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Planet Smoothie cuts calories in drinks

The 120-unit Planet Smoothie chain said it has reformulated its drinks to have fewer calories.

Becky Shell, Planet Smoothie’s vice president of marketing, said it has switched to a sugar-free chocolate syrup and replaced the turbinado sugar used in smoothies with a proprietary stevia and agave sweetener.

“We made a lot of ingredient changes to improve” the nutritional makeup of the beverages, said Kevin Smith, Planet Smoothie's director of operations. “We have been able to drastically lower calories.”

For example, a 12-ounce kids' smoothie that once contained an average of 250 calories now has about 180 calories.

Planet Smoothie's drinks are priced around $2.99 for a 12-ounce smoothie and between $4.49 and $6.49 for 22-ounce smoothies. Prices vary by market.

Shell said the lower-calorie smoothies are not a response to upcoming federal menu-labeling requirements. All 120 Planet Smoothie locations began posting calorie counts on menus this month, she also noted.

Smoothie segment leader Jamba Juice on Monday introduced a retail line of make-at-home smoothies that contain 120 calories or fewer per serving. The All Natural Smoothies are sold at grocery stores for a recommended $2.99 to $3.29 in Razzmatazz, Mango-a-go-go and Strawberries Wild varieties. Each package makes two 8-ounce servings.

Contact Pamela Parseghian at [email protected].

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