Dozens of Recipes from Williams-Sonoma Smoothie Week

In keeping with the initial purpose of this post, sharing the amazing smoothies bloggers have created for Williams-Sonoma “Not Your Typical Smoothie Week”, which ran from the last week of October through the third week in January, I’ve rearranged this post to share the smoothies first. The background story and updates are in chronological order below them.

The Smoothies!

Black Bean and Blueberry SmoothieMaria, pinkpatisserie.net
Red Velvet Cake in a Glass (V w/o jello)Le, fitfoodiele.com
Bloody Mary SmoothiesAlice, hipfoodiemom.com
Strawberry Banana Bean SmoothieJess, hellotofit.com
“Egg Nog” SmoothieAlexe, keystothecucina.com
Green Sand Egg Nog SmoothieDarlene, theteaenthusiastsscrapbook.com
Hawaiian Bliss Cacao Vanilla Smoothie (V)Meghan, recipesforcompassion.com
Not Your Typical Berry SmoothieCharlene, paperandinkplayground.com
Roasted Carrot Apple Coconut Smoothie (V)Vee, honeylemontea.com
Red Hots Apple Pie SmoothieSarah, sarahnspice.com
Raspberry Kombucha Smoothie (V)Jen, savedbythekale.com
Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie (V)Kim, beautyandthebumpnyc.com
Gingersnap Smoothie (V if using vegan cookies)Farihah, spicesbites.com
Edamame and Kale Pina Colada Smoothie (V)Liz, cookingbymoonlight.com
Ginger and Beetroot SmoothieSofia, moco-choco.com
Pumpkin Spice Smoothies (V)Margaret, theplantstrongvegan.com
Green Mango SmoothieAbby, manilaspoon.com
Gingerbread SmoothieDiana, thedreameryevents.com
Matcha Almond Honey SmoothieJen and Kelly, thefwordblog.com
Peanut Butter Avocado Smoothie (V option)Melissa, lovebugliving.com
Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Smoothie (V)Amanda, positivelyamanda.com
Tiramisu SmoothieLaurie, love-laurie.com
French Toast Smoothie (V)Veronica, thevegetarianginger.com
Sweet Roots Beet Smoothie (V)Sarah, curiouscuisiniere.com
Beet & Citrus Green Smoothie (V)Tashina, logicalharmony.net
Elvis SmoothieJen, burpeesforbreakfast.com
Not Your Typical Smoothie (V)Courtney and Hillary, thebeautymarkgirls.com
Kiwi Avocado Protein SmoothieLaurel and Bec, athletefood.com
The Standard Drill (with radishes!)Lisa, themeaningofme.com
Blueberry Yum Yum SmoothieCarole, thesweetchick.com
Tropical Spirulina Smoothie (V)Jenn, asimplehaven.com
Cranberry Coconut Smoothie (V w/o honey)Marisa, margaritasintherain.com
Naughty and Nice Festive Smoothies (V)Lynda, homelealass.com
Easy Avocado Smoothie (V options)Salma, thewritebalance.ca
Brussel Sprouts and Raspberry Smoothie (V w/o honey)Rakhee, boxofspice.com
Avocado, Banana and Raspberry SmoothieFareen, foodmamma.com
Wacky Winter Smoothies (V options)Jennifer, skinnychef.com
Chocolate Covered Cherry SmoothieCatherine, foodiecology.com
Strawberry Smoothie CubesAla, wallflourgirl.com
Butternut & Persimmon Paradise Smoothie   (V)Emily, rainbowdelicious.com
Mixed Berry SmoothieLaura, brightandbeautiful.com
Chocolate Covered Matcha Smoothie (V)Juliane, stylenectar.com
Autumnal Sweet Potato & Papaya Smoothie (V)Charlene, charspillane.com
Spiced Butternut Apple Smoothie (V w/o honey)Grace, foodfitnessfreshair.com
Tropical Green Monster Smoothie (V)Laura, guiltfreefoodiecutie.com
Superfood SmoothieLaureen, artandthekitchen.com
Peppermint Chocolate SmoothieAmy, the-savvy-kitchen.com
Cranberry Citrus Green Smoothie (V)Trish, tagsthoughts.com
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (V options)Maria, mariamakesmuffins.com
Avocado and Date SmoothieMolly, thisyuppielife.com
Gingerbread Dough Boy Smoothie (V)Margaret, kitchenfrau.com
Sweet Potato Pie SmoothieTalya, gracegritsgarden.com
Exotic Smoothies – 6 Tasty CombinationsElizabeth, familyfocusblog@gmail.com
Vegan Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie (V)Linda, veganosity.com
Pomegranate Green Protein Antioxidant Rich SmoothieCara, momswhoshake.com
Persian Cantaloupe Smoothie (V w/o honey)Ahu, ahueats.com
Chocolate Maca Protein Shake with Fresh Almond Milk (V)Cat, neohomesteading.com
Kale + Cranberry (Sauce) Smoothie (V)Sarah, lafemmeepicure.com
Immune Boosting Pink Lemonade Smoothie(V)Ashley, bloomandnourish.com
Fresh Juices and Smoothies (V)Rachel, aliveinthefire.com
Carrot Orange Sunshine SmoothieKaren, thetastybiteblog.com
Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie (V)Kim, welcomingkitchen.com
Breakfast Cauldrons and Pumpkin Cookie Dough (V)Claudia, breakfastdramaqueen.com
Peaches and Coconut Cream Smoothie with a Secret (V options)Tori, gringalicious.com
Happy Tummy Happy Holidays Smoothie (V)Ronda, thedomesticcurator.com
Eye-Opener Smoothie (V)Nadia, thinkingskinny.com
Blueberry Oatmeal SmoothiesMelissa, servedupwithlove.com
Green Smoothie with KaleMarjorie, apinchofhealthy.com
Egg Nog SmoothiesMelanie, fortyeighteen.com
Almond Joy Power SmoothieJulia, energywebring.com
Chestnut Choco Oats SmoothieAlice, mitzyathome.com
Christmas Cranberry SmoothieSarah, handmademood.com
Fruity Protein Power Smoothie (V options)Nancy, organichealthylifestyle.com
Moose JuiceLinda, getreal4health.com
Sweet Potato Pie SmoothieDenise, littlemarketkitchen.com
Kale Cookie Butter Cinnamon SmoothieJen, prettylittlegrub.com
Eggnog Gingerbread Smoothie (V options)Sam, pancakewarriors.com
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (V)Kelsey, thelittleredjournal.com

Backstory:  I was recently contacted by the Community Coordinator for Williams-Sonoma and asked to participate in “Not Your Typical Smoothie” week.  A quick google search for “Not Your Typical Smoothie” led me to discover that it’s evidently been Not Your Typical Smoothie week for several months, with bloggers developing recipes and linking to Williams-Sonoma blenders throughout both November and December.  I found dozens of participating bloggers.  Searching the Williams-Sonoma website, the Williams-Sonoma blog, and the Williams-Sonoma twitter account came up with no evidence that they’ve ever shared anyone’s recipes that they developed. So I e-mailed Williams-Sonoma and asked them why they hadn’t shared any of this amazing work with anyone.  Their reason?  The original e-mail I received wasn’t from Williams-Sonoma.

williamssonomaresponse

I don’t understand why someone would impersonate a company to solicit recipe blog posts and pressure bloggers to put links to Williams-Sonoma blenders on their website.  I do agree that the practice seems inconsistent with what I’d expect from a company like Williams-Sonoma.  When I wrote about companies soliciting blog posts yesterday, it hadn’t even occurred to me that someone would be impersonating the company.

The downside is that people put in work to develop a recipe for nothing in return. The upside is there are a ton of really great smoothie recipes out there with fun ingredients, showing the creativity and talent of tons of bloggers, and I’ve now found them via this google search. Which brings me back to the downside, that Williams-Sonoma didn’t solicit these posts and therefore they won’t receive publicity from the company.  Their readers still get to enjoy these recipes, but I think they should get more than that!

The more I sifted through search results, the more amazed I was at the creativity, passion and enthusiasm of these bloggers who so generously took time to create posts on this topic, thinking it was for Williams-Sonoma.  They should be seen, and I’m going to share them with you here.  I’ve labeled the ones that are vegan so fellow plant-based enthusiasts can find them more easily.  Enjoy!

PS – If you participated in Smoothie Week for Williams-Sonoma and your post isn’t featured here, please let me know in the comments section and I will add it!  There were so many that it’s taken time to compile them all, and I am sure I’ve missed some.


smoothieweekheather

 

williamssonoma
One of many e-mails from bloggers I reached out to saying they’d added links to Williams Sonoma as well as developing the recipe, but never received anything in return.

1/14/2015 12:30 p.m. Update: The @WilliamsSonoma twitter account is telling me that the “Not Your Typical Smoothie” campaign is actually being run by Williams-Sonoma.  They’ve promised to explain the process.  I hope these bloggers get publicity for their work!

williamssonomatweet

1/14/2015 evening update: I’ve received an e-mail from Williams-Sonoma and responded with some questions and an urge for more transparency in the future.  They will be featuring selected recipes as part of their #30Days30Ways and #wswellness campaigns this month.  I am pleased that some of the participating bloggers will get publicity from Williams-Sonoma, that’s a big deal, and they have some incredible smoothie posts to choose from!

My take-away is that for bloggers and companies to have positive and mutually beneficial partnerships with one another, clear communication of expectations on both sides in advance of content creation is key.

I encourage participating bloggers in “Not Your Typical” Smoothie Week to give Williams-Sonoma feedback. Communication could help shape the way they run future campaigns.

williams-sonomaresponse

williams-sonomamyresponse

Update 1/16/15: I received an e-mail last night from Williams-Sonoma stating they have selected recipes to share via Facebook and Pinterest, and their digital media team will notify bloggers in the coming days.

I look forward to seeing the ones they’ve chosen.

Update 1/23/15: Williams-Sonoma sent a tweet this morning with a link to their pinterest board “Not Your Typical Smoothie” where they’ve featured 27 smoothies from their 3 month “Not Your Typical Smoothie Week” campaign. They promised a Facebook compilation album also, still waiting for that to go live.  When it does I’ll post a link there, also.

As this whole thing unfolded, four goals developed.

1. To make bloggers more aware of the need to ask questions before working with companies.

2. To make Williams-Sonoma aware of the way their partner Heather handled the campaign, ie that she was running “the first installment of Not Your Typical Smoothie Week” for several months running, pressuring bloggers to add links to Williams-Sonoma blenders on their website in exchange for social media coverage they then went months without receiving, and setting artificial deadlines for bloggers who worked hard to develop recipes at busy times in their lives because they were excited to participate…. only to discover the next week was again “smoothie week”.

3. To encourage Williams-Sonoma to provide the social media coverage Heather promised bloggers they would receive.  (Some of these bloggers have been waiting since before Halloween.)

4. To encourage Williams-Sonoma to finally end “Not Your Typical Smoothie week” and improve how clearly they communicate with bloggers about deadlines and what bloggers will receive (and when) in terms of social media publicity if they decide to participate in future campaigns.

Conclusion:

Williams-Sonoma has continued to correspond with me via e-mail.  I believe they’re now aware of how this campaign was managed, and how many bloggers feel about it.  They’re going to provide social media coverage to selected bloggers this month.

williamssonomaresolution

All that remains to be seen is whether “Not Your Typical Smoothie” Week is finally over, and if they’ll run better campaigns in the future.  I’ve sent them one (hopefully last) more e-mail asking if Heather will stop sending out e-mails asking bloggers to participate in “Smoothie Week”.  This is what I received in reply:

FinalWSemail

Thank you, Williams-Sonoma for continuing to correspond with me, for featuring some of these recipes on Facebook and Pinterest, and for considering changing the nature of future campaigns.

Best wishes to all my fellow bloggers.

You may enjoy this post from another blogger that Williams-Sonoma reached out to:

I Don’t Work for Free (and Neither Should You) by bellebrita

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37 comments

  1. Hey Kelly, I’m so glad you did this. It had not occurred to me at all that it was someone impersonating the company. Wow! Disappointing but like you said the bright side is there are some fun smoothie recipes out there! 🙂 It was great of you to collect the round up of smoothies!

  2. Kelly, thank you so much for sharing this! It breaks my heart seeing just how many people fell for this (me included!). I appreciate you getting to the bottom of this and letting everyone know the truth, thank you <3

  3. Thanks so much for doing the leg work on this one! I simply had no idea. Disappointing in the extreme and I’ll definitely be more careful about this kind of thing in the future. I do love all the gorgeous recipes though! Thanks so much for including all the links!

  4. Thank you for compiling all of the smoothies into one post. Thank you for your research and hard work.

  5. Wow, it never occurred to me that someone would solicit on behalf of the company and not actually be from the company.
    What you’ve done here with this is pretty much what I’ve been collecting since I did mine…only I have not hit publish. Thanks so much for the mention here for me and all the other bloggers. You really did your homework – thanks from all of us!
    Best to you!

  6. Hi Kelly,
    Thanks for reaching out and then looking into this. I thought the whole interaction was a bit odd but I never would have thought that it would be an impersonation. Thank you for this post. It’s definitely appreciated! So many bloggers put a lot of work into their smoothie posts and it’s nice of you to post them all!

  7. This is a really unfortunate situation but selfishly I really appreciate seeing all of these recipes in one spot. Thanks!

  8. Hi Kelly,

    I was duped too. I received the exact same message you posted above- however mine was received way back in November. Thanks for your excellent research and reporting. I definitely wasn’t feel terrific about having promoted something to all my readers that seemed never to come to fruition. Definitely feeling taken advantage of and foolish for falling for it- I put so much time into both my recipes & posts (yes I created two smoothies as I was told there would be TWO different smoothie weeks). Look forward to hearing what Williams Sonoma has to say about all this in the end. Perhaps they’ll post all of them as they should 🙂

    Much love,
    Juliane

    1. I hope they do post them all. I don’t think it’s good practice to run a “first installment of Not Your Typical Smoothie week” for several months. I also don’t think they should pressure bloggers to add links to Williams-Sonoma blenders (which they did to many bloggers after the bloggers developed their recipes) without being clear about what the bloggers would receive in return. Yes, I’ve learned to ask more questions in the future, but shouldn’t we be able to expect better of such a reputable company? I have yet to receive any DM about the campaign process. It’s been four hours, which makes me wonder if they don’t have details to send me yet. I would think if they had details about the campaign already written, it would be a simple forward of an e-mail that could be done within a few hours on a business day. I will share any information I receive here, and will continue to hope that Williams-Sonoma has great plans to share these recipes and give the developing bloggers credit for their participation!

      1. I kind of wonder, given that WS is such a reputable company, if they are now claiming the smoothie effort because they don’t want the bad press, so to speak. It could certainly explain why after they said they’d contact you with details you’ve heard nothing. Either that or it was just end of business day. I’m really curious to see how this plays out.

  9. Thanks for investigating this Kelly! I also felt it was odd that so many people created unique smoothie recipes without anyone getting any sort of promotion from Williams-Sonoma. I just noticed your update that they are now claiming this campaign and I am interested to see how they explain everything in their response to you… please keep us updated! Thanks!

  10. I wonder if “Heather” will soon be the author of a new Smoothie book. SMH.

  11. Hi Kelly,

    Thank you so much for sharing my recipe and for taking a deeper look into this “promotion”. I busted my butt during my busy holidays to brainstorm a recipe, photograph and write a post around it, so it’s a shame that it turns out to be a shady operation on W-S’s part. Oh well, the positive thing that came out of it is chatting with you and you sharing my recipe, so thank you again for helping to spread good blog karma 🙂

    Alexe

  12. Thanks for shining a light on this Kelly! I expected better of Williams Sonoma and will be thinking long and hard about working with them (or buying from them) in the future.

    Cheers,
    Lynda.

  13. Wow, wow, and wow, Kelly–I have such major respect for you considering all you’ve done to protect the integrity of us bloggers. GO YOU! You should feel really great about yourself; I’m glad that in the end, though, it really did turn out to be them. I would have felt a million and one times sillier if it hadn’t! This does go to show that doing lots and lots of research *before* saying yes to a content series is super-duper important, though. Imagine if they had actually collected private info through the correspondence! I’m glad to report that through responsible folks like yourself, I’m still proud to be a blogger who can keep working with companies like them. Keep us updated, thank you SO much for taking the initiative to share, and you’ve found a new friend in me, girl!

    1. Thanks Ala – the photos on your blog are stunning! I’ve gotten to connect with some amazing, creative people. Cheers 🙂

  14. Thank you for your diligence and hard work on this topic. I created, photographed, wrote, edited, and tweaked (at the suggestion of Heather) my post for William’s Sonoma in October., as I’m sure every one of us who participated in this did. I too looked for the “Not Your Typical Smoothie” winners on their website for several weeks, but gave up after three. I love WS and I shop there frequently, but this leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. No pun intended. Clearly they don’t understand how hard we food bloggers work, and it seems that they used us for free advertising. Hopefully they will feature every one of the bloggers who fit a WS smoothie into their scheduled posts. That would be the nice thing to do.

    Thank you for sharing my Vegan Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie with your readers, and for introducing me to your awesome blog!

    Best,

    Linda

  15. Wow – this is pretty wild, and disappointing for a big brand like Williams Sonoma. I’m so glad you followed up to figure out what was really going on, and thanks for sharing the smoothies. Cheers to all the honest bloggers out there!

  16. I am so, so happy you did this. I just received your e-mail and am going to get in contact with them 100%. Good on you for taking the time and energy to go after them for misleading bloggers.

  17. Thanks everyone – I’m really hoping that Williams-Sonoma will change their social media campaign practices in the future. I’ve really enjoyed looking through all the fabulous smoothies people created, that part of what happened is wonderful!

  18. Wow Kelly,

    I was contacted originally back in December for it to go live on the 19th but my life was crazy since my husband had a heart attack. I sent “Heather” an email stating I was sorry I could not participate because of the circumstances and she offered up that since so many were busy during the holidays they had extended it and I could still participate on the 12th of this month. I was trying to get back on my “blogging” feet so to speak. I was hoping for exposure as well as everyone else. We all work hard for what we do and it is very disappointing when we work so hard for nothing. My daughter actually came down with the flu but I had already agreed to do it so I worked my butt off to get it done, photographed, and wrote up. I even received an email from “Heather” to please put a link to the blender section of the Williams-Sonoma site. Thank you for doing all the leg work here and to place such a great list of smoothie recipes together. Now I will be hesitant to work with other companies in the future. They should share each and everyone of these recipes. I do plan to send an email with my opinions to Williams-Sonoma. Again, thank you!

    1. I hope Williams-Sonoma reads this – there were times when I was compiling the list that I wondered if I was perhaps over-reacting. After all, the readers of each blog still got to enjoy new smoothie recipes, right? But reading your story makes me realize what a negative impact this campaign had that could have been avoided if they’d been clear with you that the deadline was very flexible. I hope your recipe is featured, and I hope your husband has recovered well from his heart attack and has good health going forward.

  19. Thank you so much Kelly for this! I am one of the bloggers who totally got duped by this. I remember thinking it was weird I hadn’t seen anything on social media about the smoothie week and no promotion of my post. But I kind of forgot about it and moved on.
    I was reluctant at first to even participate as the company wasn’t offering any benefit to me but I figured it was a good way to develop a relationship with a brand.

    They are being very sketchy and this experience will certainly make me be more cautious in the future about opportunities that I accept. I absolutely plan to contact Williams Sonoma about this and this treatment of bloggers puts me off as a customer completely.

  20. WOW. I had been contacted by the same person to write about juicing. I thought it was an amazing opportunity to get my blog out there with a major brand. Disappointing.

  21. It’s all been said above, not much else to say. Thanks for the heads up via e-mail. Let us know if ‘Heather’ uses our recipes for her own gain. That will not be okay!

  22. Hi Kelly and all of you other fabulous bloggers! I received an email from Heather this morning informing me that they will be featuring many of the smoothie recipes for their wellness campaign this month, “Please visit facebook.com/williamssonoma and pinterest.com/williamssonoma on Friday, January 23rd to browse through selected entries.”

    I hope they share everyone’s recipe. We all deserve to be included! Best of luck to you all. 🙂

    1. I am thrilled that they’ll be shared, and look forward to seeing them! I know there are more smoothie recipes out there than even the 76 I’ve posted here, I simply ran out of time to keep googling and adding links. I may even discover some I hadn’t seen yet – only Heather knows how many are actually out there! I think the entire thing should have been managed differently, but will be pleased to see it draw to a close and hopefully our communication to Williams-Sonoma will prevent other bloggers from having this experience in the future.

  23. Thank you Kelly for all the work you’ve put into investigating this. So does this Heather gal actually work for Williams-Sonoma. Have you been in touch with their marketing promotion team or just customer service.
    It’s too bad so many bloggers were mislead.

  24. Thank you SINCERELY for all the research and foot work you put into this investigation, Kelly! I received an email from ‘Heather’ this morning and had to come check your blog and update myself on the situation. Let’s just say I’m glad I came here before responding, LOL! I do hope everyone’s recipe is shared as well; they all look tasty and unique. Happy New Year, fellow bloggers.

  25. I received the same communication from “Heather M” at WS telling me the same as others have mentioned above – that they have selected several to promote on Facebook and Pinterest using the theme “Not Your Typical Smoothies” to support their wellness campaign this month.
    Thanks, again, Kelly for all your follow-up on this.

  26. Hi Kelly,
    Thank you so much for this post! I also received the exact same email from “Heather” earlier this week and thought it was bizarre that she never got back to me with all of my questions. I initially got SUPER excited that a small time blogger like me would even be contacted by Williams Sonoma, but I’m so glad I did my research and didn’t end up falling for it. I’m obviously disappointed, like I’m sure many are, but am glad you looked more into this. Thank you for sharing everyone’s fantastic recipes!

  27. What an incredible collection of recipes (and talented bloggers!). Thank you, Kelly, for leading the charge on this. I, too, felt disappointed in the transparency and organization of this “campaign” — because I do truly like Williams-Sonoma! I’m looking forward to browsing everyone’s recipes.

    Kindly,
    Laura
    http://brightandbeautifulblog.com/

  28. Hi Kelly!

    Thank you for sharing my blog post as well. The comments reveal that Williams Sonoma has asked a lot of bloggers for free blog posts on a variety of topics. I’m disappointed that such a reputable company has such a low opinion of bloggers. All of us work very hard on what we do. Clearly they have contacted large numbers of bloggers, and even if they do follow through with sharing a few recipes to their Pinterest, I highly doubt it will be more than a small percentage of participating bloggers.

    I also think it’s a little weird that they tried to claim at first that Heather was impersonating Williams Sonoma. When I first read that, it immediately seemed fishy. Before I had even responded to Heather (yup, same person who emailed me), I had confirmed the domain name of her email was legitimate.

    Thank you for researching this so diligently. Hopefully they will take your feedback to heart and improve their blogger outreach.

  29. Wow, you are way too nice! I can’t believe they did this. What jerks.

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