Starbucks – it’s everyone’s favourite (or not) coffee shop, its green-and-white cups ubiquitous in the hands of frazzled office workers and ladies who lunch alike. But it only sells coffee, doesn’t it?
Well, not anymore. The store responsible for keeping you awake at your desk is branching out into the health market, and has opened its first juice bar. You can get smoothies at Evolution Fresh in Bellevue, Washington, and they’ll even deliver them to you on an eco-friendly green and white bike (but Periscope thinks they probably won’t go much further than Bellevue).
Starbucks bought Evolution Fresh Inc. for $30 million in November, a not terribly shocking move, as it valued the fruit juice and smoothie market at a whopping $3.4 billion. The company uses fresh fruit and vegetables, reported the LA Times, which said you could get your hands on a Pineapple Ginger Juice and an Apple Berry + Fiber if you were lucky. (What’s the “Fiber”, wonders Periscope, mildly alarmed.) The juices are reportedly made in a special way which means they’re more nutritious. You’ll also be able to chow down on salads, soups and vegetarian stuff.
So, can look forward to Evolution Fresh bars on every corner in London, too?
“Our customers are looking for a healthier lifestyle, which will ultimately oversee a plethora of new brands and products. Juice and nutrition is no longer a fad. It’s a full-blown trend,” says Jeff Hansberry, president of Starbucks Channel Development, quoted on USA Today. “Evolution Fresh is the most innovative store since Apple entered retail,” boasted Arthur Rubinfeld, president of global store development, also quoted on USA Today.
Grocer’s apostrophe… Meghan Keneally in The Daily Mail pointed out that they probably ought to learn how to spell first: one of their promotional photographs shows a sign touting “VEGATABLES”.
Juice partners. “Goodbye grind. Hello squeeze,” declared Bruce Horovitz on USA Today. It’s the start of a “carefully crafted path for growth beyond java.” If it goes well, Starbucks could “stamp an even bigger cultural footprint than it already has.” If it goes kaput, then it’ll have to go back to the “drawing board.” The prices are pretty huge, too – a “full size juice and salad” could set you back almost $20. You won’t find baristas, either, but “juice partners.” Which sounds, well, kind of dirty.
The walls tell you what to do. MNN said that there was an “interactive juice wall” which says (Periscope can’t help thinking, in slightly patronising fashion) things like “Bananas are loaded with potassium – a natural electrolyte.” But nevertheless, it’s all great, said Alyce Lomax on Daily Finance. “Starbucks really is evolving in a bold way that has nothing to do with coffee.”
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