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Starbucks juices up

CAFE giant Starbucks Corp is branching out into a new health and wellness sector chain next year.

The company has purchased Evolution Fresh, a California-based premium juice maker, for $30m.

The world's biggest coffee chain seeks to increase sales by expanding into a category that is driving robust growth for retailers including Whole Foods Market.

The Seattle-based company said the new retail concept, planned to launch in early to mid-2012, will be separate from Starbucks cafes and does not yet have a name.

Starbucks said its forecasts for 2012 are unchanged as a result of the acquisition.