Starbucks has been expanding the Evolution Fresh brand's distribution since it acquired the business in late 2011 for $30 million. The juices are available in some grocery retailers and some Starbucks stores on the East and West Coasts, as well as in Evolution Fresh retail stores (there are three in the Seattle area and one in San Francisco, to date).
The Whole Foods deal means that the pricey, cold-pressed brand (which sells for $2.99 to $6.99 for 15.2 fluid ounces) will now have nationwide distribution. The plan calls for Evolution Fresh to be in about 8,000 Starbucks and grocery locations by year-end.
Whole Foods Market will debut 12 favorite Evolution Fresh juices and two exclusive juices (Organic Ruby Roots and Organic Sweet Burn), in addition to three Evolution Harvest snack bars.
Following the Evolution Harvest snacks' debut in Whole Foods, Starbucks will launch them in all of its U.S. stores. Snack bars will be introduced in early September, freeze-dried fruit in late September, and trail mixes in October.
In Starbucks cafes, the Evolution products are replacing PepsiCo's Naked Juice and Kind LLC's Kind snack bars, reported the Wall Street Journal. At Whole Foods, Evolution Fresh will compete with Campbell Soup Co.'s Bolthouse Farms juices (which are heat pasteurized).
The super-premium juice category is a $1.6-billion market.
Starbucks and Whole Foods have no plans to partner around coffee-related products. However, Whole Foods expects to carry more Evolution Fresh products going forward, Errol Schweizer, its executive global grocery coordinator, told USA Today.