The puns are abundant in this latest corporate buyout. Starbucks “perks up” and decides to “juice profits” from a new industry. The coffee company has decided to jump on the health bandwagon with its purchase of Evolution Fresh for $30 million.
We just think they want to add more beans to their bank. But is there room in the juice business for Starbucks? To be sure, it’s no slim picking in the super-premium juice segment, a $1.6 billion industry each year. Indeed, Starbucks is pitting itself against juice stalwarts Odwalla and Naked Juice – owned by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, respectively.
(READ: Starbucks Debuts the Trenta)
The move signals a trend toward healthier products and an effort to expand its menu (as if you didn’t already have enough options at Starbucks). And it’s more than just about sales at Starbucks’ cafes. The purchase is advantageous for Starbucks as Evolution Fresh already has a foothold in the supermarket sector on the West Coast of the U.S., meaning the coffee co. can simply manage the brand rather than create something entirely new. And as 82% of Starbucks’ sales come from its proprietary locations, according to the Wall Street Journal, perhaps squeezing onto the shelves in supermarkets and other stores will indeed help to diversify.
But we can’t help but think of Starbucks’ effect on our personal pickiness. In the future, we’ll look fondly back on the days when juice was just pureed fruit in a glass. Because with Starbucks joining the craze, we should soon expect to order a three-mango, light-banana, no-sugar frappe with an extra shot of calcium. Our heads are already spinning.