Evolution Fresh, the Starbucks subsidiary specializing in cold-pressed juices, expanded its presence across the Midwest and is now available in more than 360 company-operated Starbucks units in the Chicago area. The move puts the brand closer to its ultimate goal, says Sanja Gould, a Starbucks spokeswoman.

“Our commitment is to be in all Starbucks company-operated stores by the end of 2014,” Gould says. “We had a focus on going to all the major metropolitan markets across the U.S. first, and then we'll be filling in with any of the remaining locations.”

She says Chicago represents the last metropolitan market Evolution Fresh had yet to expand in, as Evolution Fresh was previously only available in the region’s high-end grocery stores like Whole Foods.

Chicago stores will carry six of the most popular varieties of cold-pressed juice, including vegetable juice Sweet Greens with Lemon, which has celery, parsley, kale, cucumber, spinach, wheatgrass, and more; juice-based Defense Up Smoothie, which has oranges, pineapple, and mango; and Pineapple Coconut Water from the brand’s Hydration label.

Late in 2013, Evolution Fresh opened its first juicery in Rancho Cucamonga, California, a $70 million, 264,000 square foot facility that uses high-pressure processing to preserve the flavor and nutrients of raw fruits and vegetables. The juicery allowed Evolution Fresh to quadruple its production.

“Opening the juicery was key to continuing our expansion to Starbucks, but as well as to other grocery outlets,” Gould says. “We have more than 9,000 points of distribution where Evolution Fresh can be purchased within the United States.”

And of the more than 7,000 company-operated Starbucks stores in the U.S., Evolution Fresh juices are sold at about 6,000 of them, which means the brand in nearing its goal for 2014, she adds. In addition to expanding to those remaining units, Evolution Fresh will also focus on more growth in grocery retail outlets.

“There is a higher awareness of cold-pressed juice in the natural [grocery store] channel, which was the first area we're going,” Gould says. “As consumers become more and more aware of the difference of cold-pressed juice, premium grocery is the natural next place for us to go.”

By Tamara Omazic

Beverage, Growth, News, Evolution Fresh