Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Starbucks and Evolution Fresh

Is the coffee culture giving way to the juice culture? Starbucks opened its first Evolution Fresh juice bar yesterday, in Bellevue, Washington. "Mixologists" blend--well, hand-craft--different fresh fruit juices (cold pressed, of course, never heated) and whip up healthy smoothies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Starbucks acquired Evolution Fresh as the cornerstone of a new healthy-brand empire. CEO Howard Schultz says that successful juice bars ring up $1 million + per unit. Evolution Fresh is known for super-premium juices, and Starbucks is building on that brand's image and reputation to create an entirely new restaurant brand for this fast-growing "healthy" segment.

Juice bars aren't new, especially in Europe. Marrying the marketing might of Starbucks with the cachet of a differentiated juice brand could open new product and profit opportunities.

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