The Blog

  • April 24, 2010
  • Why does Starbucks charge extra for soy milk?

    It’s a curiosity that we’ve lived with for a long time.  On one hand, they provide fat free, one percent and two percent — your choice — at no extra cost.  Where cows are concerned, leche is leche and it comes with the latte, cappuccino or what ever you order.  But let one soy bean into the equation and bingo! It’s a license to print money.

    Hold on though.  Soy isn’t a choice the way two percent is — my jeans fit a little snug today so I’d better get the fat free.  No siree, if you are lactose intolerant soy is the only way you get to enjoy espresso with steamed white stuff.

    So the question is, why is Starbucks adding this hurdle for a distinct group of customers?  It’s sort of like charging for salad dressing, maybe just one flavor, or for McDonalds charging for ketchup.  How long would that last?

    Ok, soy might be more expensive wholesale than cow juice — I don’t know but let’s do the thought experiment — but, really, if your are charging over three bucks for a cup of Joe I doubt you’d lose money or that any widows and orphans would fall into penury over the largess.

    Hey, Starbucks, time to start treating all your customers the same.  Drop the charge for soy.

    Published: 14 years ago


    • April 25th, 2010 at 11:49 am    


      You’re right that this unfairly treats the lactose-intolerant – and also the vegans – but it is consistent with other inconsistencies in the caffeinated beverage industry. Ever notice that hot coffee refills are free, but hot tea is pay-by-the cup? Yet iced tea refills are free, whereas iced coffee refills are not. There is no rhyme or reason when it comes to our daily fix.

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