Published On: June 13, 2024


The celebrity-branded smoothies at Erewhon — a chain of ultra-upscale, wellness-driven supermarkets in Los Angeles — are as ubiquitous on TikTok as the secrets driving their success are closely guarded.

If 2023 was “the year” that the $20 Erewhon smoothie went mainstream (as GQ recently put it), the process of how these concoctions are actually created — and who profits from them, and by how much — remain as murky as the inky blue goop in the store’s beloved Coconut Cloud.

Let’s start with what we do know: The 20-ounce beverages first took off when Hailey Bieber launched the pink- and fuschia-swirled Strawberry Skin Glaze in 2022 (so-called because the smoothie supposedly makes your skin healthier, or something; the science is fuzzy). Since then, the drinks have become a cornerstone of Erewhon’s business. The market’s executive vice president Vito Antoci revealed that it sells about 40,000 Bieber smoothies across its 10 locations every month. Multiply 40,000 by the drink’s current price of $19, and you get $760,000 in monthly revenue — all for a single smoothie. (These figures are the making of some quick calculator math and haven’t been confirmed by Erewhon.)

Bieber’s smoothie has been such a success that it’s now a permanent item on Eerewhon’s smoothie menu. (Generally, the celebrity drinks come and go with the fleetingness of a SHEIN dress.) In Antoci’s words, Erewhon has captured a powerful demographic: “the girls flying from San Francisco to stand in front of Erewhon Beverly Hills with Hailey Bieber smoothies, taking a picture of Erewhon and tagging Hailey. The fan girls really make these drinks viral.” Separately, I’ve heard from Uber and Lyft drivers that they’ve picked up travelers from LAX who asked to be immediately driven to the nearest Erewhon.

But the Strawberry Skin Glaze is just one crown jewel of what’s become a fruit-and-collagen-powered empire. Erewhon now launches a limited-edition, bank account-draining smoothie with a famous partner every month. Past collaborations include Bella Hadid’s orange creamsicle-inspired Kinsicle, $19; Sofia Richie’s Sweet Cherry, $21; and most recently, the model Winnie Harlow’s cheerily colorful Island Glow, $22, which nods to her Jamaican ancestry.


Then we have the bevvies’ obvious unknowns: Erewhon’s pricey celebrity smoothies, roughly seven times the price of a basic-yet-fancy-ish Trader Joe’s juice, are chock full of “special” ingredients that supposedly “justify” the price tag.

These special ingredients aren’t bananas or blueberries, not even extra fancy bananas or blueberries. What’s notable about these mix-ins is that they’re either made and sold by Erewhon or created by other brands. They get a shoutout in the smoothies’ ingredients list and are meant to stand for each celebrity’s personal taste — and, though they’re not explicitly marketed as such, they also stand for a celebrity’s personal beauty or wellness routine. Conveniently, these add-ins are often Erewhon products: think $18 organic roasted almond butter, $21 organic coconut water, and $78 Manuka unpasteurized honey. Those that aren’t made by Erewhon – Cowboy Colostrum powder (featured in Sofia Richie’s Sweet Cherry), Vital Proteins’ vanilla collagen peptides (in both Bieber and Harlow’s smoothies), and KOS blue spirulina (a type of algae used for its coloring streak in the Harlow smoothie) – are of course still carried by the store (purchasable for the handsome prices of $62, $30, and $40 a pop, respectively).

Do these brand-name products simply end up on a famous smoothie’s ingredient list? No — they pay for that honor, too, though the amount the name-checked brands have to pony up is undisclosed. (Several featured brands declined to reveal the fee, citing a confidentiality agreement with Erewhon.)

Whatever the fee is, it must be justifiable. Erewhon is currently selling “probably 7,000 [Harlow] smoothies in a week,” according to Mubarak “Bar” Malik, founder and CEO of Barcode, the “fitness water” brand used in Harlow’s Island Glow. The fact that Erewhon is an investor in Barcode (which allowed the brand to pay a “discounted” fee as a highlighted ingredient, Malik says) made its inclusion all the more valuable. “[Erewhon] always keeps us top of mind with some of their big initiatives. So we’ll get behind-the-scenes looks at things that they may not reveal yet. And we can decide if we want to be a part of that process or project or not.”

Based on conversations about sales figures with brands whose products are used in the famous smoothies, it’s safe to say that Erewhon could be making upward of $16 million a year in revenue solely on its celebrity-peddled libations that include these “special” third-party add-ins. And that’s before racking in the inclusion fees that brands pay the company. (Which is to say nothing of its – genuinely delicious, I can attest – $16.50 chicken noodle soup in a Mason jar.)

But we mustn’t forget the charitable donation Erewhon has to subtract from this bottom line.

Celebs are paid $1 per smoothie sold, but, according to The Hollywood Reporter, they are encouraged to donate this sum to charity. And Erewhon itself “throws another $2 per smoothie to the cause.”


Strangely, the donations and charitable organizations selected — such as A Place Called Home and Women’s Centre of Jamaica in the case of Harlow, per a press release from the Lede Company, which represents her — are not mentioned anywhere on Erewhon’s website. When asked for comment for this story, Alec Antoci, Erewhon’s head of brand development, sent the following statement: “As a private company, we maintain discretion regarding the disclosure of financial figures and refrain from sharing our internal marketing strategies and upcoming collaborations.”

Profits of course aren’t all measured in dollars. A well-timed Erewhon smoothie can also double as free promotion for a celebrity’s side-hustle — Bieber, for example, released her drink in tandem with her skincare brand Rhode, which then enjoyed priceless unpaid publicity. In addition to a splash of Califia Farms Almondmilk, Evolution Fresh OJ, and Coconut Cult yogurt (which are… literally just almond milk, orange juice, and coconut yogurt), Hadid’s Kinsicle is blended with Kin Euphorics, a nootropics beverage brand of which she’s a cofounder.

And Erewhon, in turn, enjoys a boost from each celebrity partner’s built-in fanbase. According to Antoci, the store sold its highest number of Bieber smoothies at the height of the model-influencer’s was-it-or-wasn’t-it feud with Selena Gomez. “While [Hailey Bieber] was having those issues with Selena [Gomez], it was a little rocky,” Antoci said. “We had a lot of people supporting one or the other, but we stood with Hailey.”

All to say, the opportunity to join Erewhon’s smoothie churn is a coup for brands that can afford to pay up. Some, like Vital Proteins’ vanilla collagen, are lucky enough (or rich enough) to be a star in more than one drink: Harlow’s Island Glow and Bieber’s Strawberry Skin Glaze, the sensation that started it all and probably the most-Instagrammed smoothie ever. The flavored collagen powder, a staple on Erewhon shelves and at its tonic bars, was chosen for the celebrity concoctions in part because of its “functional benefits — helping to support skin, hair, bone, and joint health,” says Nick Lopezzo, senior director of consumer engagement at Vital Proteins. The well-oiled wellness industry has never shied away from buzzy health claims (even when the science is hazy). That said, most people likely aren’t planning their LA trips around Erewhon smoothie runs for the health factor. The smoothies’ nutritional value has been likened to Starbucks Frappuccinos, in fact. Ever since Bieber unleashed her strawberry syrup-coated blockbuster, the Erewhon hype has instead steadily relied on a more elusive quality: the social media-trained desire to be part of a cultural moment. Apparently, it’s worth it.


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