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October 12, 2006


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I will type this very slowly - personal responsibility!

Call me irresponsible

Starbucks (and other chains) knows that "personal responsibility" is rare. Load up the menu with sugary drinks and food and they'll just keeping buying it.

> I will type this very slowly - personal responsibility!

I've talked with my doctor about these kinds of things before. He told me that anybody that has trouble controling themselves and is at all serious about losing weight or preventing diabetes and other health problems don't even walk in to the door of places like this. He says "sure, nonfat milk and sugar free syrups are better, but you are still over consuming".

Daines really speaks of two issues. One is Starbucks taking health issues more seriously. The other posits the question of whether it is good business to offer more sugar free and low fat varieties.

The answer to the second question is undeniably yes; it would make good business sense. I for one would like to see more healthy options at the Starbucks. It would help me by increasing the variety of what is available to me there.

The first question has been answered in the previous posts. It's not their responsibilty to get serious about anything. It's all personal responsibility and the will to control oneself if necessary in order to stay healthy.

I know it can be done. I do it and I know others who do so. It's been months and months since I ate or drank anything unhealthy at Starbucks. Let's see, I get coffee there several times a week. The only food option open to me is the cheese and fruit plate which I purchase on average once or twice a month. Thats it.

If people were more serious about what they ate, they wouldn't buy so much of the crap that Starbucks offers and by default, Starbucks would start offering more healthy fare.

Like it was stated above repeatedly: Personal Responsibility.


honestly, as a barista myself i'm tired of people pushing this issue. There are tons of other restaraunts/coffee shops who offer the same things ( if not worse) and no one complains about them. It's a true issue of personal responsibility and our society needs to learn how to control their eating habits. Starbucks is fine for a once a day treat. But people abuse it and go there 3 times a day and then complain about us. We do have pastries and things that are lowfat, but no one ever buys them. Therefore the company really see's no incentive to sell more options if it's not going to help the company.


While it is not Starbucks' responsibilty to police what or how much people eat and drink of their products, there may, however, be an opportunity to capture more business if they sold items that appealed to people with diabetes. There are plenty of sugar-free syrup flavors other than vanilla and hazelnut. Granted those might be the most popular. Regarding over-eating, we've had the low-fat fad and the low-carb fad and we all know that low-fat items are made tastier by adding more sugar, there is now an alternative sweetner (Splenda) which could address both issues. Read any package of sugar-free snacks and there is usually a disclaimer saying that they are not for weight loss. Calories are calories. But the total number can be reduced by making fat-free and sugar-free items. The idea is to appeal to people's health consciousness and also to generate sales in a segment of the population that might otherwise not buy items.


Odd's are that these items would not sell. Starbuck's already has pasteries that are low cal, no sugar added, etc. They don't sell nearly as well as the coffee cakes, or the other high caloric/fattening foods. It wouldn't make good busiess sense to sell more of an item that doesn't sell already.

Barista sUz

I think it would be a nice step to offer more sugar free flavors for those with Diabeties. However, it would take up lots of room. They already have us carrying enough crap as it is.
But I do feel sympathetic to the customers who can't buy something cos we're so limited. They could get something else, sure but such little option as compared to the plethora of non sugar-free syrups we have.
As for obesity, don't blame us. Maybe an obese person should know NOT to buy a Venti Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino Blended Cream. Eh? Calorie-GALORE. I can't even drink 12oz&I find Frappuccinos disgusting. That could be why I'm only 110lbs. LAY OFF THE FRAPPUCCINOS PEOPLE!!!
I feel like barfing everytime I make them.

My personal opinion:
no-sugar=no taste.
A partner told me about how she made a drink for a customer once and the customer came back and said, "This doesn't taste like Nonfat. It actually tastes good." HAHAH. And the partner said to her, "You buy drinks that don't taste good to you?"
Why would you drink something that doesn't taste good, and continue to buy it.
That strikes me as slightly odd.


Next Year Starbucks will be rolling out a healthy line of pastrys as well as downgrading the fat and caolorie content in the existing ones.


Just to add a few more comments - Starbucks (IMHO) does a good job making nutritional information of the drinks available. The web site and the brochure have pages of info there for the reading. Demographics may also play is role as to how well certain drinks and food items will sell. I don't see many teens caring about calories but there must be stores that are not flooded with the under 30 crowd. Anyone seen a marketing survey broken down buy age as to what products are purchased? Do older folks just by beans and non-flavored coffee?


Starbucks doesn't have to load up the menu with sugar and fat. THE CUSTOMERS DO IT BY THEMSELVES. You guys know how much sugar /splends/equal... people use these days. I think a Venti lowfat latte with 13 splendas says it all!!!!


everything in moderation people. remember that guy that did the 30 days of only eating mcdonald's?? did we learn nothing from him?


it would b nice for starbucks to have a few more health friendly drinks/pastries... but it's up the the person to decide what he/she drinks~ i drink & eat whatever i want & whenever i want (example: 2lbs of wings for dinner 1-2times a week)~ if i put up a few extra pounds (currently 105lbs), i'll do a few more push-ups or go to the gym a lil more often~ ppl have sued McDonald's over hot coffee... ppl have sued McDonald's for making them fat... are ppl gona sue Starbucks for giving them diabetes next? or ppl gona sue Starbucks for making them fat? or are they gona sue starbucks for making their "190degree latte" too hot because THEY specified it? because if u ask me, it's pathetic~ yes, i do agree it would b nice if Starbucks' Frappuccino Light is more than 90% lighter than regular Frappuccinos instead of about 57% lighter~ but i still have customers asking for an Iced Venti 6pump white mocha extra whip extra drizzle Caramel Frappuccino Light blended coffee... i personally order Frappuccino light blended coffees because it's not as sweet & that's the way i like it~


I agree with what Coco said earlier... customers bastardize the coffee drinks all by themselves by extra caramel caramel Mach-a-latteys, 14-pump no water Tai Chi latte's, and the mother of all sugar-drinks: CINNAMON DOLCE LATTE.


It's called taking control of your eating habits.

Starbucks is a TREAT. It's an extra that you do not need to eat to surrive.

Of course no one goes on a diet of salad and water and stays full through a day but surely you realize that consuming treats means extra fat. right


I beg to differ the no sugar added whole wheat carrot loaf ....ummmmmm!!! Always sold out at my store.


PS: Latte's shouldn't be made 190... the max is 170.


If it makes you feel any better, many Starbucks have quietly reduced the size of their cookies by at least half (they're more like mini-cookies). Of course they still charge the same price, but hey, you're only getting half the calories! ;-)

Florida Barista

My personal favorite-- Venti Breve 6 pump raspberry, 6 pump coconut, 6 pump vanilla, 4 pump mocha, 3 raw sugar, with wip latte. NO joke, can't make that up. Half the cup was filled with syrup.

Florida Barista

Whoops... I didn't mean that was MY personal favorite.. I have a regular who orders that everyday.. I think its horrific.


Florida Barista.... HOW in God's name would you charge that customer?! That drink has got to be at least 8 dollars!!!!


Florida Barista....just reading that drink made me feel sick.

Anywho, I order my drink the way I want it because I have a little self-control. I get a double short one pump toffee-nut non-fat latte, and yes it would taste with whole milk but I make the healthy sacrifice. There is no reason to hold Starbucks accountable for your inability to resist temptation and consistant ordering or Venti drinks with extra whip.

why do people think that Splenda is healthier than sugar????? People, Splenda is a chemical. Understand that?
If you want healthy, get an herbal tea without sweetener.
get real!

I can't believe that somebody actually wront "Starbucks is okay for a once a day treat". That's got to be one of the most retarded things I've read in a long time. If you are treating yourself to one drip coffee a day, fine. Other than that, you shouldn't allow youself to go to starbucks more than once a week. Any flavored bar drink is going to have too much sugar.

Chi-towns best/angriest barista

i think starbucks drinks are too unhelathy, and i work there. sometimes i would use the sugar-free syrpus instead of regular, or add a little non-fat milk to a regular drink, and the frapp-lite base? looks a heck of a lot like the normal stuff when you stick whipped cream on it. maybe this is bad (i'm pretty sure it is bad) but i'll do it anyway because i hate contributing to the growing unhealth of this country. we had this "go venti" slogan for a while, that i absolutely hated and refused to participate in. we were supposed to push venti-sized drinks on people, but i think that's awful, and as a customer i hate when it's done to me, so i never did it. you want a grande latte? sure. tall latte? even better. yeah, i'll sell you a venti if you order it, but i won't tell you to.
i consider it my tiny little part to make a difference.


shiek while the standard temp is 155-170 if cusomers request it higher than that you are supoosed to just say yes and steam it higher. and from my experience in my stores: sugar free pastries = pastry donations. those things never sell. ever. however, i do think there has clearly been an emphasis on making promotional drinks and pasties in general considerably sweeter at stabucks over the last few years.


At our store we have a white card by the bar that has "Milk No-No's" ... "Never steam above 170"

Manager says it curdles/scalds the milk... plus, hell-ooooo... safety?? Would you want to be dealing with 191 degree milk? Hellz no...

Sure, it's about what the customer wants, but it's safety first.


if a customer specifically orders milk above 170 you steam only the amount needed for their drink, and discard the rest.

that's almost ver batim from the beverage resource manaual.

and safety? your coffee comes out hotter than 170 sheik. is it unsafe for you to hold a cup of coffee?

safety concerns when going above 190, maybe even 195. other than that, it's fair game.


black coffee or hot tea usually are served between 190-200 degrees. also, milk does not scald at 170 it scalds at around 180. plus, alot of the extra extra hot crowd drinks soy which does not scald. i am surprised this has not been an issue at your store shiek because there are plenty of people who like the extra hot stuff. personally, i like my lattes around 160. some baristas always steam their milk to the high end of standard (170) so they most likely will not have to resteam the milk for subsequent drinks but i do not like the flavor of the milk as much even at that temperarture.


"why do people think that Splenda is healthier than sugar????? People, Splenda is a chemical. Understand that?
If you want healthy, get an herbal tea without sweetener.
get real!"

Think back to your high school chemistry class - sugar is a chemical, in fact, glucose which is product of the breakdown of sucrose (sugar) is a highly bio-active compound in the body. For people with diabetes, blood sugar can reach toxic levels if not manually regulated (or having that mega-pump drink mentioned above). Having more Splenda-based drinks and snacks could be a healthier alternative for these folks.


The problem with this whole idea, is that it implies that people who want to lose weight or stay healthy should be able to drink a 20 oz beverage and a pastry and not have to worry. It's not true. Venti, sfv nf latte= 210 cal. Short, v latte= 170 cal. In all honesty, you should not be drinking 20 oz drinks even if you get it sf and nf. Drink a bloody short. I don't see why people feel entitled to a pastry and a huge drink. Pastries are treats and beverages are best served small. Stop being a glutton and you'll be a hell of a lot healthier.


But...for diabetics Splenda doesn't do that well for them as the body still reacts to it as a sugar, so they have the blood sugar highs and lows. My personal favorite customer drink: Venti Caramel, Nonfat, 3 sweet and low, caramel drizzle, extra whip cream, 7p white mocha. Yep. Combined with an Apple Cinnamon monstrosity, I would say the American public has a terrific grasp on health and moderation.

Florida Barista

Oh my other personal customer favorite--

tall caramel LIGHT frappachino IN a venti cup, with extra wip cream... and an apple fritter.. that's like 1000 calories in one sitting.


Regarding the Splenda/sugar debate, Splenda acts as a sugar alcohol--which is why it metabolizes differently than sugar. I'm probably the only person in the US who actually has an allergic reaction to Splenda (not making this up). Even though Type 2 diabetes runs in my family, I can't use Splenda, and just watch diet and exercise levels to keep healthy, cooking with and using regular sugar, actual butter, etc. I never order sugar-free, particularlysince many low- to no-sugar items contain Splenda. When I get in to the 'bucks for a drink, I usually only get drip; but when I splurge and actually get a menued item (caramel macchiato, that sort of thing), I will never ask for light syrups. It's all about knowing what's healthy for you, and what your intake parameters are.

Regarding the "diabetes and obesity-friendly menu items," like it or not, we are a nation of fat people. If Starbucks wants to make health-consciousness a goal, that's cool. As far as being singled out to do so, I think that occurs primarily b/c Starbucks is viewed as an industry leader. It may not be fair, but that's why it happens. Starbucks can't give you your insulin injections, or start reminding you to take your cholesterol or blood pressure meds, either.

With the exception of a few reasonable people, I would suggest everyone to actually research the dangerous of sugar substitutes (especially Splenda) before suggesting that Starbucks increase their sugar-free lines. I would rather drink my latte with no sugar than any substitute on the market, except maybe stevia.


"But...for diabetics Splenda doesn't do that well for them as the body still reacts to it as a sugar, so they have the blood sugar highs and lows."

Not true, kind of an urban legend.


I'm with the personal responsibility. There is something to this, though. Starbucks' drinks are built around the Seattle-style model, with lots of milk and flavoring. There's nothing wrong with it per se, but making an absolutely sublime drink in this style pretty much excludes the possibility of health. When I used to work at 'Bucks, I worked hard to come up with drinks that could taste natural and not rely on cream and sugar. I didn't find any really great ways to do it. If Starbucks wants to accomodate the low/no sugar crowd better, they should (said like a man with no real expectations) use the Swift.


Currently the only way to have a latte without sugar is to order a Breve, all of the offered milk and soy products contain sugar. However, a Grande Breve at 550 calories does not sound all that appealing. Unsweetened soy milk is commercially available, so, a latte made with a sugar-free syrup and unsweetened soy milk would have very little sugar and a reduced calorie content.

Regarding the fear of artificial sweeteners, more people will die from diabetes and it's associated diseases than will from any health issues caused by the synthetic sweeteners.


Splenda is the mirror image of sugar, it is not a synthetic sugar.
We have a cusomer that orders a 15 full pump mocha in a venti cup with one shot of espresso - every day!!!! She is so weird.


The only thing I see that really "lacks" in options, in my sight, is the syrups. And they have a viable reason for that -- most sugar free syrups taste like poo. They've been working on a formula for sugar-free-caramel forever, and still they won't put it out because it doesn't taste right.

I mean, we have so many low cals, I think it's appropriate. On the hot side...tea, americano, drip coffee (or hell, press some), an appropriately sized non-fat latte is not that bad. On the cold side...iced tea, iced coffee, iced americano, the juice blends really aren't too bad (though not the best). And I'm sure I'm missing some.

We recently got those yummy toasted almonds and fruit nut blends which I think are positively amazing, and have been doing very well at our store -- along with selling through several fruit and cheese plates a day.

Come to think of it -- I have less options walking into McDonalds (diet sodas, some salads who really aren't that good for you -- ever checked the calories on their dressings? Oh boy.)

The only thing I see missing in this whole thing is that Starbucks could possibly be making some more money over more sugar-free syrups, but they've never really been ones to jump on trends -- so I wouldn't count on it now.


I will type this really quickly: Sure, people have to take responsibility for their addictions whether it be coffee or crack. Businesses like Starbucks, however, don't exist outside of society in some kind of free-trade autonomous zone. They have some kind of responsibility to the people they serve. Right?

They have some kind of responsibility to the people they serve. Right?


As a borderline diabetic who recently lost 20 pounds, I think Starbucks has plenty of choices for the health-conscious. My favorite drinks are non-fat lattes and iced americanos, neither of which are loaded with fat or sugar. People who want to be healthy will learn that healthy eating means making choices that limit sugar and fats.


Maybe I'm ignorant of what exactly is in my regular order. I get a tall nonfat latte and add a few shakes of cinnamon powder with no sweetener or sugar. According to RJD, this contains added sugar. Is it in the milk? I'm trying to live a lifestyle that mitigates my familial risk of Diabetes by exercising regularly and avoiding sugar and other processed foods. Any help??


Milk and nonfat milk contain lactose which is a sugar, the soy milks have added sugar to make them taste like cow milk. Check the nutritional info that is available from Starbucks. The are no sugar added soy milks but they are not at Starbucks.


Milk has sugar. I think, if my memory is correct, milk has 13 grams of sugar per 8 oz. So, a grande latte would have 26g of sugar - before even adding syrups. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the sugar isn't added by the dairies. It's from the lactose.

fiat lux

+1 for personal responsibility.

I switched from mochas to non-fat mistos to cut my calorie intake. I still kind of miss that nummy mocha goodness, but I like fitting into my clothes better.


I have read through everything and I agree on personal responsibility. I used to tip the scale at 293 pounds. Being 6'0 tall this was not good. I lost the weight and now I am 180 and lookin good! I visit Starbucks once a week. Depending on how I feel I will get either a Grande Macchiato with a double shot and maybe go back for a Triple Espresso to sit and enjoy(espresso shots being 10cal each so a triple is 30 cal total) and in the summer I like to have caramel frappe with skim milk, no whip and a double shot (I'm an espresso freak). I do not eat any of the pastries since that is just ASKING for weight gain. One good flavored drink and a triple espresso is not going to cause me to gain any weight back. I have learned that its those that go to McDonald's 3 times a day, Starbucks and get Venti Frappuccinos and pastries are the ones complaining about "oh why am I gaining weight?" Control what you shove into your mouth people... and learn.


yes, what you eat does have an impact of health... but for god's sake ppl... GO DO UR EXERCISE! i can eat whatever & whenever i want because i keep a healthy lifestyle~ quit bitching about it if u don't exercise! if ur not willing to give something for another, then quit complaining... nothing in this world comes free~
PS: i work @ Starbucks & i get my Partner Beverages all the time~ Iced Venti extra Caramel Caramel Frappuccino blended coffee... or an Iced Grande extra Caramel Drizzle Caramel Macchiato~ Exercise is key to health~

Splenda a mirror image of sugar? On which planet?

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