Starbucks buys juice company, plans to roll out new concept
SEATTLE — Starbucks announced Thursday plans to reinvent the $1.6 billion premium juice market with its all-cash purchase of San Bernardino, Calif.-based Evolution Fresh for $30 million.
The acquisition, which is part of a strategy to move beyond coffee into the health-and-wellness segment, gives Starbucks a path to open new health-and-wellness stores in the coming year, it said, although Starbucks has not yet revealed many stores it will open, their location or the name.
Starbucks said the new-concept stores will emphasize Evolution juice and carry wholesome, simple foods. A select number of existing Starbucks stores will be upgraded to carry Evolution products.
Evolution, started by the founder of Naked juice, makes fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Its products currently are sold at Whole Foods, Safeway, Costco, Trader Joe’s and other select retailers on the West Coast. Starbucks said it plans to broaden distribution of the juice into other supermarkets besides carrying them in Starbucks stores starting next year.
"The acquisition of Evolution Fresh supports our growth strategy to innovate with new products, enter new categories, and expand into new channels of distribution," Jeff Hansberry, president of channel development for Starbucks, said in a statement. "Not only are we able to tap into the $1.6 billion super-premium juice market, but the acquisition of Evolution Fresh marks an important milestone for us within the $50 billion health-and-wellness sector."
On a conference call, Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said, "Even though this is a small acquisition in size, it is a significant and strategic decision for the company."
Evolution Fresh will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Starbucks.
ConAgra to acquire National Pretzel
OMAHA, Neb. — ConAgra Foods is acquiring a private-label pretzel maker, the company announced.
ConAgra said its acquisition of Lancaster, Pa.-based National Pretzel includes three bakeries located in Lancaster, Pa., Hanover, Pa., and Visalia, Calif. Additionally, more than 700 National Pretzel employees are expected to join ConAgra when the transaction closes, ConAgra noted.
The acquisition is expected to close within 30 days. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
GMA pledges $1 million to creation of Global Food Safety Fund
WASHINGTON — The Grocery Manufacturers Association has pledged $1 million to the creation of the world’s first Global Food Safety Fund, an innovative public-private partnership that will be managed by World Bank, an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs.
GMA’s pledge was announced at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Honolulu. The fund will address such food safety goals as developing, testing and validating pilot programs in APEC that will result in reproducible training modules, which can be customized for roll out to developing countries all around the world; addressing high priority food hazards; and strengthening analytics and metrics — much needed for consistent, reliable and scaleable testing, designing, and evaluation of the performance of food safety systems.
"GMA was honored to be a founding member of a unique partnership in APEC that inspired the concept of the fund’s creation. In APEC we brought together food safety regulators, multilateral institutions like the World Bank, academia and industry — stakeholders all focused on a common mission of improving food safety," GMA CEO Pamela Bailey said. "The proposed fund will leverage APEC’s unique food safety training programs together with World Bank international reach to help improve the safety of the global food supply — in APEC economies and beyond."