suddenly emerge. For example, you might find yourself having difficulty attracting talented team members, you might have difficulty maintaining essential pieces of equipment, and more. But while you can’t stop these challenges from inevitably occurring, you can put yourself in a position to be prepared—this is yet another area where the franchise model is so beneficial.
There is no way to guarantee that your acai bowl franchise location will be successful. But with the right game plan in place, you set yourself up to thrive.
IS OPENING AN ACAI BOWL FRANCHISE LOCATION RIGHT FOR ME?
At this point, you probably know quite a bit more about the acai bowl industry, as a whole. In general, it is a fast-growing industry that is very compatible with owners who have a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
But what are some of the characteristics that acai bowl franchise owners typically share?
To start, it is crucial for owners to care about the product they create. Investing in healthy, fresh ingredients—as you’ll find at every Pure Green franchise location—can really go a long way. Most customers who buy acai bowls on a regular basis care a lot about their health and the ingredients they consume. In other words, this is not the ideal industry for those who like to take shortcuts.
Additionally, it helps for acai bowl franchise owners to be able to balance leadership and cooperation. When it comes to the day-to-day operations of the business, the owners will need to be able to direct their team in a productive, positive direction. At the same time, the owners will also need to be able to cooperate with the franchise. But when everybody is on the same page, the results can be incredible.
The potential upside of owning an acai bowl restaurant cannot be overstated—this industry is still rapidly expanding and as more Americans become open to consuming tasty acai bowls, this expansion can be expected to continue. The potential return on your initial investment is almost unbounded.
While nobody can promise you will earn this much, especially at first, it shows the current ceiling for a single location is quite high. And once you successfully open one acai bowl bar, you might consider opening another. That increases your chances of earning seven figures even further.
In the end, whether owning an acai bowl franchise location (as well as a smoothie bar, juice bar, etc.) is right for you will depend on a lot of personal factors. But if you are ambitious, customer-focused, and committed to providing a great experience to your customers, this very well might be the right option for you.
Ranked as one of the top wellness entrepreneurs in the United States and recipient of the Forbes Next 1000 award, Ross Franklin has two decades of experience building prestige brands within the health and wellness industry. Franklin has grown and developed high-end fitness brands, specialty boutique fitness brands and many wellness companies throughout his career. His mission has always been centered on optimal health. Franklin founded Pure Green based on 80/20 rule that 80 percent of optimal health is rooted in nutrition while only 20% impacted by fitness. Franklin made the shift from the fitness industry to build Pure Green with the goal of more deeply impacting people’s health. Franklin was a featured speaker at the annual cold pressed juice conference, JuiceCon, in 2019, a featured speaker at the 2020 Angels & Entrepreneurs Summit and is a sought-after keynote speaker within the health and wellness community.