Starbucks Acquires Juice Maker Evolution Fresh

Starbucks announced on Thursday it has agreed to acquire juice maker Evolution Fresh for $30 million in an attempt to break into the $50 billion market for health and wellness products. “Our intent is to build a national Health and Wellness brand leveraging our scale, resources and premium product expertise. Bringing Evolution Fresh into the Starbucks family marks an important step forward in this pursuit,” CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement announcing the move.

Starbucks said it will begin selling Evolution Fresh products in its stores immediately, and gradually expand the company’s distribution capabilities. Furthermore, Schultz indicated, Starbucks will start a new health and wellness retail chain around the brand, selling Evolution Fresh juices and other health-oriented products. The acquisition puts Starbucks in direct competition with other juice retailers like Orange Julius and Jamba Juice.

Revolution Fresh was founded in 1992 by former Naked Juice founder Jimmy Rosenburg. The company uses a unique process called High Pressure Pasteurization which it claims help to keep its products as natural as possible. Starbucks expects Evolution Fresh to post a moderate loss in fiscal 2012 before breaking even in 2013. The move will not affect Starbucks’ financial targets for fiscal 2012, it said.

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