Evolution Fresh, the Starbucks subsidiary specializing in cold-pressed juices, made a splash earlier this month after announcing the opening of its first juicery in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
Adding to Starbuck’s five coffee roasting plants, the $70 million, 264,000 square foot juicery enables Evolution Fresh to quadruple its cold-pressed juice production. It’s also expected to employ 190 partners, 65 of which are new positions. “We also felt it was important and made good business sense to invest in U.S. manufacturing,” said Chris Bruzzo, general manager of Evolution Fresh, in an e-mail. “By building this facility from the ground up, we are investing in the local and national economy.”
Bruzzo says the brand sources fruits and vegetables locally as often as possible, retaining a high level of nutrients in the final product. “The fruits and vegetables are kept cold from the moment they arrive to our juicery all the way to the moment our consumer takes their first sip,” he adds. Evolution Fresh uses high-pressure processing (HPP) instead of traditional heat pasteurization to kill bacteria, yeast, and mold. The new juicery is equipped with several HPP machines.
“HPP delivers more of the flavors and nutrients of raw fruits and vegetables than traditional heat pasteurized juices at an accessible price and permits a longer shelf life than raw juices, allowing more consumers access to high-quality cold-pressed and squeezed juice,” Bruzzo says.
That process is what Bruzzo says sets the Evolution Fresh brand apart from other healthy lifestyle juice brands. Its lineup of fruit and vegetable juices features flavors such as Carrot Orange Mango, Sweet Greens and Lemon, and Cucumber Pineapple Ginger. The brand also sells a line of smoothies, in flavors such as Apple Berry and Super Green, and hydration juices, such as the Spicy Lemonade made with lemon, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Operating at full capacity, the new juicery can produce 160,000 gallons of juice per week.
Despite this growth in production, Bruzzo says the brand is still focusing on expanding within Starbucks units. “In 2014, our primary goal is to achieve distribution in all Starbucks throughout the U.S., adding to the more than 8,000 Starbucks and grocery retailers that we are in today,” he says.
Coupled with news from Starbucks headquarters about the opening of a new tea bar concept, the juicery is a surefire sign of the brand’s expanding footprint in the beverage segment.
By Tamara Omazic