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News to Chew | Starbucks

News to Chew

Taking a bite out of the world of food and food news
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Starbucks: Try Our Coffee, It Tastes Just Like Instant

October 05, 2009 By: admin Category: Food News

BOOKMAN: Who doesn’t have instant coffee?
JERRY: I don’t.
BOOKMAN: You buy a jar of Folger’s Crystals, you put it in the cupboard, you forget about it. Then later on when you need it, it’s there. It lasts forever. It’s freeze-dried. Freeze-dried Crystals.

There’s some sort of irony or something going on here. You know, Starbucks – it of the McDonald’s-like ubiquity – conditions the world that so-so, overpriced brewed coffee is something we can’t live without. So when SB came out last week with their (heavily advertised) VIA instant coffee, it struck the News to Chew news desk as, well, weird.

C’mon. Instant coffee? From Starbucks?

That’s like saying, “Ya know, we’ve branded ourselves as the best coffee around, but we’ve expanded and overexposed ourselves to the point of mediocrity so we’re going to pull back your expectations with this new product we have – instant coffee.”

I mean, my parents drink instant coffee – a product of their generation. And they’re in their 80s. So, Starbucks is taking on Taster’s Choice or Nescafe? Maybe it’s a brilliant marketing strategy – they’re closing outlets everywhere, so now they’re entering a more dormant revenue stream.

Now, the Starbucks advertising and hype is saying you can’t taste the difference between VIA and their fresh-brewed coffee. So NTC decided to give it a try. And the verdict? Not bad, actually. In fact, it was better then the fresh brewed you’ll get at certain times of the day at Starbucks. It might be worth keeping a few packs in the cupboard at work or home.

Who knows? Maybe instant will be the new coffee trend? And then Folgers Crystals will be the new hipster anti-VIA coffee?

Just some news to chew on.

Amuse bouche: Why does Starbucks run out of coffee…

June 10, 2009 By: admin Category: Amuse Bouche

Amuse bouche: Why does Starbucks run out of coffee in the morning? Is it a way to force you to buy a latte instead? Happens a lot to me.

Do your civic duty: vote, eat and rink for free.

November 04, 2008 By: admin Category: Food News

As Election Day 2008 is shaping up to be one for the history books, we Americans should all pat ourselves on the back for engaging ourselves in this Presidential race and responding by doing our civic duty of voting – in what appears to be record numbers according to news sources.

As tribute to our self-congratulatory psyche, several national chains are rewarding us for our good bahavior by offering up free food and drink as a gesture of capitalistic patriotism. According to the Associated Press, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s and Chick-fil-A are handing out freebies to nosh on as we await the election results.

Starbucks Corp. is offering a free cup of brewed coffee to anyone who asks on Tuesday, while Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. is giving away star-shaped doughnuts. Ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s is offering a free scoop as part of a celebration of the election.

All three establishments had originally planned to give the freebies to those who voted as a reward for their civic duty, but state and federal election laws forbid promotions that imply a reward for voting.

As the AP reports:

Seattle-based Starbucks had originally planned to give away the “tall” brewed coffees to anyone who reported that they voted, saying in an ad: “If you care enough to vote, we care enough to give you a free cup of coffee.” The company broadened its offer to all customers to ensure it was in compliance with election law, spokeswoman Tara Darrow said Monday evening.

Ben and Jerry’s, meanwhile, will be giving a free scoop to each customer at its shops from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The company said in a statement it had planned to give free scoops only to people who voted but learned that certain laws may not allow it.

Krispy Kreme is giving star-shaped doughnuts with red, white and blue sprinkles to anyone who mentions the promotion, said spokeswoman Ayana Hernandez, but they won’t be required to show an “I voted” sitcker as originally promoted on its company site.

Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country on a local voluntary basis will be offering free chicken items as well.

It is doubtful that when you add up the caloric intake of all the freebies that it will total the 538 electoral votes at stake today. But it just may equal the total number of votes being cast today: 130 million.

And that’s about as All-American as you can get! Eat up proudly, America, no matter how you vote.

Just some news to chew on.