Back from the East, Hansberry Takes the Reins at Evolution Fresh

Jeff Hansberry, president, Evolution Fresh

Jeff Hansberry, president, Evolution Fresh

Jeff Hansberry, who played a key role in Starbucks’ 2011 acquisition of Evolution Fresh, is now at the helm of the cold-pressed, high pressure processed juice brand.

Prior to his appointment, which became effective on Sept. 29, Hansberry was president of Starbucks’ China & Asia Pacific business, a role he held since May, 2013. His appointment to the top spot at Evolution Fresh was prompted by the departure of Chris Bruzzo, who led the juice outfit as senior vice president and general manager from May, 2013 to August, 2014. Bruzzo left Starbucks a few weeks before Hansberry’s arrival to become the chief marketing officer of video game maker Electronic Arts.

A veteran of Starbucks for over four years, Hansberry was president of Starbucks’ Channel Development and Emerging Brands division when the coffee giant acquired Evolution Fresh in November, 2011 and shepherded the transition of the juice brand into the Starbucks system. He also oversaw the initial planning and development of a state-of-the-art juicing and production facility for Evolution Fresh, one that encompasses 260,000 sq. ft. and cost $70 million to build.

While Starbucks has yet to release a formal statement about Hansberry’s new role, the appointment was announced in an October investor report that the company filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

essential_greens_lime_largeUnder Bruzzo’s watch, the brand made significant strides in distribution, with Evolution juices and smoothies now available nationally in natural and conventional retailers as well as Starbucks cafes across the country. In recent months, Evolution Fresh has added to its green and organic juice variety and underwent a label refresh that places greater emphasis on the drinks’ cold-pressed formulation.

In a statement e-mailed to BevNET, Hansberry, who has also held executive leadership positions with E & J Gallo Winery and Procter & Gamble, lauded his new role as “an outstanding opportunity to further the momentum of [the] Evolution Fresh business.”

“My passion for Evolution Fresh was first established when I participated in Starbucks acquisition of the brand in 2011,” he continued. “Evolution Fresh is unrivaled in our commitment to quality cold-pressed juice production and distribution. In addition to our presence in more than 5,500 grocery and natural channels stores, selling our juice in more than 7,000 Starbucks locations provides a unique opportunity for distribution and brand advocacy from our partners (employees).”

In its SEC filing, Starbucks noted that Hansberry “will return to the Company’s headquarters in Seattle in connection with the assumption of his new role.”