"We are a 92-year-old family-owned company that is trying to change the way the world thinks about food," said Jodi Berg, the company's president. "Right now, that's our vision, that's the direction we're going."
Vitamix's sales increase stands in stark contrast to overall U.S. manufacturing activity, which has slowed this year as Europe's slump provides a drag on U.S. exports. Businesses also cut back on investment in machinery and equipment in the first quarter.
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With prices that start around $400, Vitamix's blenders aren't cheap. Despite the high price tag, companies, such as Starbucks and Jamba Juice, professional chefs and consumers are snapping them up.
Increased consumer interest in juice, due in part to juice cleanses, along with more awareness as a result of infomercials and in-store demonstrations at companies like William-Sonoma or Costco has driven demand, said Debra J. Mednick, executive director home industry analyst at the NPD Group.
This should only grow as there has been an increase in the number of juice bars like Jamba Juice. According to Technomic, rivals such as Creative Juice, Evolution Fresh, Nekter Juice Bar, and Daily Juice are popping up around the country.
"It's a great way to get antioxidants and all the nutrients that you can, along with getting fruits and vegetables," Mednick said. "We have an aging population and certainly they're interested. This is kind of polarized where you have younger customers under 45 also becoming more nutrition-centric."
Plus the drinks are being marketing as a meal replacement, which appeals to calorie-conscious consumers, said Darren Tristano, an executive vice president at Technomic. "Juice-bar concepts are here to stay," he added.
To meet this growing demand, Vitamix recently opened a new 175,000-square-foot operations facility and is in the midst of a separate $10-million, 51,000-square-foot expansion of its world headquarters.
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Despite the high growth, Berg said the company plans to stay private as it seeks to improve its customers' lives.
"We don't want anyone that's going to change that laser focus," Berg said.
"We're going to stay the way we are," she continued. "We like being family owned. We like having that personal relationship with our customers."