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May 4, 2010 05:44 PM

Starbucks new customizable frappacinos

Okay, my sister complained to me several weeks ago that her normal grande mocha frappacino tasted awful, very weak. The barista explained to her that they were changing the formula, making the base less strong in order to add options. Now I get this e-mail alert from starbucks today -introducing the "new, however you want it frappacino!". You can add extra shot of coffee, make it lite, choose different types of milk, and so on. My question is-does doing any of this add to the price of your beverage? I have a feeling I know the answer. Time to kick the habit!

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  1. I'm also guessing that there will be an added cost to each addition. But, frappacinos are half price May 7-16 between 3-5pm each day. I guess that's when I'll be getting my fix!

    3 Replies
    1. re: cheesymama

      the 1/2 price only applies to 3 fraps according to the article I read...

      1. re: jujuthomas

        That's not true. It's any frappuccino you order.

    2. I'm curious...was the Frappacino a Starbucks invention?
      Now McDonalds has frappacino's or did someone else invent the frappacino and Starbucks couldn't trade mark the name?

      8 Replies
      1. re: monku

        McDonald's has a frappe (not trademarkable by itself because it is a common word). Starbuck's created the trademarkable variation Frappuccino - combining two common words that can't be trademarked, frappe and cappuccino, into a new word).

        That you immediately took McDonald's frappe to be a Frappuccino is exactly what McDonald's was hoping for, to piggyback on Starbuck's marketing success. The names however, are different.

        As for whether Starbuck's invented the drink, frappes have been around for a long time, but they made it a marketing phenomenon.

        1. re: monku

          I remember many years ago, before Starbucks was in my area, there was a local chain called "Coffee Connection" which had great coffee, and introduced the frappuccino, which they only had during the summer. Then, Starbucks came to town and bought all the Coffee Connection shops (which becaome Starbucks). Always wondered if they bought them partly for the frappuccino?

          1. re: monku

            I'm not 100% sure about this, but I *think* that the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf was the first big chain to do a drink like this - they were (and are still) called "Ice Blended"s. I don't know if CB&TL invented it, or just help to popularize it, but I remember they were doing this before Starbucks had the Frappacino.

            1. re: HastaLaPasta

              Okay, I took one for the team and tried the "new" frappucinos during their happy hour today. I ordered my usual grande java chip frappucino with no whipped cream. It was $1.97(half off regular price). From what I could see on the menu board, using soy milk adds 60 or 65 cents, adding decaf, extra shot of coffee adds 50 cents and adding shot of espresso adds 65 cents. You could also make it lite (no charge). Right from the first few sips, there was no discernible coffee flavor, just java chip tasting and not very strong. You' ve gotta hand it to starbucks and their clever spin though. They're going to charge you more for the same drink and you think you're getting a customized frappucino. In other words, all of the calories but none of the coffee! Maybe if they get enough negative feedback, they'll switch back. Fat chance, huh?

              1. re: shellsbutt

                Yikes - thanks for that. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who tries the "new" mocha or carmel frapps (just plain with no options) - as these have been my mainstays. I never cared for the old Java Chip frap - the other flavors I've liked were not coffee based - vanilla bean, strawberry and chain.

                1. re: HastaLaPasta

                  Had the caramel 2 days ago. No coffee taste at all!!! Had the new "Caramel Extra Coffee" yesterday, it tasted like the plain caramel used to (a noticeable coffee taste), but of course now it's 50 cents more.

                  1. re: newJJD

                    Because if you had the original one before and added coffee or a shot, you would have paid more. All the new menu is doing is showing you the price of the way most people had ordered items; no surprises at the final price this way.

                    The carmel frapp before this change never had any coffee taste to me at all. I never thought of just coffee and only got added shots. This way is cheaper for me.

              2. re: HastaLaPasta

                It doesn't have HFCS anymore. Does that mean anything?

            2. I would imagine the price will change dependant on the change you make. For example, non-fat milk costs Starbucks the same as 2% milk, while soy milk costs more. So if you want yours with soy, you will pay more just like they do. I'm not commenting on the markup, which we all know exists, just the logic.

              And of course, we all know this is the real world, so if you subtract an ingredient (whipped cream, less shots of syrup), you are likely not going to get a discount, just like Wendy's wouldn't credit you for a burger with no tomatoes.

              Starbucks empire is built on the idea of customization (see Table Manners this week) and until now, the Frappuccinos were one of the few items that couldn't be customized entirely. They have now corrected this.

              1 Reply
              1. re: contemporaryscarlett

                You have always been able to customize Frappuccinos at Starbucks by adding a shot, adding a syrup, adding whipped cream (on those that weren't available on) just like any other drink they had. The only thing you couldn't do was make it non fat or customize the milk options.

              2. A way to avoid paying for the extras is to get a Starbucks gift card, register it, and reload it. Since it is really the only place for coffee near my office, it has really paid off, my coworker and I take turns buying for each other. With the card you get free wi-fi, free extras like soy milk and, after 15 drinks they send you a coupon for a free one.

                1 Reply
                1. re: MrsT

                  Thanks for the advice Mrs.T. I've gotten starbucks cards before and registered them. I was sent a coupon for a free drink for my b-day, which was nice. I don't need free wifi(I always get it to go) and I don't drink soy milk. I just want to get my plain ol' mocha or java chip frappucino without paying more by having to add extra shots.

                2. The Taste of the 3 salty mixes are enough to keep you away from the new frap even if it was given away for free. I hope they bring back the classic frap texture and flavor. Many Truthful Comments about the aftertaste, the texture of the products, the general loathing of it were deleted from YouTube also. The ruse of how you like it, is just that. We had the product as we liked it and it was customizable before they took out the yummy flavors and made you pay for something MORE to make it taste anything like the classic. It appears they are only marketing using the facebook, twitter route. It appears that only acceptable comments are kept. On the Ideas site since you are directed to continue your discussion on Facebook *aw look at the pretty pictures and friends that will help you sell it LOL), twitter... it seems like just a ruse? to get more advertising for the product. I think only pleasing comments are kept therer also, not sure. The Classic didn't really need such forceful marketing & frilly gimmicks to sell it as it was beloved by many. The only way they could get a following would be to omit the three or four ingredients, the 3 gum salt base & possible via roast flavor additives. If you go for real espresso coffee shots & skip those you may get something worth drinking but not anything like the classic. I dare anyone to go test the three base offering flavors and the coffee roast flavor. Salt & Bitter... not really refreshing and you will probably want to spit it out or look like you just swigged a lemon. They want you to put extra cocoa to make it taste "sweet" as before. There cocoa comes with sugar. So why not use real sugar in the first place and get rid of the stevia, get rid of the nasty via if that is used at some stores also. Not everyone likes those two flavors. So omit the price for those (2) of your NON CHOOSING heh.

                  They need to freeze their milk, soy, however you like it & Omit the 3 new coffee, coffee lite, creme and Roast flavor... add 3 REAL espresso shots & maybe it will taste like a frap and not some ice water powder salt lick.