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  • Writer's pictureJeff Matthews

Cutting Costs and Calories at Starbucks, or Trying To, Anyway

“We no longer put whipped-cream on our drinks. If you want whip, Just Ask!”

So says the colorfully-drawn sign behind the counter at this Starbucks.

And so, along with the much-promoted “Pike Place Roast” and the new paper coffee cup label colored a shade of brown that is suspiciously similar to Peet’s Coffee, Howard Schultz’s “Transformation Agenda” takes hold.

We won’t disclose the exact location in order to protect our sources on the latest doings at this struggling-to-turnaround purveyor of high-end coffee, but according to the barista behind the counter, Georgia is a test market for a “no-whip” policy the company is thinking about rolling out elsewhere.

And while it makes perfect sense, business-wise, to dispense with the automatic slathering of the stuff on otherwise perfectly fine coffee drinks, what with dairy prices having gone through the roof—along with everything else—in recent years, Georgia might not be the place to start: “This isn’t the best market to do it,” our barista tells us. “People around here love whipped cream.”

She’s not kidding. Georgia’s adult obesity rate is 6th highest in the U.S.

Now, Starbucks isn’t exactly shoving the test down its “Guests” throats. The sign is barely noticeable on the wall behind the counter, and the baristas have been prompting customers to make sure they know there’s no whip cream coming on whatever it was used to get it.

So, how’s the “no-whip” portion of the Agenda looking in Georgia?

About half the customers here still want their whipped cream.

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up © 2008 Not Making This Up LLC

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. The commentary in this blog in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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