Starbucks and Bolthouse Farms announced entry into a definitive agreement for Bolthouse Farms to acquire the brand and business of Evolution Fresh. The employees that support the business will also transition to Bolthouse Farms upon close of the transaction.
Evolution Fresh is a leading producer of primarily organic, cold-pressed, premium juice products. By joining forces with Bolthouse Farms—the No. 1 super premium refrigerated beverage brand and largest carrot supplier to North American retailers—Evolution Fresh will have the opportunity to accelerate its growth trajectory while Starbucks focuses its efforts on the growth of the core Starbucks business and its partner and customer experience.
“Evolution Fresh has grown steadily over the last several years as a result of our partners’ hard work and commitment to the brand. 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,” says Hans Melotte, Starbucks executive vice president Global Channel Development. “Bolthouse Farms shares the same values and commitment to putting people first in everything they do, which affirms for us that we have found the right opportunity for Evolution Fresh.”
Through this 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. Starbucks stores in the U.S. will continue to sell Evolution Fresh products.
“Evolution Fresh is a natural extension of the Bolthouse Farms portfolio and we look forward to welcoming the team,” adds Jeff Dunn, chairman and chief executive officer 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. By bringing Evolution Fresh into our portfolio, we will extend our spirit of ingenuity and innovation, sharing resources and passion for high-quality, nutrient-dense juices to pioneer solutions for today’s food system.”
Butterfly is a leading 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.
“We have long admired the Evolution Fresh brand and see tremendous untapped potential in the premium beverage category. By bringing these powerhouse brands together—Bolthouse Farms and Evolution Fresh—we will deliver a robust, high-growth, and consumer-preferred portfolio of juices to market,” says Bill Levisay, president, Consumer Brands, Bolthouse Farms.
The transaction, which is for an undisclosed amount, is expected to close later this year.