health and fitness 

2018.10.03UPDATE: Starbucks Doesn't Give a Frap About Your Health

Starbucks logo. Image credit: Starbucks
It looks like Starbucks just handed a double shot of "eff you" to customers with health concerns like diabetes

Starbucks has discontinued their Mocha Light Frappucino base. I have a huge problem with that.

No. I have a grande problem with that: According to the nutrition information Starbucks had published on their website at, a grande-sized Mocha Frappucino, made without whipped cream and using nonfat milk, contains 59 grams of sugar (and is 270 calories); 1 contrast with the same sized Mocha Light Frappucino, at 26g (140 cal),2 which is not served with whipped cream and doesn't offer a milk option. The Mocha Light Frappucino has less than half the sugar of the regular recipe, and about half of the calories.

And, Starbucks has just introduced their Triple Mocha Frappucino -- which, when made nonfat milk, contains 51g sugar (380 cal). 3, 4 Here's what Seth Meyers had to say about it last night:

On its face, the discontinuation of the Mocha Light Frappucino, coupled with the introduction of the Triple Mocha Frappucino, looks like Starbucks just handed a double shot of "eff you" to customers with health concerns like diabetes.

Yet Starbucks still has the gall to boast about their "commitment to health and wellness", and to state, "Starbucks has also committed to reducing average added sugar in indulgent beverages by 25 percent by the end of 2020." 5

I have called Starbucks support. The help desk person I spoke with was awesome, and promised me she would both escalate and "red-flag" the issue. At partially her behest, I have submitted the following on Starbucks' "ideas" website:

Please restore the Mocha Light Frappuccino.

The standard Mocha Frappuccino and the new Triple Mocha Frappuccino have unacceptable levels of sugar and calories for people with health issues like diabetes.

Removing the Light option significantly impacts the coffee drink options for people like me. But in the bigger picture, it also calls into question the commitment Starbucks made to health and wellness, and its commitment to reducing average added sugar in its beverages.

I'll be happy to update this post should Starbucks respond.


Starbucks finally engaged me on this... somewhat. I've been receiving a barrage of personalized ads from them pushing their pumpkin spice lattes over social media, so I've been responding with comments like, "not until you bring back the Mocha Light Frappucino base." Today someone at Starbucks finally replied. Here's the play by play (with my image removed and name replaced with "Me". By the way, Starbucks did greet me by name):

I didn't throw at them the infoporn on their latest Frapbomination, OR how it, combined with the lack of a Splenda-enhanced option, completely flies in the face of their bullshit nutrition committment. At least give me that much.

By the way, just because I'm fighting for the Mocha Light Frappucino base doesn't mean it was all that amazingly good for me. For comparison: A 12-oz. (small) bottle of Coca-Cola has the same number of calories (140), but half-again as much sugar (39g compared with 26g).

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