Starbucks, the renowned specialty coffee chain with more than 11,000 stores just in the U.S., has purchased San Bernardino, CA-based Evolution Fresh Inc, manufacturer of fresh pressed vegetable and fruit juices sold throughout the west coast.
The $30 million purchase will push the high-end coffee retailer into the $50 billion health and natural food market, and into the natural juice and smoothie segment estimated to be a $1.6 billion per year industry.
Similar to its recent decision to add prepared meals to its locations, bringing fresh fruit and vegetable juices into all Starbucks locations throughout the U.S. will give the retailer new revenue streams that offset the already saturated specialty coffee market. The retailer will also be opening signature juice bars across the country with "a Starbucks spin" on the growing trend toward fresh fruit smoothies and vegetable juices similar to Jamba Juice and other successful juice-focused retailers as Americans take a bigger interest in eating healthy foods.
If the move into juice bars is as successful for the retailer as its coffee business has been, and if Americans trade in their sugary, caffeinated and dairy-laden lattes and cappuccinos for fresh fruit and vegetable juices, it could have significant health benefits for Americans who typically do not consume enough plant foods.
For the first time in its history, the USDA Food Pyramid (now 'MyPlate') suggests making plant foods more than 50 percent of every meal to help provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other beneficial nutrients that help prevent diabetes, heart disease, obesity and certain types of cancer.
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