The image that Starbucks wanted to convey is a rustic, authentic coffee house. However, a quick glance of what most of the patrons are drinking is a glaring irony.Most of them are drinking desserts, and the new flavors these days don’t even have coffee in them.
Sure, coffee is addictive and from a business stand point that’s a very good thing. Customers will come again and again.
The problem is, even coffee is not addictive enough to achieve the kind of profit they wanted to achieve. So they resort to sugar – lots of them. In a sense, Starbucks is pretty much similar to Coca Cola.
Drinking ice blended drinks are not that different from eating Korean bingsu or Malaysian ABC. But weirdly people will not bat an eye if you drink Starbucks every day. Try to eat ABC everyday and surely people around you will make noise.
On a side note, Coca Cola did buy Costa Coffee in 2018 amidst increasing scrutiny and changing attitude towards sugary drink. Looks like Coca Cola is finding a cover similar to Starbucks to save themselves.
To certain extent, the surge of bubble tea chain is a blatant exploitation of current customer taste and trend. Canned sugary drink is a sin but ‘hand-crafted’ semi-liquid desserts are celebrated.