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Jamba Juice pulls a Dunkin’, now goes by just Jamba

A rendering of Jamba’s new layout
A rendering of Jamba’s new layout
Graphic: Jamba

Jamba Juice was founded 29 years ago. 29 years! That was back when smoothies were the hottest health food, America wasn’t yet afraid of sugar in fruit juices, and no one was eating chia bowls. But times have changed, and Jamba Juice is with it, and thus the chain is ditching the “juice” in its name and rebranding as: just Jamba. Why does this sound familiar?

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According to a press release, the refresh will also include an updated logo, new store layouts, and new menu items. The company has also debuted a new tagline—Smoothies, Juices, and Bowls—to get it through consumers’ heads that Jamba offers more than just juice and smoothies. It also offers bowls, if you needed me to close that circle. Jamba also touts a refreshed app that offers order-ahead capabilities and loyalty points through the Punchh platform.

Like Dunkin’ and the restaurant formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Jamba wants people to think of it for more than just its signature product; the press release goes so far as to call Jamba a “global lifestyle brand leader,” which, okay, slow your roll, juice bar. The new name, signs, and look will roll out to Jamba’s 850 locations later this year.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

Some of these brands need to spend less time trying to be cutesy with their rebrandings and more time trying to slow the decline in quality of their flagship products.

Looking at you, Dunkin’, whose donuts in 2019 are an affront to the ones made in-house (“time to make the donuts” indeed) when I was a kid in Boston in the 1980s. As late as 1997, I worked in a Dunkin that was the supply house to all the franchises in Haverhill, and the friendly old Brazilian guy who was just getting off work at 5 AM after making donuts all night always greeted me with a smile when I came in to open.

Maybe Jamba doesn’t have that problem, but you did name check Dunks.