“Starbucks does not sell coffee. Starbucks sells milkshakes.” ~ Hal Sparks, comedian
I love Starbucks–I drink their Italian Roast coffee every morning. The world is certainly better for having Starbucks.
Howard Schultz created the Starbucks we know after his trip to an Italian coffee shop in 1983: “The Italians had created the theater, romance, art and magic of experiencing espresso. I was overwhelmed with a gut instinct that this is what we should be doing,” he said.
Of course, Schultz’s vision did not include Frappuccinos or sweetened tea. Those were added because sweet beverages sell well. Sweet beverages sell well because most people are addicted to sugar. And as we know, obesity and heart disease rates rise in tandem with the amount of sugar a person consumes.
The most common nutritional recommendation I give to athletes is to cut out sweet beverages. Not cut down on–cut out completely, forever. The most common complaint I then hear is, “But the drink is gross if it’s not sweetened.” To this, our comedian Hal Sparks has an answer:
“I don’t drink sweet tea. There’s a good reason why I don’t drink sweet tea: it’s because I’m an adult and I don’t need brown Kool-aid.”
In seriousness, I understand that getting off of sugar is hard. I’ve written about that here.
And Spark’s rant on sweetened beverages is hilarious and worth listening to here.