Starbuck’s Soy: What You Didn’t Know


I haven’t been shy about my love-hate relationship with Starbuck’s. This, however, may tip me over the edge. See, I lead a busy lifestyle. I love that I can go to Starbuck’s and get a somewhat healthy (albeit highly processed), $5.15 meal supplement in the form of a venti, two-pump, sugar-free mocha, soy latte. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that, but there you have it. Anyway, somewhere in the very back of my mind — wedged between denial and hope, I suspect — were suspicions about my “healthy” meal supplement. Recently, I was brave enough to approach the counter and ask to see the nutrition facts on the back of their soy milk container.

First let me say that Starbuck’s uses Silk soy milk, which also happens to be my favorite brand. For home I buy the green carton, which means “unsweetened.” It says “UNSWEETENED” on the package and contains 1g of sugar. If you’re a fan of vanilla, you may opt for the blue carton. That one is labeled “VANILLA” and contains 7g of sugar. Now, keep in mind that cows’ milk generally contains 12g of sugar, irrespective of fat content, and some varieties of skim contain upwards of 16g of sugar per serving. If for no other reason, I have become a big fan of soy. Back to the counter.

So the “barista” pulls out a blue carton of Silk, labeled “VANILLA.” “Ah, I know this carton,” I thought. Suddenly, my face turned flush. “HOLY SHIT! 14 GRAMS OF SUGAR??To be honest, I was disappointed that they were using vanilla soy milk instead of plain, but this? THIS? It’s like Vanilla Silk on steroids.But wait, the package … it’s the one I kno- … SHIT!” Fooled again. There I stood, staring deep into the eyes of Vanilla Silk’s evil twin. The carton had nothing but an infinitesimally small Starbucks banner at the very top that *might* have put the educated, thorough, and persistent consumer with super tight vision on notice that their overpriced coffee beverage contains much more than they had bargained for (see picture).

In conclusion, I’m bummed. On the one hand, I blame myself. I knew that Starbuck’s couldn’t be trusted. On the other hand, I remain disappointed in and frustrated by a) the level of deceit and b) the lack of an equally convenient, healthy option. I just don’t understand why it has to be so difficult …

2 Responses to “Starbuck’s Soy: What You Didn’t Know”

  1. 1 lovelyloey

    Oh dear. I must approach my local (i.e. sunny island of Singapore) and ask to look at theirs! Now that you mentioned it, I always felt my mocha with soy tasted sweeter than mocha with skimmed milk!

  2. 2 Your Brother

    I think the protestor in Seattle who took baseball bat to Starbucks window during the WTO protest was onto something.

    Nice swing too.

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