What Are the Next Big Trends in Smoothies and Juice?

We asked Portland's juice bar professionals to share their take on what's on the horizon of healthy sipping.

By Allison Jones and Tuck Woodstock August 7, 2015

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The Trend: Less Sweet, More Savory

"I definitely think people are more sugar-conscious now. We have a new all-veggie juice called Simple Greens—lemon, basil, collard greens, swiss chard, cucumber, and celery. We also make steamed soups which are essentially all-veggie smoothies that we steam and serve warm; they are very low in both calories and sugar."—Greenleaf's Garret Flynn

"People are beginning to realize that a 16oz fruit juice often contains as much (if not more) sugar than a soda. While it is true that not all sugars are the same, we are talking about fruit juice, so we are talking about fructose. Some of the fructose becomes glucose, but the rest becomes triglycerides, which have been attributed to health problems such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and obesity. This is a big part of why we discontinued selling juice cleanses at Kure. 60+ oz. of sweet juice per day (for 3 to 5 days!) is just not great for your body, especially when you aren't consuming any soluble fiber, which helps reduce the body's insulin response and prevents rebound hypoglycemia/the accumulation of triglycerides. I'm certainly not saying fruit juice is bad for you, but too much of it is likely causing an accumulation of triglycerides. As with anything, portion control is key, so for Kure the future of juice is going to be smaller portions with lower sugar content."—Nate Higgins of Kure

Drink it Up:

  • Shaman smoothie at Prasad: celery-cucumber-lime juice, avocado, jalapeño, spinach, cilantro
  • Clarity juice at the Juice Box: kale, spinach, romaine, cucumber, parsley, celery, lemon, ginger
  • Queen Green smoothie at Kure: avocado, kale, cucumber, celery, apple, ginger, coconut water, ice
  • G8 juice at Greenleaf: tomato, jalapeño, green pepper, celery, carrot, spinach, parsley, beet

The Trend: Thinking Beyond Kale

"There's movement towards other fun varieties of healthy greens, so we've added swiss chard and collard greens to diversify our greens offering from the standard kale and spinach."—Greenleaf's Garret Flynn

Drink it Up:

  • Prana juice at Portland Juice Co: romaine, collard greens, cucumber, cilantro, lemon, ginger
  • Morning After juice at Greenleaf: beet, carrot, celery, strawberry, orange, swiss chard, collard greens

The Trend: The Whole-Meal Smoothie

"People are demanding superfood-loaded smoothies often as meal replacements. In our new super smoothies, we use unsweetened almond milk as a base along with ingredients like cacao nibs, maca, almond butter, avocado, shredded coconut, hemp protein and turmeric powder." —Greenleaf's Garret Flynn

Drink it Up:

  • Maca Cacao smoothie at Greenleaf: maca, cacao nibs, almond butter, oats, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, almond milk, ice
  • Maca Madness smoothie at Sip and Canteen: maca, almond milk, banana, almond butter, dates, vanilla, ice
  • The Extra Mile smoothie at Kure: coconut milk yogurt, coconut meat, honey, almond butter, kale, coconut water, ice

The Trend: Bowled Over

"I see a move away from juice and more towards smoothies and bowls. Consumers are seeking out ingredients that serve a purpose and it's much easier to accomplish this in blends than in cold pressed juice. Acai bowls will continue to grow in popularity, but other smoothie bowls (like those mixed with greens or dragonfruit) with an emphasis on superfood toppings will also be more common. I'm also excited about new twists on old classics like ice cream made out of frozen banana and superfoods."—Ryan Carpenter of Moberi

Drink it Up:

  • Dragonbowl Z at Moberi: Blended pitaya (dragonfruit), strawberry, pineapple, banana, and apple juice topped with granola, banana, fresh fruit, coconut, honey, and goji berries
  • Honey Bee Good bowl at Kure: coconut water, house-made almond butter, kale, honey, coconut yogurt, and ice topped with banana, bee pollen, gluten-free granola, sliced almonds, honey, and cinnamon
  • Truly Tropical bowl at Carioca Bowls: acai, raw coconut water, mango, and pineapple topped with granola, banana, two fruits of your choice, and additional toppings

The Trend: Charcoal Power

"I've heard a lot of buzz about charcoal. I've even had customers reach out to me and ask if I have started experimenting with it yet. I have started researching it and I am definitely expecting it to become more of a staple in juice bars around the country."—Brittney Galloway of Prasad and Harlow

“Instagram dictates a lot of trends because what looks good in photos tends to be more popular. Activated charcoal is super cool, it makes things look really dark and is cleansing.”—Ryan Carpenter of Moberi

The Trend: The Other 'It' Veggies

"I think you're going to see people backing away from the green craze. That doesn't mean we won't be drinking them, I just mean people are going to get back into a lot of the great veggies they've been forgetting about like carrots and beets. Both are really great for you, but have been on the back burner the last few years."—Brian Heck of Canteen and Sip

Drink it Up:

    • Ruby juice at Prasad and Harlow: grapefruit, carrot, beet, ginger
    • Red Velvet juice at the Juice Box: beet, apple, carrot, lemon, ginger
    • Super Veggies juice at Sip and Canteen: kale, celery, cucumber, carrot, beet, garlic
    • Guru juice at Portland Juice Co: carrot, apple, beet 

A photo posted by Prasad (@prasadcafe) on

The Trend: Beyond the Basics

"I have started to notice an interest in more creative drinks. As popularity grows in juices and smoothies, more people are making them at home and when they come to a place like Prasad they want to try something they don't normally make. I think they also want to be inspired, whether that be with a new ingredient or a common ingredient used in a way they may never have thought of."—Brittney Galloway of Prasad and Harlow

“It’s all about functional nutrition. We’ll see a continued focus on superfoods, healthy fats like coconut oil, plant-based proteins…I also think mushrooms are going to be super hot. People are drying them and adding them for added nutritional value. Cannabis might become a thing now that it’s legal, people are trying to find ways to use it in juices and smoothies.”—Ryan Carpenter of Moberi

Drink it Up:

  • Gilt smoothie at Prasad and Harlow: carrot juice, coconut milk, mango, pineapple, turmeric, ginger, bee pollen
  • Grand-Daddy Purple smoothie at Kure: acai berries, goji berries, blue/green algae, strawberries, coconut yogurt, maca, kale, gingko, ginseng, agave, coconut water, ice
  • Beyond Water at the Juice Box: alkaline water and chlorophyll
  • Fresh Prince of Brazil smoothie at Moberi: acai, strawberry, banana, goji berries, apple
  • Bell Kicker juice at Sip: red pepper, carrot, apple, lemon, ginger, garlic, cayenne, elderberry, echinacea

A photo posted by kure pdx (@kurejuice) on

The Trend: Herbs and Spices

"As a cook first and foremost, I love the flavor profiles of herbs and spices and find them exciting. When I go to another juice bar I don't want another carrot orange juice, I want something that's good for me and that tastes damn good. It's becoming more common to order a drink with cilantro, or fennel, or turmeric, or cayenne, or basil. If the people are willing to try it then it gives us the freedom to experiment."—Brittney Galloway of Prasad and Harlow

"We are going to see people using more culinary herbs in their juices—like basil and rosemary—and focusing more on the flavor profile rather than how many superfoods you can fit in. I'm really loving turmeric right now. It's a really powerful anti-inflammatory, and that also adds a great golden color to juices."—Brian Heck of Canteen and Sip

Drink it Up:

  • Diehard smoothie at Sip: kale, spinach, parsley, cilantro, cucumber, celery, lemon, ice, sea salt
  • Herbtonic juice at Prasad and Harlow: apple, basil, cilantro, cucumber, spinach, ginger
  • Mantra juice at Portland Juice Co: carrot, orange, ginger, turmeric, cayenne
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