Care to guess the caloric content of this iced latte?
We mentioned yesterday the new 32 oz. "Trenta"-size beverage that Starbucks in testing in Phoenix and other markets. Of particular concern, given our nation's rising obesity levels, would be the ability to heedlessly add ever more calories into the super-sized container. On the one hand, this is a matter of consumer choice: Give customers what they want, and however much they want. On the other, a recent Stanford University study of Starbucks purchases in New York showed that better informed customers lessen their caloric load when the numbers are posted alongside their orders. This is better for the nation's health and waistline, but it's not like Starbucks--or any fast-food purveyor--is forcing you to super-size your order. It's just a consumer option, like any other.
So, if and when the Trenta reaches Seattle, could we use it to gorge ourselves on 1,000 calories of frappuccino and whipped cream? Not according to the company, which contacted us last night...
SBUX says the Trenta isn't intended for drinks like the Caramel Macchiato or Peppermint Mint White Chocolate. Instead, a company spokesperson clarifies,
"While we have introduced the Trenta size (31 oz.) in certain markets, it is simply a new item we are testing in response to our customers asks for larger iced tea and coffee. 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."
Okay, then. That explains why the Twitter spy photo below is of a clear plastic cup not suited to hot beverages:
Still, 31 ounces is a lot of iced tea or coffee. The calorie count may not be so great as we once feared. But since our favorite summer drink is iced coffee, black, the Trenta raises an important new question: Will Starbucks' restrooms be able to cope with the increased demand from customers' bulging bladders?