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05/25/2022

Starbucks selling Evolution Fresh juice brand as it focuses on core business

Marianne Wilson
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Starbucks is selling Evolution Fresh to Bolthouse Farms.

Starbucks Corp. is getting out of the juice business.

The coffee giant entered into an agreement to sell its Evolution Fresh cold-pressed premium juice brand to Bolthouse Farms, a leading plant-powered juice and smoothie brand and the largest carrot supplier to North American retailers. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close later this year, were not disclosed.

Starbucks acquired Evolution Fresh in 2011 for approximately $30 million dollars. The company went on to open a handful of Evolution Fresh juice bar locations, but the initiative never gained steam and the stores were all shuttered by early 2017. Starbucks continued to sell Evolution Fresh products in its stores and will continue to do so after the deal closes.

“Evolution Fresh has grown steadily over the last several years as a result of our partners’ hard work and commitment to the brand,” said Hans Melotte, Starbucks executive VP global channel development. “We feel there is a great runway and opportunity to take Evolution Fresh to the next level, and Bolthouse Farms’ considerable experience and success in the premium beverage category will allow the brand to continue growing.”

The sale occurs under the leadership of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who re-took the reins of the company on an interim basis in April. Schultz has directed his attention — and the company’s investments — to Starbucks stores and its employees.

[Read More: Starbucks investing $1 billion in new wage hikes, training, store innovation]

Through the acquisition, Bolthouse Farms will expand its beverage offerings from nutrient-dense, plant-powered juices and smoothies to include a full lineup of primarily organic cold-pressed, premium juices.

“Evolution Fresh is a natural extension of the Bolthouse Farms portfolio and we look forward to welcoming the team,” said Jeff Dunn, chairman and CEO of Bolthouse Farms. “At Bolthouse Farms, with the support of Butterfly, we strive to ensure that the acres we grow and beverages we make have a positive impact on the land, on the people who make up our company, and on all people.”

Butterfly is a private equity firm that specializes in the food sector with a particular focus on high-growth, on-trend categories. Through Bolthouse Farms, Evolution Fresh joins Butterfly’s brand portfolio that includes the likes of Chosen Foods, MaryRuth Organics, Orgain, and Pete and Gerry’s Organics.