Starbucks has a line of fruit and vegetable juices called Evolution Fresh that’s sold at supermarkets and its own locations. They also have a few juice shops that are branded Evolution Fresh where they freshly squeeze the juices. As with anything Starbucks, the story and brand must be perfect in order to command the high prices they do, $4 – $5 a bottle!
So what’s the deal here? Starbucks uses High Pressure Processing (HPP), which they claim is a way of cold-pressing juices to extract maximum flavor and nutrients:
We believe in following nature’s lead. We’re not taking credit for what’s been perfected, just making it a little easier to get. You deserve to drink something you feel good about, because it makes you feel good. Here’s to your vibrant energy, it’s your time to thrive!
The juicing and bottling is done in cold temperatures because “Heat can rob juices of flavors and nutrients”. And of course,
With more vitamins, enzymes and nutrients to enjoy in every sip, you’re ready to Squeeze Life™ for everything it’s got.
What you need to know:
We decided to take a look at one of the juices – the Super Green Fruit Puree And Juice Blend. Here’s what it contains:
(Note: It’s not clear from Starbucks website whether the pictured items are per bottle, or per serving)
This is a very impressive lineup of produce! While eating the real fruit would take you quite some time, you can probably gulp down the 2 cup’s worth in a bottle in less than a minute.
Which brings us to our pet peeve with these single serve bottles. It’s obvious that the person who buys a bottle will drink it all in one go. But the Nutrition Facts Panel provides info just for one serving. A consumer may think she is getting only 130 calories, but in fact she is guzzling twice that amount – 260 calories.
The sugars, all naturally occurring, add up to 14 teaspoons worth! That’s a lot of carbs…
And unfortunately 0 grams (yes, ZERO) of fiber are present in the juice. Which is strange, because fruits and veggies are one of the best sources of fiber in our diet.
Most people need 25 grams or more of fiber per day. Had you eaten the original fruits and vegetables in the quantities pictured, you would have consumed:
- 1.25 oranges – 90 calories, 4 grams of fiber
- 2/3 Mango – 50 calories, 1 gram fiber
- 3/4 Apple – 75 calories, 3 grams fiber
- 1/6 pineapple – 75 calories, 2 grams fiber
- 28 raspberries – 28 calories, 3.5 grams fiber
* The rest of the ingredients are mostly window dressing (a “pinch”) and don’t account for calories or fiber (though they do contain other nutrients).
- Total REAL Fruit consumption = 318 calories, 13.5 grams of fiber
- Normalized to 260 calories = 11 grams of fiber
So, eating real fruits and vegetables would have provided about half of your daily fiber needs. Our bet is that it would have also left you feeling a lot fuller and satisfied compared to the juice.
On the other hand, who has time to buy, wash, peel, cut, serve, chew, and cleanup? It’s so much easier, faster and cleaner to hand the man $5, twist open a plastic cap, and gulp down a sweet and delicious juice.
Bottom line: while fruit juice can be a nice occasional treat, it is NOT a replacement for real fruits and vegetables. Don’t be fooled by clever marketing, even if it is from Starbucks.