Editors' Note, March 10, 2015:Hamilton Beach provided more information on the products. We've updated the piece accordingly.
With four new products scheduled for release throughout 2015, Jamba Juice hopes to give you the keys to making their trademark smoothies on your own. By partnering with known appliance maker Hamilton Beach, Jamba Juice expands beyond the storefront, while Hamilton Beach gets new branding to explore the premium side of consumer blenders.
Typically known as a discount manufacturer, and reliably producing solid blenders at low price points, Hamilton Beach has previously reserved its more powerful models for commercial kitchens. With the Jamba Juice partnership, Hamilton Beach brings the know how of that commercial team to consumers, and since the Jamba name adorns the products instead of the Hamilton Beach name, the latter can maintain its consumer reputation as a low cost brand.
Here are the four products announced from the new partnership:
Jamba Professional Blender: A $450 machine that looks to be cut from the same cloth as Vitamix. It has a 2.4 horsepower motor and comes with a 64-ounce jar and an emulsion cup. It's due out this month.
Jamba Quiet Blend Blender: A unique cover sits over this $190 processor and supposedly locks in noise so you can make an early-morning smoothie without waking your family. It has a 1.6-horsepower motor and comes with a 32-ounce jar and a 20-ounce travel cup with a separate blade assembly. A separate version will sell for $170 without the travel cup. It's due out in July.
Jamba Professional Juice Extractor: A $200 juicer with a 3.5-inch chute claimed to be the largest available. It packs an 1,100-watt motor and a 34-ounce container and is due out in August.
Jamba Professional Citrus Juicer: Available now for $160 on Jamba's appliance website, the Citrus Juicer has an easy-grip handle and a drip spout.
Each product includes a recipe book so you can dive right into Jamba-flavored smoothie making. There's no word on international availability yet.
I look forward to testing the quiet shield for the Jamba Quiet Blend Blender in particular. Noise is a common annoyance with blenders, and if the shield is effective and the blender retains Hamilton Beach's usual competence with smoothies, it'll make for an intriguing buy.
The Jamba Professional isn't as unique, and since it costs $450, it will have to compete Vitamix. It bears more than a striking resemblance to the Vitamix 7500 , and the specs look positioned to directly outdo the popular premium machine. The Jamba Pro costs $450 to the Vitamix 7500's $530. It has 2.4 horsepower to the 7500's 2.2. The 64-ounce jar matches the 7500's capacity.
Since specs don't tell the full tale when it comes to testing blenders -- the Breville Hemisphere Control Blender in particular used lesser wattage to great effect -- I'll look forward to testing whether or not the Jamba Professional can keep up with Vitamix when it comes to performance. We've yet to put a high powered Hamilton Beach to the test as again, the premium Hamilton Beach blenders have been commercial products to this point.
We have reviewed a number of reliable low cost blenders from Hamilton Beach. Each proved more than capable of basic blending needs and made us think twice about the need for spending more on a high-powered machine. Once we got past smoothies and salsas and got to the stress tests like almond butter and pesto, they faltered, as is more than reasonable for the discount.
The Jamba Professional will need to do much better to be worth the price, and will also need to avoid the pitfalls of high powered machines. The Blendtec 725 pushed the wattage of the excellent Blendtec WildSide too far and ended up with an unstable machine that tends to shred its own gasket. Thus, I'm wary of the extra 0.2 wattage Hamilton Beach squeezed into the Jamba Pro to beat out the Vitamix 7500.
Hamilton Beach is entering a new realm of consumer product with Jamba Juice, and Jamba can use the partnership to make itself a contender in home smoothie making. The Quiet Shield of the Jamba Quiet Blend Blender looks new and interesting. Whereas, the high priced Jamba Professional looks to fall into familiar Vitamix territory. To be successful, it'll need to use the most of its power to maximize performance and prove itself worth the extra cost.