Starbucks gets supersized


Coffee chain introduces the “Big Gulp” of coffee beverages

Lauren Golosky

In a time when countless doctors and dieticians are crusading against obesity, chasing both Canadians and Americans to inspire them to make healthier eating choices, the last thing needed is another supersized product. Yet, this spring, Starbucks will be offering a supersized beverage, their own version of 7/11’s Big Gulp. 

Just like its predecessor, the venti size, this new size is cleverly named “trenta” – the Italian word for thirty. The trenta, designed exclusively for the coffee chain’s menu of popular cold beverages, will hold a whopping 31 ounces of liquid.

Former Starbucks employee Ashley Tidy is startled at Starbuck’s latest introduction, and worried about the health implications that will surely ensue. 

“A 31-ounce cold beverage is excessive,” said Tidy. “It’s definitely going to create more health problems for people, especially for people struggling with weight loss and in younger children.”

Tidy claims the majority of the cold beverages on Starbucks’ menu are unhealthy, particularly the ever-popular frappuccino. The blended coffee concoction has evolved over the years.

“They’ve come up with new ways of making frappuccinos so they can be more customized, but there are still many chemicals in the ingredients,” Tidy confessed. “In some, the trenta size would almost make up over half of your daily intake of calories and exceed your daily fat intake.”

“Frappuccinos are highly addictive to most people and, even though introducing a bigger size is a good move sales-wise for Starbucks, it’s not healthy for the consumers.”

Like any other corporation, Starbucks is profit-driven in their decision to present a larger size to the public, disregarding health concerns. There is also a degree of buyer awareness and responsibility. But, as the introduction of the trenta stresses, today’s consumer society is addicted to Starbucks and it is plausible that many people will buy into the more-is-more hype. 

With her experience as a barista, Tidy can vouch for that.

“Almost every customer I had was a daily regular,” she admitted. “You get to know your customers and their drink and that’s what keeps them coming back.”

“People are already giving their toddlers frappuccinos and teaching them to love Starbucks at a young age.” 

Trendy chain coffee establishments seem to have caffeine-addicted, sugar rush-seeking, consumers wrapped around their fingers. Their products are no longer solely beverages, but rather they have been transformed into accessories. As Tidy reveals, consumers are not just buying into the mania themselves, but are also indulging their children with these caffeinated luxuries, including children too young to even say frappuccino.  

This addiction is seen in people of all ages – from the toddlers who were given a head start, to high school students, to adults. However, Tidy says that the high school demographic is the one who most often order the venti, which was Starbucks largest size at the time. Based on her experience, she believes that they will be the ones most likely to order the trenta size. 

With Starbucks’ upcoming innovation, it is only imaginable that other chains, such as Second Cup, will follow suit, further proving that today’s culture is addicted to name brand coffee beverages with fancy names. 

“People are most definitely obsessed,” agreed Tidy. “I don’t know what it is about it that people love so much, but they can’t seem to stay away.”

Whoever is thirsty enough to order the 31-ounce beverage should be aware that it is larger than the average adult’s stomach. 

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