Starbucks To Get Into The Juice Bar Business

Tired of selling someone else’s juice, Starbucks has not only purchased a juice company, but also plans to branch out into a separate retail juice business.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the ‘Bucks has spent $30 million to purchase Evolution Fresh Inc., a premium juice brand founded by the guy behind Naked Juice, which Starbucks already sells (but which will go away once the Evolution deal is done).

Starbucks’ specific plans for its retail juice venture — the name, number of stores, logo — are still a mystery, though the Journal does point out that the Starbucks logo no longer features the word “coffee,” meaning it could be utilized for non-java businesses.

The Evolution purchase also gives Starbucks a foothold in the supermarket juice business, rather than having to introduce a completely new item to store shelves. It is already carried in Whole Foods, Safeway, Costco and Trader Joe’s stores on the West Coast.

This is certainly not the first time Starbucks has purchased an existing brand. The coffee colossus had previously acquired Ethos Water and Tazo Tea, though neither of those were intended to be the anchor for a new retail chain.

“The acquisition of Evolution Fresh supports our growth strategy to innovate with new products, enter new categories, and expand into new channels of distribution,” a Starbucks exec said in a statement. “Not only are we able to tap into the $1.6 billion super-premium juice market, but the acquisition of Evolution Fresh marks an important milestone for us within the $50 billion Health and Wellness sector.”

Starbucks Buys Evolution Fresh Juices [WSJ.com]