Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Doctor, it's worse than we thought!

Today Yahoo links to this discussion of the frozen drinks of summer. There have been a lot of articles about the sweet, sweet nutritional disaster that is Frappuccino. Starbucks posts their nutritional information online, but the information is presented in a more reader-friendly format here.

However, I wasn't prepared for drinks that manage to pack more calories than the Frappuccino into a 16 oz cup. Consider the Dairy Queen Peanut Butter Malt: 15 oz, 870 calories, and 46 grams of fat. That's basically like eating an entire stick of butter, or a pizza dinner.

Back to Starbucks: It seems like no one who's done a little nutritional research on the 'bucks would think that health food is sold there. But to me, Starbucks still projects an image of health. You know, with the feel-good quotes on the cups and the cushy chairs and the soft music and the fair-trade coffee (actually, they may publicize fair-trade coffee, but they don't serve it unless you specifically request it, and sometimes not even then).

(Edited because I've been thinking about this and have a better way to say what I mean.) Starbucks pulled off a huge marketing magic trick. They set up the atmosphere of the shop to contain all the symbols of health-seeking yuppies. 90% of their food and drink is not health-promoting, but because all the symbols are there, people think what they're eating and drinking (including that 438-calorie chocolate chip cookie) isn't that bad for them.

Does anyone else have thoughts on this?


sarah.lawrance said...

... just one of the many reasons why the mainstream approach to communication studies disgusts me... and why i'm totally deviating from my original career goal/path of PR/advertising exec, lol. marketing is very, very sleazy...

Anonymous said...

hey amy,

just stumbled across your site and wanted to say hi! i love your writing style (and can relate to most topics as i, too, have recently made the leap from vegetarian to vegan). awesome blog!

kelly :)

Katyola said...

I'm writing a story about a local guy who roasts coffee beans, and he talked about going into a Starbucks (because he was on vacation, needed to get some decaf for the house and that was the only option), and he wound up spending $18 on a John Mayer CD. It's not even coffee they're selling. It's a lifestyle!

chengwa said...

right on sister!