Starbucks Launching Evolution Fresh Products At Whole Foods

Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) continued to expand beyond the coffee business and (no surprise) pad its bottom line by announcing Tuesday (Aug. 27) that it will sell its line of Evolution Fresh juices and snacks in its stores and at Whole Foods Markets (NASDAQ: WFM).

The coffee chain bought Evolution Fresh back in 2011 for $30 million, and will now replace the Kind bars and Peeled fruit packs it currently sells with Evolution brand products. The snack bars will be sold at the same price as before, but the new Evolution freeze-dried fruit packs will cost $2.50, compared with $2 for the Peeled packs.

"We've received enthusiastic customer support in every market where we've introduced Evolutions Fresh juice, and have been working toward our goal of national distribution since the acquisition," Starbucks senior VP Chris Bruzzo said in a statement.

Those juices have already replaced the Naked Juices Starbucks used to sell in over a third of its 13,000 U.S. locations.

Acquisitions like the La Boulange bakery chain and teaming up with Danone to cut out third-party suppliers come at the same time that Starbucks also has taken a more direct path to helping its profit margin this summer: raising its U.S. prices while the cost of coffee beans fell. Those efforts will also add profits as the chain continues to try to grow sales from its packaged goods.

Whole Foods will debut the products before Starbucks stores start rolling them out, and they should be available in around 8,000 locations by the end of the year.

For more:

- See this Huffington Post story
- See this Puget Sound Business Journal story

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