Starbucks is adding a line of smoothie-like drinks made with fresh fruit and whey powder throughout its U.S. locations this summer. The flavors developed include chocolate banana and orange mango. The company says they're the first stage of a broader push into healthier drink and food offerings, as well as being a differentiator that cannot be purchased at other fast-food establishments.
The company also will begin selling a more-indulgent sweet, icy beverage developed with an unnamed Italian company. That drink will be sold only in select markets, including Southern California. Part of the strategy is to price the drink affordably to appeal to customers who have cut back on spending. Starbucks wouldn't disclose the name or price of either drink.
Both drinks could help Starbucks move beyond the Frappuccino, the ice-blended drink that allowed it to expand beyond coffee drinks in the 1990s. In recent years, the Frappuccino has been less effective at driving summer sales, in part because competitors copied it.