The Evolution Fresh retail concept has run out of juice.
Starbucks, which acquired Evolution Fresh in 2011, announced that it will close the brand’s two remaining retail locations in the coming weeks. The decision to shutter the stores, which sold freshly prepared juices, snacks and sandwiches on-premise, will allow Starbucks “to sharpen its strategic focus” on Evolution Fresh’s RTD line of cold-pressed, high pressure processed juices, according to Sanja Gould, the company’s director of consumer brand PR.
Upon its acquisition of Evolution Fresh, Starbucks announced that it would “introduce a new health and wellness retail concept which will further redefine the super-premium juice category and experience for consumers unlike any prior existing juice retail.” However, the coffee giant opened just four locations, two in Seattle, one in Bellevue, Wash. and one in San Francisco. The company closed the San Francisco store in June, 2015 and shut the doors on its Bellevue location in September.
Evolution Fresh’s Pine St. store in Seattle will close on March 3 and the University Village location at the end of June. In an email to BevNET, Gould wrote that Starbucks “learned a lot” from the retail stores, which “served as an environment to explore and directly connect with customers to better understand their preferences” for cold pressed juice and healthy food options.
Despite the end of the brand’s retail stores, Gould noted that Evolution Fresh’s RTD business “continues to thrive and in the coming year we will continue to demonstrate leadership, drive business momentum through innovation, increased distribution, and customer development in cold-pressed, High Pressure Processed juice.”
Later this year Evolution Fresh will begin rolling out its new “Organic Superfoods” smoothies, a line of superfood-infused drinks designed to be consumed as snacks. In a December interview with BevNET, Evolution Fresh president Ryan Ziegelmann described the beverages as “center of the bullseye” for the brand and its consumers. He also expressed a desire to continue building distribution of the brand outside of its roots in the natural channel and Starbucks cafes, noting that Evolution Fresh had doubled its ACV in grocery, drug and mass stores over the past year.