Starbuck’s Evolution Fresh Juices – What’s Really Inside

Evolution Fresh Super Green Fruit Puree And Juice BlendStarbucks 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:

Fruits and Veggies in Evolution Fresh Super Green Fruit Puree And Juice Blend

(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.



  • Katrin Venema

    Or you can buy Bolthouse Farm juice at Aldi for $2.75 for 32 oz and get 2g of fiber per serving and no GMOs.

    • Fooducate

      Still, lots of sugar. Drink sparingly…

      • Jolyn Cripps

        The sugar is “All naturally occuring”. This should be expected from fruit, PERIOD. Whether you’re eating it and getting the fiber as well, it still has the same amount of NATURALLY OCCURING sugar in it. I don’t think I’d buy that juice just because of the fact that it’s from Starbucks. There are a couple different brands of fruit juices I drink, but typically only the “superfruit” or “supergreen” blends. Those that actually list the amount of Kelp, Spirulina, Chlorella, Sea Lettuce, etc. that they put in there. AND they include a large amount of the pulp, making their juices contain fiber. However, I do also get my fiber from somewhere OTHER than what I drink, and while I’m not really saying it’s a good idea to get your fruit intake from juice, it is for many a LOT easier to get it that way, and is a great way to get a good amount of vitamins and minerals readily. :) Fruit, Lean meat, veggies and whole grains. All ya need really ;)

      • Chris

        You can’t put such a blanket statement on sugar. Added or processed sugar is what people need to stay away from. Even “fake” sugar like Splenda should be avoided. Naturally occurring sugar in veggies and fruits are not bad for you. We should never be afraid to eat as many fruits and veggies as we like….as long as your eating more veggies than fruits.

    • Caroline

      NEVER drink that. It has been pasteurized which means it’s lost almost all of its nutritional value. You’re basically drinking straight sugar. Your best bet if you want fruit juice is buy a juicer and make it yourself. And don’t try to store the juices either! Once oxygen hits the liquid, it starts to lose much of its nutritional value. Juices are meant to be made at home and consumed immediately after making. Only worth it if you’re frequently making juices though.

      • Go_Fins_1

        It has not been pasteurized. That is the purpose of Cold Press and HPP (High Pressure Pastrurization) is to preserve everything. It is not heated at all so everything is preserved.

        • Caroline

          I was talking about Bolthouse Farms, which has been pasteurized.

    • disqus_mcBgee1naX

      Bolthouse uses juice concentrate rather than pure juice, which adds to it’s sugar content. The sugar content of one serving, 8 fl.oz. is 16g.

  • Sharyn Guthrie

    I would buy it for a pure burst of nutrients. Yes eating the whole fruit provides more fiber, but if you are sick or feeling like your digestion is sluggish and you don’t have a juicer, this would be convenient :) In my little town there is no such thing as a fresh juice bar, but we do have a Starbucks!

  • D

    It’s as close as you can get to the nutrients. Absolutely correct, who has time to wash peel eat etc., being they said, it’s quick and readily available . As an international traveller I can also add that fruits and veg taste better in some places than others hence desire to eat them. When you’re moving from place to place it’s easier to consume.

  • Andrea T

    As a smoothie and juice girl and someone who restricts her coffee intake to the morning, I think it’s great that Starbucks is offering this. I stick to mostly green juice.

    Regarding price, pure juices are always expensive, especially if it’s organic, though I don’t see any claims that Evolution Fresh is organic. I recently bought myself a high-end slow juicer on sale. It was way cheaper than buying a juice cleanse.

  • Lauren Talbot, CN

    Juice does not, and should not contain fiber. But HPP is not considered RAW which is where the benefit of juicing plays a role.

  • Cory Merrill

    I think the concept is great to be able to eat fruit all the time, but this article comes off pretty pretentious and misguided. Is the point of this if you make the healthy choice for a cucumber and greens drink is good in place of a scone, but you really shouldn’t be so lazy and bring a juicer and six pounds of kale with you everywhere?

  • ChimChar

    I don’t believe Evolution (that’s the subsidiary of Starbucks’ name) is trying to fool you, they are doing their best to provide people with a healthy alternative to sodas, artificially sweetened “health” drinks, and whatever other crap (Even Starbucks’ normal lineup.) people would normally be drinking instead.

    Evolution has a few drinks that still have the fiber included. Typically, they will say +Fiber in the name of the drink. You could also go with the Evolution Harvest bars or freeze-dried fruits. In fact, I highly recommend you go in to a Starbucks or an Evolution store if you have one nearby and just try some of the freeze dried fruits. They do something amazing that keeps all the flavor inside, unlike what you would normally expect of other freeze dried foods.

    The fruits listed and amounts described are for the bottle, not each serving.

    For a bottle of Super Green, you’ll be getting about:
    247 Calories
    53g Carbohydrates
    51g Sugar
    6g Protein
    19mg Sodium
    665mg Potassium
    114% DV Vitamin A
    57% DV Vitamin C
    3.8% DV Calcium
    7.6% DV Iron

    Check out if you want to know who, what, or where GMOs are definitely (not) used. I’m talking any food here, and not just Evolution foods and drinks.

    All their smoothies are enrolled to be tested as non-GMO, but only this list has been verified.

    For a better view at the nutrition facts of the Super Green smoothie, as well as all their other drinks:

    If you’re interested in learning more about Evolution’s products, just send them an E-mail. They will reply fairly quickly. I won’t post their E-mail as I don’t have permission to, but if you find them on Facebook (Which is pretty easy.) you can find their E-mail fairly easily from there.

  • Vicki

    Starbucks doesn’t own Evolution… They’re just selling the drinks.

    • Jerry

      False. Starbucks is full owner of Evolution Fresh.

    • Go_Fins_1

      They do own Evolution Fresh, they acquired it on November 2011

  • Kate

    I completely agree that fruit is an amazing source of fiber (in irrefutable fact of course!) but many people opt to drink natural fruit juices rather than smoothies because of the fact that they do not contain any fiber. Drinking the juice of the fruit allows you to absorb the nutrients and vitamins without taxing your digestive system. Obviously I am not advocating that people should always consume fruit this way. However, I do think it is important to recognize the benefits of drinking a natural fruit juice rather than a fruit smoothie.

  • Cale Honegger

    I am curious if this author understands what a cold pressed juice is for cleansing versus say an artificially flavored juice (Naked Juices). These drinks are not unhealthy for you. They are comparable to me pulling out my high end juicer at home and making fresh juice. Do some research. I was able to find these at 2 for $5 at Whole Foods. I wouldn’t consider these juices a “treat” or tasting great by any means. Try some. They taste like fresh juices would taste. This article gives off the impression these are similar to Bolthouse, Naked, etc etc. They are not. They are similar to Suja and Blueprint.

    • Tawny

      completely agree. I don’t think the author knows much about green juice… I am drinking the essential greens right now from Evolution, and the benefit of juice minus the fiber is that it is so easily absorbed into the bloodstream, and yes, you can get so many more fruits and veggies down without all the fiber. It is meant to cleanse and detox… not as a replacement for fruit and veggies.

      • Fooducate

        The sugar is also more easily absorbed in the bloodstream…

        • Tawny

          yes, and I can definitely see this as an issue with the higher fruit/ sugar content. I’m hooked on the essential greens and sweet greens, which both have very little fruit. I haven’t seen the content in the other bottles… I am always hesitant to buy fruit juice because of what you mentioned above.

      • andyman2340

        “Cleanse” and “detox” are made-up marketing words. You say the author doesn’t understand cold-press juices but I don’t think you understand basic human biology.

  • Kim Haynie

    from Huffington Post:
    Starbucks purchased the Evolution Fresh brand late last year for $30 million. The California-based company uses fresh fruits and a process called high-pressure pasteurization to make the juice without heating it. Starbucks says that gives Evolution juices an advantage over competitors, since more of the nutrients are preserved.

    Too bad author didn’t stick to the relevant parts…is this comparable to BPC or others that are $7-12/bottle, is it nutritious and does it deliver what is advertised? Yes, it’s juice, not Bolthouse-different process. I juice at home so I know the plusses (no fiber, but far better than most choices for nutrition), and is this is a handy replacement when I don’t have time or produce on hand…? That’s the question.

  • Rob

    Well, sugar is in all fruit juice, so I don’t understand the gripes here. I’d rather have fruit juice stocked than soda even if they both make you fat in excess.
    The blogger doesn’t mention that Starbucks provides a less sugary option. I applaud them for stocking the Evolution Fresh “Sweet Greens & Lemon” flavor which isn’t likely to sell as well. Only 50cal/10g of sugar per serving with 2 servings per bottle. It tastes very similar to the “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” juicing recipe. It takes time to get used too, but it has 3/4 of an apple so it’s not like (an awful) wheatgrass shot.

  • Renee

    So it’s not exactly a secret. They’re not making false promises here. If someone cares about what they’re eating, they should know real fruit and veggies are obviously better for you. And if they’re worried about their sugar and fiber intake the label doesn’t hide it.

  • Hymie

    Nutritional value info is good, but does this product contain GMOs?

    • Go_fins-_1

      It does not contain GMO. I even think that there is a little logo on the bottle statin this

  • Robin Caissie

    The reason there is no fiber is because there isn’t supposed to be! Juicing allows the body to process and absorb these nutrients quickly and because juicing removes the fiber (mostly in the skin) the body gets to have a much needed rest. It’s all good! I am a serious juicer at home and love to drink it, but when I am pressed for time, Evolution is the way to go – no added sugars, cold-pressed, and as close to my Breville as I can get!

  • mn

    And don’t juices, especially the green ones need to be organic? Certain vegetables and fruit are so high in pesticide, who wants to drink a concentrated dose of that? I only looked at one Starbucks, and didn’t see any organic ones. is anyone finding organic juices at Starbucks?… wouldn’t that be great? A truly healthy option at Starbucks?

  • Poolie

    Please don’t drink naked juices. Just google naked juices and you’ll see the crap really in it! Cold pressed is the best form of bottle juice you can buy.

  • 801010

    No such thing as too much natural sugar. 801010 followers eat 10x as much sugar as this in a day and they are all perfectly thin and healthy. See Freelee the Banana girl, mango island mama, and Loni Jane for reference.

  • Patirck

    Author should find a new career path. Just sayin.

  • Charles Payet

    As a dentist, it continually blows my mind that people really believe there is a fundamental difference between fructose and sucrose. After all, once it gets digested in your stomach, it ALL becomes glucose as it enters the bloodstream and your body doesn’t know what the source was. SUGAR IS SUGAR, PEOPLE! I really don’t care where you get it, too much sugar is bad for your health and your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth don’t care whether it’s fructose or sucrose either.

    I’d like to applaud the author for providing a solid, realistic look at these kinds of drinks, and I will be linking to it in an article I’m writing about some of the myths surrounding juicing, smoothies, 100% juices, etc. in regards to teeth and overall health. Thank you!

  • Hannah Flemister

    When you juice your foods, the fiber is naturally removed.

  • Simon Kumar

    Dear Author, Your phobia of sugar tells be you probably aren’t very fit. What is your 5k time? Do you understand that we run off of sugar and carbs? I’ll easily drink 32oz of orange juice after a run. These evolution bottles are great. Not a huge fan or Starbucks but I support them putting something organic and cold pressed out there. These should not be looked at as a meal replacement but as a simple drink. I cycle over 100 miles a week up and down mountains and run every week too. I consume so much fruit and the sugar from it. Without all those carbs I wouldn’t have the energy to do that. I am 100% vegan. I don’t need to use any stimulants like caffeine. And I aim for 2500-3500 calories a day minimum. I just had a 1000 calorie banana and mango smoothie for dinner. Check out Durianrider on YouTube to see an example of someone who lives this way also. Your ideas about too many calories/carbs and too much sugar are nonsense. There are plenty of high carb low fat vegans that can prove you wrong. Google and YouTube it.

    • Fooducate

      Simon thanks, you are obviously not the target of our post. Most people don’t change me anywhere near your level of exercise.