It might not have been the lame fortune-telling gimmick that caused Starbucks’ recent Crystal Ball Frappuccino to crash and burn (although it probably didn’t help). Newsweek reports that Starbucks is pointing to today’s “healthy” culture as the reason that Frappuccino sales are dropping. After all, who really needs a 400-calorie whipped cream $4 drink with a ton of sugar and few nutrients? Not me, brother.
Newsweek says that during an investor presentation this week, “Starbucks accused ‘health and wellness’ trends of causing a 3 percent dip in sales of Frappuccinos, beverages that often contain the most sugar and calories of any drink on the menu.” While Frappuccinos debuted at 11 percent of Starbucks sales, they eventually peaked at 17 percent, and have now dropped back down to the lower percentage. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson described them to the investors as “more indulgent beverages—higher in sugar, higher in calories.” The chain is looking at some lower-sugar options.
A quick look at Frappuccino calorie counts reveal some definitely high stats: A 16-ounce whole milk Caramel Cocoa Cluster has 440 calories, 69 grams of sugar, and 17 grams of fat. A similar Red Velvet Cake Crème Frappuccino goes up to 480 calories, 70 grams of sugar, and 18 grams of fat. Sure, you could shave down some of those numbers by using skim milk or dropping the whipped cream. Or you could get a Quarter Pounder With Cheese at McDonald’s for 530 calories—a more filling fix for your $4.