Evolution Juices

Starbucks enters juice market with $30m acquisition

Starbucks is paying $30m to acquire US juice business, Evolution Fresh, as it looks to tap into the growing demand for healthy food and drink, a market estimated at $50 billion.

The world’s largest coffee chain, which has made no secret of its ambitions to expand beyond its staple business as the market for coffee shops is at near saturation point.

CEO Howard Schultz hopes buying Evolution Fresh, whose products are sold by a handful of retailers, including Whole Foods, will give the company a meaningful foothold in the estimated $50 billion health food market. Rivals such as McDonalds and PepsiCo have made a concerted effort to push their health credentials in recent years.

San Bernardino, California-based Evolution Fresh sells premium fruit and vegetable juices, fresh-cut vegetables, gourmet soups and salsas. It was started by Jimmy Rosenberg, the founder of Naked Juice, which is now owned by PepsiCo. It uses a heat-free, high-pressure pasteurisation process to retain more of the nutrients and flavour in its products compared with using conventional heat pasteurisation.

Starbucks will sell the products through grocery stores, Starbucks coffee shops and an as yet unnamed new line of stores which it will open next year.