Starbucks: The Sugar Company, Who Also Make Coffee Sometimes

The media had a little bit of a melt-down last week when Starbucks announced their newest Frappuccino line-up.

Some of the new flavours include Red Velvet, Cinnamon Roll, Cotton Candy, Cupcake, Lemon Bar and Caramel Cocoa Cluster. And, as healthy as they sound… (!)… there was utter outrage at how much sugar there is per frap.

It’s no wonder – at a whopping 102g of sugar per drink it is fairly startling.

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Let’s put the sugar content into perspective here… 102g is the equivalent of:

  • 20 teaspoons of sugar
  • 3 ½ Snickers bars
  • 45 Hershey’s Kisses
  • And 1 litre of Coca-Cola…

Hurts the teeth, doesn’t it?

The question of course is, now we now the sugar content of this beverage, is it even worth it? The answer is no. Nothing is worth consuming double the recommended daily amount of sugar in just one drink. Luckily these aren’t available in the UK, so at least some of us are safe.

It does seem strange, however, how coffee chains seem to have this blanket over them, detracting consumers from ever thinking they could be providing unhealthy produce. After all, they just grind beans for a living… But when you’re buying a full-fat latte with honeycomb syrup (all sugar) and a Pain Au Chocolat (400 calories) and you’re eating it whilst rushing to the office, you probably aren’t aware that you’ve just scoffed 700 calories before your day has even begun. Come elevenses and you’re chomping at the bit.

This isn’t how coffee houses should be treated. Coffee – real coffee, you know the stuff with the beans which comes in at under 20 calories – that’s what they’ve become well known for. Not these sweet pastries, muffins and syrupy drinks which provide no nutrients and simply leave you craving more.

That’s why their most recent innovation – their mini Frappuccinos – might simply leave you buying an extra muffin to make up for the reduced drink intake. Voted on ‘My Starbucks Idea’ on the Starbucks website, over 6,000 fans suggested a smaller size of the high-calorie drink because they wanted ‘healthier’ options.

But is that the answer? We hope to reduce our waistlines by consuming, not 500 calories in 5 big slurps (of the full sized version), but 250 calories in 3 sips when we go for the smaller one. Either way, it’s under-nourishing and high calorie for its content.

My gripes with Starbucks are never-ending, and this is just another nail in its coffin for me…

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