Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Chat and Taste with Evolution Fresh Juice Founder

With all the fresh pressed juice trend going around, have you tried the bottled Evolution Fresh juices? I've seen them around at Starbucks but never thought to try them until I got to chat with the Evolution juice founder, Jimmy Rosenberg. I thought they would be like the overly sweet, pasteurized Naked juices, but I was wrong!

Speaking of Naked Juice, it's interesting to know that Jimmy also founded Naked Juice. The original idea was just selling juices on Santa Monica beach in the summer of 1984. That grew, as I'm sure you know, but their subsequent partnership with Chiquita led to the partner demanding cheaper cost and the use of processed fruit purees. That was not what Jimmy had in mind, so he left, signing a non-compete agreement. After the non-compete period had passed (he was farming lettuce in the meantime), he started again with Evolution Fresh.
Evolution Fresh cold presses all their fruits and vegetables, and these days the juice is never heat pasteurized. A few years ago they had to flash pasteurize due to new FDA regulation that all juices had to be processed (after a baby died from a certain company's raw juice). But three years ago Jimmy discovered something called High Pressure Processing. This process kills pathogens but not enough pressure to destroy nutrients or change taste, and there's no heat involved. Most juice companies don't have this because it requires a $3 million equipment. Well, Evolution Fresh was bought by Starbucks two years ago so they have the capital to now own four of these expensive machines in their new state of the art juicery in Rancho Cucamonga.

The Starbucks deal also meant national distribution through Starbucks outlets and also Whole Foods.
IMG_0054Now, on to the juices themselves. They have orange juice and all that, but I prefer to talk about their "combo" juices. I tried quite a few and I can honestly say they taste very close to those fresh pressed juices. The Sweet Greens with lemon is a good introductory green juice, lightly sweet so it's easier to chug. The bottle also shows all the fresh ingredients that go in. 
If you're more hardcore on the green juice, you'd like the Essential Greens with Lime. That one's not sweet enough and I'd rather eat the vegetables themselves. More fiber!

I also really liked the Organic V juice, with beets, carrots, spinach, etc, lightly sweetened with apples.

Hungover or need hydration? Try the pineapple coconut water!
I like Evolution Fresh because they're a bit cheaper than the small pressed juiceries and easier to get (Starbucks are everywhere!), and they taste just as good. Fruit juices obviously have sugar in them, but instead of getting those carbs from your latte, why not grab a bottle of juice next time you're at Starbucks?


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