NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- For Smoothie King, the innovative leader of the booming smoothie segment, 2016 has been a year for record-breaking growth. Between signing major development deals and bringing "Smoothies With A Purpose®" to new communities at rapid rates, the 800-plus unit brand is closing in on its goal to surpass 1,000 global locations by the end of 2017. Continuing the brand's momentum from the first half of the year, its strong third quarter posted year-to-date same-store sales that climbed 10.3 percent. "When I purchased Smoothie King, I set a goal to boost sales across the system by increasing the average unit volume of a store by 50 percent," said Smoothie King's chief executive officer Wan Kim. "Due to the hard work of our dedicated franchisees and the ongoing support that the corporate team provides to the system, I could not be more proud to see the company achieve this type of same-store sales growth." By the end of the third quarter, Smoothie King inked 86 agreements for 132 committed stores. That includes a five store area development agreement in Omaha, Nebraska that's being spearheaded by one of the brand's existing franchisee groups that is now pursuing multi-unit ownership. Another two store area development agreement was also signed in Marion, Illinois, furthering the brand's development efforts across the state and the Chicagoland area. This year alone, Smoothie King opened its doors in both Springfield and Glendale, and signed deals to open additional stores in Bridgeview, Oak Lawn, Schaumburg and Naperville. That high demand for Smoothie King led the brand to reach a major milestone in August: the opening of its 800 th store. Smoothie King celebrated the Orlando, Florida grand opening in a big way by giving away 800 20-ounce smoothies in store in addition to delivering free smoothies to police stations and first responders in surrounding areas. The brand's momentum was also evident in key target markets overseas, with its first opening in the Middle East this past quarter. In tandem with Al Ghurair Retail, Smoothie King's inaugural store in Dubai opened for business in early September, with plans to develop 45 locations in the region. "Smoothie King has been experiencing amazing store count growth over the past few years, and we are excited to bring our purposeful smoothies to new guests as we open locations in untapped markets," said Kevin King, chief development officer for Smoothie King. "With a record breaking number of locations opening this year, we have seen current franchisees continue to sign for more locations while new candidates looking to run a business with a purpose are also eagerly joining the system." Beyond Smoothie King's impressive development initiatives, the third quarter also marked a successful new product rollout. The brand introduced consumers to four flavors of the Coffee High Protein Smoothie line—Almond Mocha, Vanilla, Raspberry Mocha and Cinnamon Latte. The new items continue Smoothie King's tradition of creating products that meet a guest's purpose and also have a high level of consumer demand.