Should Starbucks Hop on the "Health Bandwagon"?
The popular coffee store chain, Starbucks, has announced a new product that will be sold in grocery stores: kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea with a range of different flavors. With its’ bubbling sensation and probiotic benefits, it has become exceedingly popular in the U.S., particularly among those invested in their health. Kombucha is a low-calorie drink with little sugar content, only 3-7 grams per bottle, which scores far better than the sugary and heavy Starbucks coffee-flavored drinks. From its Evolutions Fresh brand, Starbucks will sell six flavors of kombucha (some of which are ginger lemon honeycrisp, pink grapefruit, and mango pineapple). The 15.2-ounce bottle will sell for $3.99 in grocery stores, beginning in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. The product will be sold in other locations in the Fall.
Kombucha’s popularity is skyrocketing; its’ sales in the past year were $1.2 billion. In the past year, kombucha sales have increased by 40%. Kombucha’s high level of sales could be resultant of the push for physical wellness and health. Throughout social media, there have been many influencers who promote certain diets, lifestyles, and foods which has the potential to increase the visibility of kombucha to a wider audience. Starbucks has seen this health trend through their sales as well. The new CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, reports that there has been less of a desire for “sugary drinks, like Frappuccinos.” To combat this, he wants to increase the number of healthy options (such as kombucha) for current and potential Starbucks costumers.
As stated, the Evolutions Fresh brand are the creators of the six kombucha flavors for Starbucks. The president of this brand, Ryan Ziegelmann, stated, “We know our consumers are looking for beverages with functional benefits, and Evolutions Fresh Organic Kombucha is just what they are asking for – a delicious and refreshing pick-me-up that also supports digestive wellness.” However, not all individuals are “on board” with the health trends. Some still prefer utilizing Starbucks drinks as their sugar fix for the day.