Top 5 CREEPY Facts About Starbucks
VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman
Written by Michael Wynands
How do you take your coffee? How about one cream, 2 sugars and a whole lot of baggage? Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts. In today's instalment we're counting down the Top 5 Disturbing Facts About Starbucks.
Come along as we explore some considerations that this coffee mega-franchise's offerings hard to swallow.
Special thanks to our user Ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
Top 5 Disturbing Facts About Starbucks
How do you take your coffee? How about one cream, 2 sugars and a whole lot of baggage? Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In today’s instalment we’re counting down the Top 5 Disturbing Facts About Starbucks. Come along as we explore some considerations that this coffee mega-franchise’s offerings hard to swallow.
#5: They’ve Printed Some Controversial Quotes
In 2005, as part of their “The Way I See It Campaign,” Starbucks printed hundreds of quotes from scientists, artists, poets, musicians, activists, Starbucks customers and other such thought leaders to stimulate conversation. Cool idea, right? The thing is… while most companies would’ve gone for benign quotes, Starbucks managed to offend beverage drinkers from all walks of life. The conservative Christian right didn’t take kindly to an anti-creationist cup, while those disinterested in religion were none too pleased to find quotes by molecular biologist and creationist author, Jonathan Wells, from his controversial book “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design.” At least the contradictory quotes made for an interesting blend.
#4: They Have Covert Coffee Shops
Call it research, diversification, or room to experiment… but a multinational coffee franchise setting up locations in the guise of independent local cafes seems dishonest. Starbucks has earned itself a fair number of conscientious objectors over the years, and so the company setting up unbranded shops feels like a manipulative ploy to trick counter-culture coffee drinkers into giving the company their business. To be fair, Starbucks hasn’t hidden their involvement with these shops - the phrase “Inspired by Starbucks” even appears in small font under the logo. Apart from that however, every attempt is made to avoid connections to the company and the brand baggage that comes with it.
#3: The Drinks They Serve Are Insanely High in Calories
It’s not like Starbucks keeps its nutritional information a secret. But unlike fast food restaurants where the caloric guilt is implicit, a beverage from a coffee shop, even with all the fixings, doesn’t automatically make you think big calories. But in the case of Starbucks … it should. First, it should be noted that Starbucks coffees contain, at every size, significantly higher amounts of caffeine than your average cup of joe, which can easily lead people to overdoing it. But it’s the calorie count that’s truly shocking. A grande peppermint white chocolate mocha contains 540 calories. The double chocolate chip frappuccino has 420. A green tea latte has 240! For context… a Big Mac is 257 calories.
#2: Their Workforce Isn’t Always as Happy as They’d Have You Believe
As an employer, Starbucks actually tends to get glowing reviews, which makes the company a bit of an outlier in the world of food and drink mega franchises. However, that shiny reputation isn’t entirely untarnished. In 2008, Starbucks settled and compensated some 356 workers who were made to work overtime without compensation. In 2013, they faced a similar lawsuit over missed breaks. In Oregon, the company was taken to court by baristas for the system through which they taxed employee tips. A 2014 New York Times spotlight on a single mother and Starbucks barista shed negative light on the company’s scheduling practices and proved seriously damaging for the company’s image.
#1: Starbucks’ Old Pumpkin Spice Latte? More Like Chemical Cocktail
Of all the seasonal beverages beloved by Starbucks clients, there is none more iconic than the Pumpkin Spice Latte. However, with great popularity comes great scrutiny, and when people began to take a closer look at the PSL, it proved less appetizing. In addition to staggering quantities of sugar, it contained Caramel Color Class IV, a coloring agent that produces the byproduct 4-Methylimidazole, which has been linked to cancer. It also contained Potassium Sorbate E202, a preservative that is a known allergen and has been connected to DNA damage in studies. In 2015, Starbucks finally cracked under the pressure, removing the caramel coloring and adding, for the first time, actual pumpkin.