Smoothie King

This article is about the health food retailer. For the Bowling For Soup song, see Smoothie King (A hangover you don't deserve).
Smoothie King Franchises Inc.
Founded 1973 in Kenner, Louisiana
Founder Steve Kuhnau
Cindy Kuhnau
Headquarters Metairie, Louisiana
Number of locations
600+ worldwide[1]
Key people
Wan Kim, CEO
Revenue $160.00 million systemwide[2]

Smoothie King is a smoothie food retailer that caters blended fruit-based drinks. First opening in 1973 as a stand-alone vitamin shop in Kenner, Louisiana, Smoothie King now encompasses over 600 locations.


A Smoothie King at the University of Houston

Working as a soda jerker in his teenage years, Steve Kuhnau, founder of Smoothie King, found himself unable to digest the malts, shakes, and floats he was preparing due to a lactose intolerance. Consequently, he formulated a smoothie in his kitchen as an alternative to other ice cream-based drinks of the era. Shortly after his first store opened in Kenner, Louisiana, in 1973, other stores opened in the New Orleans metropolitan area, and subsequently in Washington, D.C. and 32 other states. Kuhnau began to franchise the Smoothie King name and business in 1989.[3] Smoothie King's 30-year anniversary, in 2003, was commemorated with their first international franchise, in South Korea.[4]

Former logo used until 2013.

In July 2012, Steve and Cindy Kuhnau sold the company to Wan Kim and Standard Chartered bank. Kim borrowed $58 million from Standard Chartered.[5] In November, the company announced that it would move its headquarters from Covington, Louisiana, to Metairie, in Jefferson Parish, near the company's first store in Kenner. The company cited a $2.4 million promised incentive from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development for its decision to stay in the state.[6]


Since 1989, Smoothie King has been named #1 franchise in its category 17 times by Entrepreneur Magazine.[7]


On February 5, 2014, the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association announced that they had reached a 10-year sponsorship agreement to rename the New Orleans Arena as Smoothie King Center. The arena had been one of only three NBA arenas without a naming rights sponsor. Smoothie King owner Wan Kim said the deal would allow the company to show its commitment to New Orleans while also promoting its brand worldwide.[8]

See also


Nestle, Marion. Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2003.

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