BOSTON-Determined to spread healthy living through smoothies nationwide, Jamba Inc. will expand its Jamba Juice store count to up to 5,000 stores, as well as its product lines, executives said at the Seventh Annual CIBC Consumer Growth Conference, held here.

Now at 633 units in 22 states, the chain will open 90 company owned and 50 franchised locations this year, and between 450 and 500 new stores in the next three years.

“Ten years ago, I would have told you Jamba Juice and smoothies were a niche concept,” said Paul Clayton, president and CEO of the San Francisco-based company. “Now it’s not just for the fit and active in California. Our mission is to become a world leading source of healthy energy.”

Currently, the company’s store count is still heavily weighted toward the West Coast. That will change, said Don Breen, CFO. The chain has opened in New York City and Chicago in the last two years.

“The only place we have real density and penetration is California,” Breen said. “We clearly have a long way to go.”

In addition to growing the store count, the company also is looking to increase the number of visits of light users, currently 1.7 times per month, to 2.5 per month. Strategies include introducing hot food items and granola items for breakfast, smaller portions more suitable for non-athletes and children, and simplifying the ordering experience.

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