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Brand Italy – Starbucks

There aren’t many people who don’t know about Starbucks by now and you may also know that Starbucks is based on CEO – Howard Schultz’s vision of bringing a little bit of Italy back to the US.

This is a clip from Starbuck’s website:

“… in 1983, Howard traveled to Italy and became captivated with Italian coffee bars and the romance of the coffee experience. He had a vision to bring the Italian coffeehouse tradition back to the United States.”

Although it has an Italian name, do you want to know what’s not Italian?  The new “Trenta” – 31 oz coffee size that Starbucks launched this past year.  Even though I realize that American fast food and everything that comes with it has invaded Italy along with most of the world (as my father says: “tutto il mondo e’ paese”) large portions are not very Italian.  I’ve always disliked the fact that the food industry here in the US is obsessed with BIG portions. Super-size, more, bigger, huge, double! … which is exactly what happens to most people’s waste after a while in addition to increased health risks.  Most of the time, more isn’t better… it’s just more.  I’ll take a little less of better please.

PS – I would like to thank everyone for their comments and condolences regarding the recent passing of my nonna. It’s been a busy and hectic few months with our launch of Tre Olive, the holidays and my nonna’s passing but I’m hoping to get back on the posting track soon.

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11 comments to Brand Italy – Starbucks

  • Lovely to see your post. As a nation that is growing larger every day, you’d think the trend toward “bigger, huger portions” would go away. I suppose it will go away only when we stop buying it.

  • Pat

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your Nonna, Joe. You have been missed.

    I saw a commercial for this new giant sized Starbucks coffee and my first thought that it would deliver such a large dose of caffeine that might be healthy

  • Why do people think bigger is better – not just with coffee but with so many other things too? I say good things come in small packages. I’m glad you are getting back to posting. It’s been therapeutic for me and maybe it will be for you too.

  • casalba

    If the vision was to bring the romance of Italian coffee bars back to the States, he has missed the plot completely. Italian bars are small, family run businesses. Each as indivual and different as their owners. Not only in the setting and décor, but also in the coffee served – which, by the way, is not served in cardboard buckets!

  • I live in rural Australia and only my first Starbucks coffee 6 months ago on a trip to the city. I thought it was pretty good but our small town has quite good coffee as well – from small, family run businesses.

  • You know, the human stomach is actually incapable of having that much in it without being overly stretched. Just something to think about :)
    Personally I prefer tiny, delicious, shots of espresso to giant coffee-like drinks

  • I live in Italy so when I go to Starbucks I never know what to order. What they are serving is not what you would find at a typical bar in Italy. Just a plain old espresso, please!

  • I have never had a starbucks product. I have never been to one. Starbucks first entered Canada shortly before I moved to Italy and I hated that they were taking away business from a fabulous Canadian chain (which didn’t survive) and from local family run bakeries and coffee shops (most of which have also disappeared). While I realize that Starbucks is an impressive business model and lots of people love it, I prefer family run places that have a closer connection to the community they do business in. An interesting note, my coffee portions (even so called *American coffee*) have become much smaller since living here – and casalba made me laugh – cardboard buckets indeed!!

  • I think the key word in that quote is “inspired”. I’m glad they don’t say he tried to “replicate” the Italian coffee bar over here as the sizes are but one of the things they changed, others are, of course, the ability to take out, the availability of filter coffee, the lack of digestivi/aperitivi, the availability of cappucini after lunch, etc…
    I think it’s also important to acknowledge the prestige of adding “italy” to anything in America. I know this is something you’ve written about before, but it’s frustratingly true that from Pizza Hut’s “tuscan 6 cheese pizza” to Smirnoff’s “Tuscan Lemonade” vodka, even though Tuscany isn’t really synonymous with either cheese or lemons, somehow add a little desirability to mundane products that are most likely unavailable over there.

  • I think “bigger” sizes has been the food trend nowadays. The government should focus more on healthy eating habits to take care of their people’s health. A lot of people are dying because of severe obesity, heart attacks etc.., maybe its about time to implement the portion control food intake, instead of always wanting everything to be BIG and cheap. :)

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