Friday, May 28, 2010

Planet Smoothie (Buckhead) Adding Fro-Yo, Becomes Planet Living

Planet Smoothie at the Peach shopping center at 2900 Peachtree Road, is scheduled to re-open this morning as "Planet Living" by Planet Smoothie. This location in particular has been through a number of re-conceptions over the years. At times under corporate control, other times operated by an independent franchisee, this location is one of the oldest in the chain. Started by Martin Sprock in 1995, the chain became part of Innovative Brands, the holding company for several Raving Brands concepts. In January 2009, Planet Smoothie and sister concept Shane's Rib Shack were sold to Edmonds Capital LLC, and are operated via the holding company Petrus Brands.

While under Raving Brands control, The Peach shopping center location was marketed as the "Planet Smoothie Cafe" a little over two years ago. During this concept, the store offered a wider variety of food offerings such as paninis, wraps, pizzas and salads. This concept was duplicated at the recently closed location at West Paces Ferry Road. At the Peach, the trial proved unsuccessful and the store was re-designed and made back into a basic Planet Smoothie. The location on WPF ditched the cafe concept in favor of Nestle Toll House co-branding. As the location closed this past November, I can only assume the cookie / smoothie idea was not as popular as they had hoped.

Last June, Planet Smoothie partnered with Jake Rothchild of Jake's Ice Cream and offered his "Yo My Goodness" (YMG) non-fat yogurt sweetened with agave at their location at the Peach: less than a month later it had disappeared. While Kevin Smith, Director of Operations for Planet Smoothie, denied it, it seems as though this may have been an early test at integrating a yogurt product into the store mix. Flash forward to today, Planet Smoothie is re-branding itself once again, and integrating soft serve yogurt into their concept's offerings. To start, Planet Living will offer original tart, chocolate, pomegranate, green tea and mango yogurt flavors with a variety of fruit and cookie toppings. Similar to the new Menchie's locations and Atlanta-based Yogli Mogli, Planet Living's yogurt will be sold by weight (39 cents per ounce) instead of by size. A big fan of their Acai smoothie, I was hoping for an Acai yogurt but alas that flavor is not on the immediate horizon according to Smith. In addition to the new yogurt option, Planet Living also has integrated fresh juice offerings into the concept store. Apples, carrots and cucumbers, kale and ginger, among others will be juiced in front of you. A new Planet Smoothie website was launched earlier this month in addition to the announcement that the chain had reformulated its drinks to have fewer calories. ToNeTo Atlanta

Have you tried the new Fro-Yo or the new healthier smoothies? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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1 comment:

Jake said...

Thank you for your thoughtful piece on Jake's and Planet Smoothie. We were very excited to be a part of the Petrus Family but once they made key administrative changes we lost faith that we could launch Yo My Goodness (YMG!) Frozen Yogurt with them as our partner.

We certainly wish the folks at Petrus well as they try to sell a product as high quality and pure as YMG! and will look forward to competing against them in the market place.

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