Starbucks Launches Juice Bar Chain
Opens Evolution Fresh near Seattle
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 19, 2012 6:38 AM CDT
Starbucks isn't just coffee anymore.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, file)

(Newser) – Instead of venti cappuccinos, veggie juices: Starbucks has opened its first juice bar, called Evolution Fresh, in Bellevue, Washington. Customers can purchase smoothies or bottled fruit and vegetable juices (sample: the Spiced Carrot, made with carrots, blueberries, and cinnamon); calorie-conscious food options include vegan options. It's not clear yet how many locations Starbucks plans: Health food is a $50 billion industry, Reuters notes, but juice bars may not boast the profit margins of Starbucks' coffee shops, analysts say.

Starbucks bought Evolution Fresh, based in San Bernardino, Calif., late last year for $30 million. The company was launched by the founder of Naked Juice. Fresh juices have seen a boom in the US in recent years, but expectations for Evolution Fresh appear to be mixed. While Starbucks boss Howard Schultz said a successful independent juice bar could score sales of more than $1 million yearly, that figure beats the average for juice chain Jamba Juice.

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Mar 19, 2012 7:20 AM CDT
I've been to Jamba Juice and Robeks and the problem with both is that fresh fruit is sometimes not all that sweet and delicious to eat or drink. If you're moving so much product and your emphasis is freshness, the sweetness that comes from allowing a fruit to ripen is sort of lost... I'd rather make smoothies at home with fruit I know is in an ideal state to make into a smoothie than go to a shop and have a 17-year old make me a drink with green bananas and sour oranges. These little juice and smoothie places are popular, but I don't think they can reach starbucks success without delivering a consistent product. To do that, I think they'd have to incorporate a lot of sugar, or syrups, or start with a base of already made juice (apple juice, for example) which may defeat the purpose of freshness. Who knows though... Californians eat this kinda stuff right up.