Issue Fall 11
Over the course of the 20th century, progress in the foodservice industry meant figuring out how to make food last longer, taste better and look more appealing to consumers. In many cases, the solution to these problems involved the use of artificial ingredients like preservatives, flavorings and dyes. But with that progress has come the question of whether or not solving these problems creates new ones, especially when it comes to the effect of those artificial ingredients on our health.
Many food manufacturers, such as California’s Evolution Fresh, are changing the definition of progress by making all-natural products and finding new ways to get those products to consumers.
Based in San Bernadino, Calif., Evolution Fresh’s business is based on the simple philosophy of freshness for more than 25 years.
“Our waking and dreaming hours are filled with thinking about freshness,” the company explains. “We believe quality has everything to do with freshness. We prize freshness above all else. We believe it’s more important than long shelf life, increased profits or any other priority that other food companies might treasure.”
It’s because of this devotion to freshness that Evolution Fresh has grown into the company that it is today. The company makes and supplies a line of fresh juices to retailers throughout California, as well as lines of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, soups, salsas and dips. The company says all of its products are made with the same overarching philosophy of freshness above all else, and its state-of-the-art facility gives it the means to live up to its principles.
The company’s story begins in Los Angeles in 1984, when Jimmy Rosenberg began selling smoothies and juices made with fresh fruit purchased from produce markets. Rosenberg’s products were a hit with beachgoers, and eventually he went into business for himself as Naked Juice. Rosenberg and his friends spent their entire days squeezing the juice themselves and then delivering it to markets and restaurants.
In 1991, Rosenberg sold Naked Juice, but within two years he felt the urge to jump back into the business, so he founded Juice Harvest to make juices exclusively for the Gelson’s supermarket chain. By 1996, Rosenberg teamed up with his brother Michael and Naked Juice partner Jeff Grad to form Evolution Fresh.
Commitment to Freshness
Throughout all of Rosenberg’s enterprises, one thing has remained consistent – the devotion to making juices and other products using only fresh ingredients and avoiding artificial additives. “None of our products have preservatives,” the company says. “All of our products are the highest quality because this is what we want for ourselves in our everyday life. We want to eat food that is delicious, simply prepared from fresh natural ingredients and as pure as possible.”
The most obvious example of these principles being put into practice is the company’s line of juices. These range from fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juice, to juiced fruits such as pomegranate and watermelon, and juice blends. Examples of these juice blends include Organic V, which contains two pounds of vegetables cold-pressed into 16 ounces of juice, and Acai Amazon, which harnesses the antioxidant power of the acai berry. Evolution Fresh also produces a line of protein shakes, including Banilla Coconut, Chocolate Espresso and Vanilla Chai.
Along with the company’s juices, Evolution Fresh also has branched out into fresh-cut produce. The company offers a variety of fruits and vegetables packaged ready-to-eat or to be used in preparing other dishes. These include pineapple chunks, fajita vegetables and vegetables for stews. “After our fruits [and vegetables] are ripened to perfection, we wash, peel, slice and pack them in our state-of-the-art refrigerated production rooms,” the company says. “We rush them to market the next morning, ready to enjoy.”
Evolution Fresh says its plant is a major part of what makes its formula work. “Born in 1999, our plant has evolved into a state-of-the-art, fresh-food facility,” the company says. “We love to show off our sparkling clean home, where our fruits and veggies are lovingly hand-sliced.”
Along with ensuring its products are the freshest and most natural they can be, Evolution Fresh also works hard to ensure that they are produced safely. “Responsibility is vital to us,” the company says. “Our professional team is trained to ensure quality and safety in everything from our in-house laboratory to our refrigerated production rooms. We constantly invest in people and equipment that will help us continue to be the safest food-production facility in the industry.”