Starbucks opens Evolution Fresh plant

by Eric Schroeder
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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIF. — Starbucks Coffee Corp. on Oct. 9 celebrated the grand opening of a new Evolution Fresh juice processing plant in Rancho Cucamonga. The new $70 million, 240,000-square-foot plant is expected to quadruple the brand’s production of cold-pressed juice. Since Starbucks’ acquisition of the brand in November 2011, Evolution Fresh has exceeded its growth plans to be in more than 8,000 Starbucks and grocery retailers by the end of calendar year 2013, and the new plant is expected to enable the company to grow market share in the $1.6 billion super-premium juice industry.

“The opening of this juicery marks a significant milestone in Evolution Fresh’s history and commitment to making high-quality, never-heated, nutritious juice available to consumers across the country,” said Chris Bruzzo, general manager of Evolution Fresh. “We believe cold pressed is the future of juice and we are leading the charge in changing the way people think about juice. Today marks a significant milestone in our mission to provide accessible nutrition and a new way for people to experience fruits and vegetables and natural foods in their everyday diet.”

The processing plant is capable of sourcing, peeling, squeezing and pressing raw fruits and vegetables, and will produce four times more than the original processing facility. Using multiple high pressure processing machines with ample room for future growth, the plant allows the brand to increase innovation, production and distribution capacity, Starbucks said. High pressure processing is a method that uses a high level of isostatic pressure, transmitted by water. The process delivers more of the flavors and nutrients of raw fruits and vegetables than traditional heat pasteurized juices at an accessible price and permits a longer shelf life than raw juices, allowing more consumers access to high-quality cold-pressed and squeezed juice, Starbucks said.

“The produce used in Evolution Fresh juices are sourced locally when attainable, making Rancho Cucamonga the ideal location for providing fresh tasting, nutrient-rich juice,” Mr. Bruzzo said. “The proximity to where fruits and vegetables are grown reduces transportation time and allows for a high level of nutrient retention.”

Starbucks will employ 190 at the facility, which includes retaining nearly 100% of its original employees from the old plant as well as creating 65 new positions. It will be Starbucks sixth manufacturing site in the United States, adding to the company’s existing network of five roasting plants in Kent, Wash.; York, Pa.; Sandy Run, S.C.; Carson Valley, Nev.; and Augusta, Ga.

“We believe it is important, and makes good business sense, to significantly invest in U.S. manufacturing,” Mr. Bruzzo said. “By building this new facility from the ground up, close to where our produce grows, we are not only able to provide nutritious juice, but also support the local community.”
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