Anybody who surmised that Starbucks'
The low-fat version of the popular drink will extend only to the coffee versions -- Coffee Frappuccino, Mocha Frappuccino, and Caramel Frappuccino. (For anyone interested in a taste test, mark your calendars: Starbucks plans sampling of the new drink in North American stores tomorrow.)
Starbucks has been working hard to rope in any customers it might be missing. Last quarter, it announced a new assortment of non-coffee drinks, for "the way the other half lives" -- namely, the other half of Americans who don't break for coffee.
The company said that it's trying to draw on current trends. Data from Yankelovich Monitor points to 42% of Americans who are reducing the fat in their diets, with 33% claiming that low-calorie products influence their purchasing decisions. The new "light" version of the Frappuccino offers 30% to 40% less calories than the original, and features low-carb dieters' favorite sugar substitute, Splenda.
You've got to applaud the coffee purveyor's recent initiatives to provide something for just about everyone at Starbucks. Not to mention, recent health awareness has been a strong force for various food and drink outlets, including beleaguered Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Krispy Kreme
One of the resident baristas on our Starbucks discussion board recently pointed out a clientele ripe for this sort of thing. These are the plentiful folks who go skim or request sugar-free syrups for their drinks, and sweeten with the yellow and blue packets, instead of going for straight-up sugar.
On the one hand, were most calorie-counting Starbucks aficionados already perfectly happy with those solutions? On the other, anyone who was planning to forgo the icy pleasures of Frappuccinos during the upcoming dog days because of all the fat and sugar may be more likely to change their minds. Further, those who used to avoid Starbucks altogether because of caloric concerns might now give it another go.
In the case of Starbucks, cutting calories and sugar in a few summertime favorites could add up to a sweet, sweet deal.
Want to talk about tomorrow's taste test with other interested parties? Consider comparing notes with other Fools on the Starbucks discussion board.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. She's been watching her own calories this summer, avoiding Frappuccinos and sweetening her lattes with Splenda.