Starbucks Introduces the Supersized Coffee

As if a venti weren’t enough, Starbucks will roll out its trenta cup today, 31 ounces (that’s about a quart, folks) of latte, frapppuccino, or whatever else customers want to Big Gulp down. From the Chicago Sun Times:

Starbucks will begin a phased-in nationwide rollout today of its Trenta cup size that can be filled with just shy of a quart’s worth of iced beverages such as coffee, tea and lemonade.

Starbucks says Trenta, which means 30 in Italian, will be 31 ounces and cost about 50 cents more than the 20-ounce Venti. The new cups will be introduced today in 14 states, but not yet Illinois. The nationwide rollout should be complete by May 3.

A venti frappuccino has about 510 calories. Assuming 25.5 calories per ounce, that makes a trenta around 790 calories. They should limit these things to construction workers and professional athletes.

It occurred to me that it would be nice if Starbucks counteracted its massive caffeinated missive with a tiny drink for people who don’t crave quarts at a time. Turns out they already have this off-menu. From the chain restaurant Examiner:

The sizes the “mainstream menu” gives you are “Tall,” “Grande” and “Venti,” but if you say you want the “short” size to any Starbucks drink you can receive a less expensive and smaller sized drink. Although this size is in their cash register, they don’t put it on the menu as a marketing strategy to make customers buy larger and more expensive drinks.

Starbucks may be forcing customers to buy pond-sized drinks, but I’d argue that during a recession, touting the “short” might also be a viable marketing strategy. I imagine, however, that somebody already did the math on this and decided that more customers paying less wouldn’t pull in the same margins.

That said, now that I know about the short, I’m all over it.

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