As with McDonald’s, Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) has begun to struggle with a menu with some items that contain over 500 calories and unhealthy ingredients, and with the perception that it vends sugar, sodium and fat.
The health debate about fast food is decades old, as is the discussion of whether fast-food chains should throttle the most heart unhealthy items on their menus. If curtailing these becomes important, Starbucks will have a lot to answer for.
A few menu items:
White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino® Blended Coffee Nutrition Facts Per Serving (16 fl oz) Calories 520 Calories from Fat 140 % Daily Value (based on 2,000 calorie diet) Total Fat 16g 25% Saturated Fat 10g 50% Trans Fat 0g Cholesterol 50mg 17% Sodium 250mg 10% Total Carbohydrate 65g 22% Dietary Fiber 0g Sugars 64g Protein 5g Caffeine 90mg
Double Chocolate Chunk Brownie Nutrition Facts Per Serving (104 g) Calories 490 Calories from Fat 260 % Daily Value Total Fat 28g 43% Saturated Fat 9g 45% Trans Fat 0g Cholesterol 75mg 25% Sodium 220mg 9% Total Carbohydrate 55g 18% Dietary Fiber 3g 12% Sugars 37g Protein 7g
Chicken & Double-Smoked Bacon Nutrition Facts Per Serving (201 g) Calories 620 Calories from Fat 230 % Daily Value Total Fat 26g 40% Saturated Fat 8g 40% Trans Fat 0g Cholesterol 110mg 37% Sodium 1480mg 62% Total Carbohydrate 65g 22% Dietary Fiber 3g 12% Sugars 12g Protein 31g
In the court of poor eating habits, Starbucks has a lot to answer for. The USDA has five rules for a healthy diet. Third on the list:
Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns.
Starbucks can change or eliminate some of its most offending items. On the other hand, it sells enough of them that it can’t afford to.