I figured they’d at least hide the instant packets. But, no, Starbucks is pretty out front with the fact that its oatmeal comes in a paper bag. They have the advantage of that instant hot water tap, meaning you don’t have to wait for the teapot to boil â€“ you just have to drive to your nearest Starbucks.
I did that this morning, with my husband â€“ the one who grumbled, â€˜So, it’s a 25 cent packet I could fix at home.â€™ Even he perked up, though, when they offered any or all of three different toppings for no additional charge. The oatmeal, complete with brown sugar, mixed dried fruits, and nuts was $2.45 â€“ similar to the cost of a bacon and egg biscuit and a whole lot healthier.
Of our Twitter followers, @fredkzk would get along with my husband. She said, â€˜I still find it pricey when one can make her own at home for a quarter of that price.â€™ Bloggers and reviewers are all making that point â€“ it’s instant, it’s cheaper at home, but it’s still a good alternative.
Keep in mind that you also get the experience, which is a step up from typical fast food. Oatmeal, after all, is harder to eat from a drive thru, so you tend to go in the store. That means you get to read the free newspaper strewn on the tables. You can add sprinkles of cinnamon, nutmeg or chocolate, and pour on a little milk. You get the ambiance of bright music and a coffee shop attitude, complete with the occasional friend who stops at your table to say good morning.
The add-ons added calories along with flavor, so consider that (then do it anyway). They are clearly labeled along with the phrase â€˜For Your Perfect Oatmealâ€™ â€“ 50 calories for the brown sugar packet, 100 calories for the nut mix with walnuts, pecans and almonds, and 100 calories for the dried cranberries, raisins, blueberries and cherries.
Our barista handed us the attractive bowls filled with oatmeal mix and water, lid on to help it steam, and said, â€˜Just give it a stir, add your mix-ins, and enjoy.â€™ Sure, we have packets of oatmeal at home, but no one measures the water, cleans up my mess, or smiles at me when I grab the bowl at home. I can make biscuits at home, too, but don’t.
So, even though it’s instant, and even though I’ll also end up paying more for coffee than usual, I still applaud Starbucks for creating a healthier alternative and making me happy to pay for the experience.
For another opinion, we recommend this blog: