The Battle of the Smoothies: Nektar vs. Jamba Juice

Kalani Williams, Staff Writer

Jamba Juice is frequently the go-to for teenagers wanting smoothies. Since the business opened in Stockton in 1990, multiple smoothie joints have opened and tried to compete but they have ultimately failed. But Nekter, located in Lincoln Center, has been grabbing the attention of the teenage demographic since it opened in April.
First started in Southern California, Nekter has 70 juice bars across California and is quickly expanding its franchises to compete for head-on with Jamba Juice. After trying Nekter’s Berry Banana Smoothie and Jamba Juice’s Strawberry Banana Smoothie, I can say that Nekter is far superior in terms of texture.
The quality and texture of Nekter’s smoothie ($6.35) was smooth and creamy and had absolutely no chunks of fruit in it. Jamba Juice, on the other hand, had chunks of fruit throughout the smoothie, which can be a nuisance when drinking it out of a straw.
The Berry Banana Smoothie has a strong banana flavor that I wasn’t very fond of. Yes, the smoothie is supposed to have a banana in it, but the flavor was overpowering.
Jamba Juice’s Strawberry Banana Smoothie had the perfect amount of sweetness and it was a reasonable price of $6.84 for a 32-ounce. When it comes to the balance of sweetness, Jamba Juice is superior.
For those who look at the bottom line of cost between the smoothies, Jamba Juice offers a 32-ounce smoothie for $6.84, while Nekter’s 16-ounce is $6.35.
When it comes to nutritional value, Jamba Juice’s Strawberry Banana Smoothie Jamba Juice has no artificial preservatives, no artificial flavors, no high fructose corn syrup, and 0g trans fat according to its website.
The Strawberry Banana Smoothie is also 380 calories, has 2g of protein, 7g of dietary fiber and 79g of sugar (no added sugars, natural sugar from fruit).
On the other hand, Nekter’s 32-ounce Berry Banana Smoothie is 640 calories and has 12g of protein, 12g of dietary fiber and 60g of sugar.
The ingredients used in the Berry Banana Smoothie, such as cashew milk and agave nectar, cause the calories to climb quite high.
I’d suggest Jamba Juice to someone who wants to get more for their money and likes good quality drinks because it’s a reasonable price for a large smoothie. Both Jamba Juice and Nekter have great smoothies, but my personal recommendation is Jamba Juice.
For those consumers who don’t mind spending the extra few bucks on a smoothie, go for Nekter.