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The Wall Street Journal: Starbucks selling its cold-pressed juice brand to focus on stores

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Starbucks Corp. is selling its cold-pressed juice brand, as the company focuses on its coffee-drink business and improving its stores and relations with its cafe workers under interim Chief Executive Howard Schultz.

Fresh-food maker Bolthouse Farms Inc. said it agreed to acquire Starbucks’s Evolution Fresh line of juices, which currently are sold in Starbucks cafes and supermarkets. Terms of the deal, which Bolthouse said is expected to close later this year, weren’t disclosed. Starbucks said the financial impacts of the deal weren’t expected to be material.

For Starbucks
SBUX,
-0.95%
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the deal comes as Schultz directs more investment toward the coffee giant’s cafes and baristas. Schultz, the longtime Starbucks leader who returned in April for his third stint leading the chain, said the company needs to better handle increased demand, improve the cafe experience for customers and baristas, and increase communication between workers and executives.

Starbucks said it believes Bolthouse Farms has the beverage-industry experience to help Evolution Fresh grow, and shares Starbucks’s priorities for developing the brand and its employees.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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