Could Korean smoothies be the next big thing? Standard Chartered PLC seems to think so:

A South Korean cultural wave is sweeping the world, with interest surging in areas ranging from the country’s pop music to cosmetics to television dramas. Now, smoothies could be next.

At least that is what Standard Chartered PLC’s private-equity unit is banking on with a $45.5 million joint investment with Korea’s National Pension Service for a 48% stake in Smoothies Korea Inc.

The Korean fruit-blended beverage maker is trying to position itself as a healthful Starbucks-like competitor in the world of smoothies. Its 100 company-owned and franchised stores tap into the country’s café craze while offering a healthy alternative to coffee and shunning sugar as a sweetener, said Charles Huh, managing director of Standard Chartered Private Equity’s Korean arm.

And remember children, “be white.”