Starbucks Made Me Feel Fat

As previously mentioned, I am a Starbucks junkie.  A few moments ago, I returned from my afternoon iced-coffee run at my regular outpost, where I was completely devastated to learn that the lemon pound cake I frequently purchase has 500 calories.  Five. Hundred. Calories.

Obviously, I know that Starbucks’ fresh baked goods are neither fresh nor good for you, but today (as far as I could tell) was the first time they put the calorie content on the labels of every treat in their display case.  Just as I prefer to not know how much money I spend at Starbucks each week, I would like to remain ignorant to how many calories I consumer there as well.

However, even though the woman in line behind me agreed that it was a painful truth to stomach, it’s clearly another move the coffee chain is making to resurrect its wounded reputation.  Another notable change is the limited-time-only brown logo, which celebrates the brand’s beginnings in Seattle and its new Pike Place brew (a smoother blend that aims to rebuff claims that Starbucks beans taste over-roasted and burned).

Was the logo change a good idea? I’m going to go with “yes,” as the brown mermaid made a previous appearance to celebrate Starbucks’ 35th anniversary in 2006; with Chairman Howard Schultz back at the helm, it seems like a natural way to illustrate the brand’s forward momentum while celebrating its historic rise to international ubiquity.

As for the complete transparency (which is, of course, always a good PR strategy) with front-and-center nutrition facts, I think I will remain a believer that ignorance is in fact bliss.

By Courtney Barnes

  • Boring Market

    I’m curious your public relations opinion of these changes. You touched on transparency, celebration of Starbuck’s beginnings and the ‘forward momentum of Starbucks historic rise to international ubiquity.’ There is a lot of weight in those three things that begs to be talked about.

  • Jen

    The posting of calories at Starbucks is probably early compliance with new NYC requirements to post calories in chain restaurants, not a PR tactic:,0,440063.story

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