Yes, Starbucks is marketing to children. That’s right, Starbucks is targeting the most vulnerable people in our society with its sugary beverages. Sounds like Starbucks cares nothing about the health of our children or our society. Nice job, Starbucks. Woohoo for you.
Before I talk more about this topic – and believe me – I have a lot to say, I want to first disclose that this post contains affiliate links to products I reference. All opinions are my own.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the percentage of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s. Today, one in five children (ages 6–19) is obese.
The CDC goes on to say that obese children are at higher risk for other chronic health conditions and diseases including by not limited to asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, type 2 diabetes, and risk factors for heart disease.
If this doesn’t piss you off, maybe this will.
Disease researchers at the CDC predict that one in three children born in the United States in 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.
While your children will pay the price of poor health, Big Food companies (like Starbucks) and pharmaceutical companies (like those making drugs to treat diabetes) are cashing in BIG TIME.
Which leads me to my most urgent point:
Starbucks is marketing to children!
More specifically, Starbucks is marketing its sugary beverages to children who are already struggling to maintain a healthy weight and good health!
That’s right, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Starbucks is marketing to children – and have been doing it for a long time.
Starbucks’ new limited edition Unicorn Frappuccino is just the latest example of the coffee giant’s undeniable intent on targeting children, tweens, teens and Millennials with its grossly unhealthy beverages.
But it’s not the first time this coffee behemoth targeted children… and it probably won’t be the last time.
In 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported that Starbucks held a “free day at the zoo” event where it launched its new banana Frappuccino. At first the beverage, with caffeine, was handed to the adults; but within minutes, Starbucks was said to be serving up tiny cups of Bananas & Crème Frappuccinos made with banana puree and whipped cream, sans coffee and caffeine, to the kiddies.
Many experts speculate that the Frappuccino is what saved Starbucks from doom.
Dr. David Kessler, former FDA commissioner, says in his book, “The End of Overeating*,” that this sweet, rich, comforting milkshake-like concoction “utterly transformed their business.”Starbucks has stooped to an all time low with its Unicorn Frappuccino. Click To Tweet
This Unicorn beverage is so visually appealing to children with its layers of pink and blue sugars, whipped topping and fairy dust sprinkles, it’s inevitably irresistible to kids, tweens, teens, Millennials and of course their more-likely-than-not sugar-addicted parents.
Once again, it’s clear to me that Starbucks is marketing to children. No doubt in mind that they want these youngins hooked on its beverages for life.
And besides its “majestic” beauty, do you want to know why I know this drink is being marketed to kids? It’s because it has no caffeine in it. None. Nadda. Zilch.
Yep, we now see a masterful coffee shop making sweet colorful, non-coffee beverages for kids.
Seems pretty obvious to me what Starbucks is trying to do.
On top of it all, in a press statement, Starbucks encourages its customers to, “Give it a stir and its color changes to pink, and the flavor evolves to tangy and tart. The more swirl, the more the beverage’s color and flavors transform.”
I’m sure kids will get a kick out of all that color changing pixie dust, right Starbucks?
So here’s the hypocrisy of it all.
Most parents would frown at the idea of Starbucks serving up caffeine, a highly addictive substance, to their kids. Right? Parents would go crazy if they knew Starbucks was trying to “hook” their kids on caffeine. I mean, forget about Kim Kardashian’s skivvy pics, this kind of crazy talk could break the Internet!
Yet, parents seem okay with Starbucks serving up a concentrated sugar-laden beverage (59 grams of sugar in the grande, 76 grams of sugar in the venti) to their kids. Sugar, haven’t you heard, is eight times more addictive than cocaine.
I don’t get it.
So instead of giving your kids this majestic Unicorn Frappuccino, give them a can of Coke. Yep, you heard me, let them drink Coke instead. One can contains a measly 39 grams of sugar, paling in comparison to the Unicorn’s sugar content.
And one more thing I want to get off my chest… why the hell is Starbucks trying to compete with 7-11 by making this Slurpee-like concoction?Since when did Starbucks become a Slurpee-making factory vs. an upscale coffee house?Click To Tweet
Remember, if you’re tempted by the social media buzz to serve this artificially dyed dreamsicle-in-a-cup to your kids (I see so many kids drinking it on my own Facebook feed!), remember that Starbucks is marketing to children – your children. And it’s working. Congrats on your big win, Starbucks!
Want to do something to about it?
Tell Starbucks to stop creating products and marketing sugar-loaded beverages to kids. Call or email Starbucks’ Chief Marketing Officer, Sharon Rothstein, at 206-447-1575 or firstname.lastname@example.org to tell her to MAKE IT STOP!Sharon Rothstein, CMO @Starbucks. Stop marketing your nasty, sugary drinks to kids #UnicornFrappuccinoClick To Tweet
Glad that’s off my chest.
PS: Starbucks isn’t alone. Cereal companies are notorious for marketing to children – read this post to learn more about this disgusting practice.