BAKERSFIELD, CALIF. – Bolthouse Farms is acquiring Evolution Fresh, a processor of cold-pressed juice products, from Starbucks Corp., Seattle. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The acquisition will allow Bolthouse Farms to expand its product line of beverages, dressings and fresh carrots into a new category, according to the company. Evolution Fresh products also will continue to be sold in Starbucks stores.
“We have long admired the Evolution Fresh brand and see tremendous untapped potential in the premium beverage category,” said Bill Levisay, president of consumer brands for Bolthouse Farms. “By bringing these powerhouse brands together — Bolthouse Farms and Evolution Fresh — we will deliver a robust, high-growth, and consumer-preferred portfolio of juices to market.”
The divestment of Evolution Fresh will allow Starbucks to focus on its core business, the company said.
“Evolution Fresh has grown steadily over the last several years as a result of our partners’ hard work and commitment to the brand,” said Hans Melotte, executive vice president of global channel development for Starbucks. “We feel there is a great runway and opportunity to take Evolution Fresh to the next level, and Bolthouse Farms’ considerable experience and success in the premium beverage category will allow the brand to continue growing.”
Starbucks acquired Evolution Fresh in 2011 for $30 million. A year earlier the brand began using high-pressure processing to manufacture its juices. The acquisition set off a race for some food companies to acquire a stake in the nascent category. The Hain Celestial Group, Lake Success, NY, later acquired BluePrint, a processor of HPP juices, and The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, bought a minority stake in Suja.
Bolthouse Farms, formerly a business unit of The Campbell Soup Co., Camden, NJ, is now owned and operated by Butterfly Equity, a Los Angeles-based private equity company. Butterfly Equity acquired Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup in 2019 for $510 million.Other companies in Butterfly Equity’s portfolio include Chosen Foods, MaryRuth Organics, Orgain, and Pete and Gerry’s Organics.