Starbucks adds juice, prepares to launch health chain


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How’s this for a switcheroo: Now that Jamba Juice is offering coffee, Starbucks Coffee Co. is about to start serving up juice.

The coffee king on Thursday finalized its $30-million purchase of San Bernardino-based Evolution Fresh Inc., an artisanal fruit and vegetable juice maker created by Jimmy Rosenberg, the founder of Naked Juice.


Starbucks said it would begin offering juices, made with a process called high-pressure pasteurization, from the company in stores.

But the purchase, Starbucks’ attempt to “reinvent the $1.6-billion super-premium juice segment,” is just a stepping stone into the $50-billion health and wellness sector, the company said Thursday.

To that end, Seattle-based Starbucks said it would launch a separate and still-unnamed health and wellness chain in early to mid-2012, though details are still scant.

“It’s complimentary for them to move in a direction beyond coffee,” said Motley Fool analyst Jason Moser. “It’s a natural evolution toward being more than just a one-trick pony.”


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-- Tiffany Hsu