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Operators find opportunity in juice bars

Later this year, Starbucks plans to unveil a new juice bar concept somewhere on the West Coast as an entry point into the estimated $50 billion health-and-wellness category.

Not surprisingly, others also see an opportunity in fresh juices. Small independent operations are opening all over the country with a modern take on juice, targeting a crowd that sees traditional smoothie chains — and those offered at some quick-service chains — as less healthful.

The new wave of juice bars typically offer cold-pressed juices made in house and bottled for grab-and-go convenience, or offered in customized blends. Some also offer fresh-squeezed options, and supplements like protein boosts or wheat grass are also common. But all say they never use flavoring powders, concentrates or sweetened blends like sorbet or frozen yogurt.

Fruit and vegetables used are typically never frozen and are organic and locally sourced where possible. Most also offer only a small menu of food options, if at all, preferring to focus on beverages.

Among them are Liquiteria in New York; Daily Juice in Austin; Puree Artisan Juices in the Washington, D.C., area; and Earthbar, Kreation Kafe and Moon Juice in Los Angeles.

The smoothie chain Juice It Up!, with 90 locations, is also adding a fresh juice component to its units. And in Las Vegas, the new fast-casual Daily Kitchen & Wellness Bar concept by The Lev Restaurant Group opened this month with a fresh juice bar.

And Starbucks last year acquired the Evolution Fresh juice brand, which makes bottled juices using a high-pressure pasteurization process that gives juice a longer shelf life while preserving nutrients.

Take a look at some of the juice bars around the country.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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