Starbucks Introduces Caloric Menu Board Labeling Nationwide

Extends nutritional transparency touchpoints; includes tags on food in bakery case

SEATTLE -- Starbucks Coffee Co. said it will include calorie information on menu boards at all company-operated and licensed U.S. Starbucks stores beginning later this month.

Starbucks will post calorie counts to accompany each beverage listed on the menu boards, as well as on tags to accompany food in the bakery case. Each beverage is listed as a standard recipe, though each is fully customizable, such as ordering without whip, choosing a different milk or sugar-free syrup option.

Customers can expect to see the new menu boards and pastry case displays in all stores in the United States beginning June 25.

The launch of menu board labeling and pastry case calorie labeling will complement the food and beverage transparency the company already provides to customers through printed brochures, an easy-to-navigate nutrition tab on and through the Starbucks Mobile App for iPhone.

"Menu labeling is another step to extend our commitment to wellness, ensuring our customers and partners (employees) have the information they need to make informed decisions and understand all the ways that they can customize their Starbucks beverages to be within their desired calorie range," said Mary Wagner, senior vice president of global research and development at Starbucks, Seattle. "Starbucks believes that wellness is the journey to a happy, healthy life through daily choices, whether its a favorite beverage or a wholesome meal option."

Starbucks offers customers products from fully customizable beverages to a variety of breakfast and lunch options. In the company's journey to becoming a place to find varied options to accommodate nutrition and taste preferences, Starbuck said is listening to customer and partner feedback and offering relevant options with real, wholesome ingredients, in moderate portion sizes and sensible calorie amounts, as a core part of its approach to food and beverages.

A few of the steps Starbucks has taken include:

  • 1997: It added sugar-free syrup with zero calories and zero grams of fat to its existing line of syrup flavors.
  • 2003: It introduced beverage customization, offering a way to personalize for nutritional preferences.
  • 2007: It announced 2% milk as the standard for core beverages in North America, saving customers 17 billion calories per year, equaling nearly five million pounds of fat. The switch reduced overall core beverage offerings calorie content by 14%, fat by 36% and saturated fat by 38%, on average
  • 2009: It offered new bakery items, eliminating artificial flavors, artificial dyes, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), as well as artificial preservatives and artificial sweeteners where possible.
  • 2010: It launched its "however-you-want-it" Fappuccino blended beverage globally, allowing customers to personalize their drink to their lifestyle and taste preferences by selecting from a variety of milks, choosing the intensity of coffee and picking any combination of syrups or toppings .
  • 2011: It introduced grab-and-go lunch items, providing balanced nutrition on-the-go, for fewer than 500 calories.
  • 2012: Evolution Fresh juices joined Starbucks stores, offering cold pressed juices.
  • Summer 2013: It launched new salad bowls, each with fewer than 450 calories.