Founded in 1990, Jamba, Inc. (NASDAQ:JMBA) is a leading restaurant retailer of better-for-you food and beverage offerings, including great tasting fruit smoothies, fresh squeezed juices, Iced Tea Infusions, Hot Blend organic tea lattes, hot teas, oatmeal, wraps, salads, sandwiches, and a variety of baked goods and snacks.
Shares of Jamba, Inc. (NASDAQ:JMBA) have soared over 38% this year on renewed investor confidence and bold expansion plans. In this article I would like to highlight some of the recent positives, as well as bring attention to future headwinds.
Primarily a West Coast player, management feels the company is ready for a North American expansion primarily through franchising agreements. At this point the company has saturated its largest market, California. In the near future the company plans to add roughly 125 new locations, but has made it clear that California development is almost over. Over the next few years, all eyes will be watching to see if it can be successful in eastern markets.
To that end, in this month’s presentation the company updated its growth goals substantially. The company plans to add over 400 new locations domestically and about 600 locations internationally in the years ahead. Jamba is banking heavily on Mexico, the fourth largest market outside of the U.S., to fuel international growth rates. The company announced a franchise agreement for the development of 80 Jamba, Inc. (NASDAQ:JMBA) stores over the next 10 years in Mexico.
At first just a juice company, Jamba has drastically expanded its menu offerings to include more breakfast, lunch, and snack items. To compete with companies like Dunkin Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN) and Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) , the company must be innovative and be willing to take risks. It is too soon to tell if the new menu offerings will be well received, but the line of sandwiches does look promising. If successful, these add-on items will increase margins drastically, as generally add-on snack items carry high margins. Jamba, Inc. (NASDAQ:JMBA) is trying to emulate Dunkin Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN) and Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), as these companies see margins as high as 75% on many of their food items. The key to growing this product segment will be menu pairing–Jamba should seek to pair its top selling drink offerings with its new food offerings in an effort to push consumers into trying the new products.
Dunkin Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN)’ specifically has created a deep portfolio of over 100 breakfast offerings set to be released over the next couple years. Last year, Dunkin’ released 70 new products to market, which have been received well by consumers and aided in growing ticket sales. Additionally, by offering a menu of items, Dunkin Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN) has managed to draw customers continuously throughout the day helping comparable store sales over the last quarter. Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), through its acquisitions of Teavana, Evolution Fresh, and La Boulange, has purchased a variety innovative offerings. Starbucks has already started rolling out its La Boulange products through many Bay Area locations and will begin a full scale launch during the remainder of this year. Additionally, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) has the option to compete directly with Jamba, Inc. (NASDAQ:JMBA) should the company leverage its infrastructure to grow the Evolution Fresh brand.