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Max’s group brings Jamba Juice to Philippines

/ 09:56 PM September 15, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—The Max’s restaurant group is bringing popular American smoothie and specialty snack chain Jamba Juice to the Philippines, taking advantage of rising consumer affluence and health consciousness.

Officials of the Max’s group—which also owns the Philippine master franchise of Krispy Kreme and Max’s Corner Bakery on top of its flagship Max’s fried chicken brand—announced on Thursday that the first Jamba Juice store in the country will open on November 11 at Bonifacio Global City.

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“Filipinos are consciously getting more involved with active pursuits and we want to serve and cater to this growing community,” said Max’s executive vice president Sharon Fuentebella, who will also be executive director of Jamba Juice.

Ms. Fuentebella said the group has committed to open at least 40 stores in the next 10 years.

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The California-based beverage chain, which has grown its network to over 700 stores in the United States since its establishment in 1990, is setting up shop in Southeast Asia for the first time.

“We believe that the Philippines has a good potential for being one of the strongest markets for Jamba Juice, given the interest that Filipinos have shown, especially recently, for active living,” Fuentebella said.

Apart from the first store in BGC, the group is now looking at Greenhills, Mall of Asia and Alabang Town Center as the next locations for Jamba Juice.

Apart from bringing a new brand into the country, Max’s president Robert Trota said plans were in place to expand here and abroad.

Asked whether the group would debut on the stock exchange soon to gain access to more funds for expansion, Trota said: “Because of the internally generated funds, we have no immediate plans to go public but it could happen in the near future.”

The flagship Max’s restaurant brand, a well-known restaurant brand in the Philippines that began operations in 1945, has 122 stores in the country and 10 stores overseas (eight in the United States, one in Canada and one in Dubai).

The plan is to set up shop in Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver.

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There are also some potential franchisees in Australia, Trota said.

The group has yet to map out plans for expansion to Asia but it is not closing its doors.

Trota said there may be opportunities in Singapore and Hong Kong but the key would be to find a good local partner, he said.

“We want to concentrate on North America because we haven’t even saturated it,” Trota said.

Every year, the Max’s group plans to open six to 10 stores locally and three to five stores overseas.

After successfully gaining foothold in Dubai, Trota said the group would like to have at least 10 stores in the Middle East.

For now, the overseas expansion plan targets areas with a large population of overseas Filipinos.

“Right now, we are benefiting from Filipino communities. That’s our entry to the market,” he said.

Meanwhile, the group’s bakeshop brand, Max’s Corner Bakery, now has 112 branches in the Philippines while Krispy Kreme, which was brought by the group to the Philippines in 2006, now has 24 stores.

New Krispy Kreme stores are set to open in Cebu and Davao.

Originally posted at 5:59 p.m.

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TAGS: Beverage, Business, food, Jamba Juice, juice, Max’s, restaurants
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