Quantity Trumps Quality as Starbucks Gets ‘Trenta’-ful

Oy gevalt. Word broke earlier this week that Starbucks is testing a new, larger drink size — the “Trenta” — in select markets for cold beverages. The Trenta will hold 31-oz of iced tea or coffee and is evidently intended to compete with McDonald’s sweet tea offerings, which, MSNBC reports, are particularly popular in the warmer southern U.S., “where convenience stores do brisk business selling drinks in even larger containers.”

A Trenta-ful iced coffee will run $3.30 and a Trenta-sized iced tea for will cost $2.60.

On one of its blog pages, the Seattle Weekly clarifies with a “company spokesperson” that: “Trenta is only available for iced teas and iced coffees. Unsweetened the beverages are less than 5 calories, but even a sweetened iced coffee or tea in a Trenta cup would be less than 200 calories.”

Emphasis mine. Because I call bull. Being that SBUX seems to adhere to the principle of “the customer is always right,” I’m sure that the company, if it adopts these test sizes, will fill them with any calorie-laden concoction a customer asks for.

As a company that’s recently done a little bit of “right-sizing,” perhaps Starbucks should be encouraging customers to do the same: drinking reasonable portions as they appreciate the nuances of specialty coffee. Starbucks once catalyzed cafe culture in this country and served as a bellwether; with moves like this

And you know what? Power to them. This is a capitalist society, after all. Let them become ever-more McDonald’s-like in scope and strategy as they pursue the almighty dollar. It’ll just make more room for the local cafes to take back and/or convert the true coffee lovers.

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