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As Sweetgreen continues its national expansion, its line of cold-pressed juices called Sweetpress will not be coming along for the ride. The locally founded salad chain stopped making the juices about two months ago.
Co-founder Nic Jammet says the company never “fully rolled out or committed” to juice; it was more of a test, which at its height was only available at nine stores. “We were at this point where we either had to go full force and commit to juices as a category in a part of our business or not do it,” he says. So after two years, they decided to drop it.
Sweetgreen also wanted to focus on its local, seasonal mantra, which didn’t work as well with the juices. “You’re going to use apples year-round, which right now apples for us come on the menu in the fall and then they leave,” Jammet says. “Things like ginger and pineapple, you can’t really get locally.”
And while the cold-pressed juices were popular and sold well, Jammet says, they didn’t necessarily pair well with the salads: “People were drinking it instead, or in the morning,”
Sweetgreen is now playing with some other new drinks at its Dupont test kitchen, including a fresh green juice that’s pressed right in front of guests and mixed with green tea. Meanwhile, at its just-opened Williamsburg location in Brooklyn, N.Y., there’s a separate beverage island where employees serve the juice-tea blend plus housemade sodas and zero-sugar chai or chamomile-mint teas.
“We’re using different stores as different test cases to experiment with these beverages that are healthier, fit the seasonal kitchen concept, and most importantly, pair well with the salad or the grain bowl,” Jammet says.
Image courtesy Sweetgreen