Starbucks Takes Evolution Fresh Eastward

Evolution Fresh has finally made its way east.

Fourteen months after acquiring the brand, Starbucks today launched Evolution Fresh products in its cafés in New York City and Boston. The company said that while East Coast availability of Evolution Fresh will initially be limited to its stores in the two cities, the expansion “furthers growth plans to be in approximately 8,000 Starbucks and grocery locations by the end of the year.”

“We are excited to bring the fresh-picked taste and nutritional benefits of fresh-pressed fruits and vegetables to our customers on the East Coast, and it’s just the beginning,” Jeff Hansberry, president of Starbucks Channel Development, said in a statement. “Evolution Fresh will arrive in your city, soon.”

Evolution uses high-pressure pasteurization (HPP), a process that uses pressure instead of heat to inhibit bacterial growth in raw foods and beverages, to make its ultra-fresh juices safe to drink. HPP also extends the shelf life of the products – which are blended and bottled in California – albeit only by a couple of weeks. The shorter shelf life is likely one of the reasons that the line of cold-pressed juices has been sold exclusively on the West Coast.

However, it appears that Starbucks is ready to leverage the sales and volume strength of its stores in the New York and Boston markets, which could limit the amount of time that the juices sit awaiting purchase.

Starbucks introduced six varieties of Evolution Fresh to the stores: Sweet Greens and Lemon, Pineapple Coconut Water, Orange, Apple Berry + Fiber, Mango + Fiber and Super Green. The products will range in pricing from $3.95 to $5.95. To support the new distribution, Starbucks will host in-store sampling events beginning tomorrow in New York City, and in Boston next week.

As with Starbucks stores on the West Coast, Evolution Fresh will replace PepsiCo-owned Naked juices in its New York and Boston locations. The juices will be distributed directly from Evolution Fresh’s juicery in San Bernadino, Calif., which is slated to be replaced by a new high-tech, 260,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility that the company is building in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The new plant is scheduled to open later this year and will enable Evolution Fresh to produce four to five times the amount of juice as its current facility, a leap in production that will support its push eastward, according to the company.