When operating a juice bar that sells acai bowls or smoothies, you will come to the decision of choosing to run your business using the frozen cubes, or the 100g smoothie packs. I've had conversations with a few thought leaders in the industry, and here's what I learned:
Frozen acai or dragonfruit smoothie packs are the most common choice, mostly because they have been around longer than the cubes product. Basically, they are usually about 3.5 oz / 100g of frozen product in plastic pouch, which is the recommended portion for a single smoothie. You can use more than one if the recipe calls for it.
- Less measuring than cubes - e.g. you might count out 4 smoothie packs instead of 40-48 cubes for a bulk recipe.
- Stay frozen longer when removed from freezer (less chance of melting before making the smoothie or bowl)
- More packaging since each pack is individually wrapped in plastic
- Harder on the blender or food processor blade since they are larger than the cubes.
- Each pack needs to be opened separately (pro tip: Olivia Esquivel recommends "popping" them on the counter in her Acai Bowl Master Class)
The frozen cubes come about the size of ice cubes, weighing 8-10 grams each, in bulk packaging.
- Amount per recipe is more customizable since the cubes are smaller than the smoothie packs.
- Can be measured by counting or with a scoop of choice.
- Less packaging / more environment friendly
- Easier on blender blades - you will get less stalling in the blender
- Measuring can take longer than with the smoothie packs - e.g. counting out 40-48 cubes vs popping 4 acai packs.
- Melt faster when removed from freezer, which means your staff needs to move faster when making the bowls or smoothies.
There are things worth considering when making the choice. For example, how you will store and measure out your ingredients. If you have a large enough freezer to store an open container of cubes that your staff can scoop out, then cubes may be the best way to go. But if you have less freezer space, perhaps the smoothie packs are the way to go since they are shipped in compact packaging, and your staff can simply grab the number of packs they need for each recipe.
You may also want to consider whether the product you need is available in the specific type of product, including:
- Sweetened vs unsweetened
- Organic vs conventional
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The Best Smoothie Packs and Cubes
The best frozen Acai, Dragonfruit, and other products I have found is made by Pitaya Foods. They offer sweetened, unsweetened, organic, and conventional cubes and smoothie packs for a variety of products. They serve many of our juice bar business customers, as well as thousands of home users.
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