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The weather is heating up but sales of Starbucks' icy Frappuccino drinks are actually down?
At an investors' conference this week, Kevin Johnson, president, CEO and director of Starbucks, shared that sales of “slushie coffee” drinks, in which Frappuccinos are categorized, are down industry-wide, with Starbucks seeing a 3 percent decline in U.S. stores since 2015.
He said consumers are shifting away from these drinks, which are typically higher in sugar and calories, to healthier choices. The company also shared they will shut down more than 150 stores next year.
Starbucks Frappuccinos range from about 350 to 520 calories for a grande version with whole milk and whipped cream, with the highest-calorie version coming in at a whopping 65 grams of sugar.
But there are ways to hack a Frapp to make it healthier. For example, choose a coffee Frappuccino with sugar-free syrup (MyFitnessPal says the chain’s sugar-free vanilla syrup has 0 calories) and nonfat milk. Then skip the whipped cream, for a total of 160 calories. However, that still means you might be getting over 30 grams of sugar.
To help meet the new demand for healthier options, the company has launched a range of lower-calorie drinks. Now on the menu is the Mango Dragonfruit Starbucks Refreshers drink, which comes in at less than 100 calories for a grande, but still has 19 grams of sugar.
Earlier this year, Starbucks said they would reduce the number of “limited-time” drinks, like the infamous Unicorn Frappuccino, but they just announced two new Cold Foam Tea Lemonades: in Summer Sunrise and Summer Sunset flavors. They’ll only be available for a limited time, though a press release doesn’t say exactly how long. Each drink is 100 calories with 36 grams of sugar.
Another addition to the Starbucks portfolio this summer are dairy-free bottled drinks made with the chain's signature Almondmilk, which will be available at grocery stores. The new Starbucks Doubleshot Coffee Smoothies come in dark chocolate banana and vanilla honey banana flavors. They're the first bottled-coffee smoothies on the market, a Starbucks spokesperson told TODAY Food by email. Each drink is 100 calories and has 23 grams of sugar.
While Starbucks seems to be delivering more lower-calorie drink options, sugar still remains an issue, with many of the new items still packing a healthy dose of the sweet stuff. According to the American Heart Association, the recommended daily amount of sugar intake should not exceed 25 to 36 grams. During the conference, Johnson noted that the Shaken Iced Teas now come in unsweetened, lightly sweetened or sweetened options to give customers more control over how much sugar they're imbibing.
He added, “This concept of separating flavor from sugar is something we're working on now to deploy across the entire platform, where customers can have their coffee and tea beverages in a certain flavor and separate that decision of the sugars and the sweetener.”