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?

4 comments:

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!

cheers,
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!