Starbucks Goes 'Big Gulp' in Market Test

Starbucks Goes 'Big Gulp' in Market Test

Food & Drink

Starbucks Goes 'Big Gulp' in Market Test


By Cari Martens

In the world of fountain drinks, size matters. In convenience stores and movie theatres, 44-ounce beverages and larger have become standard fare.

Ginormous drinks are especially popular in the warmer climate areas of the U.S., where QSRs have been major players in the ‘Big is Better’ competition.

McDonald’s has been promoting its 32-ounce sweet tea for $1 for a while now, in an attempt to try to drive traffic in its stores.

Now Starbucks is responding to customer demands for bigger-sized cold beverages with a 31-ounce size iced tea the company is market testing in Phoenix and Tampa. The question that immediately jumps to the mind with Starbucks is, what fancy name will be given to the new size? Certainly not something as pedestrian as Extra Large.

What’s in a name?

The powers that be at Starbucks have decreed that their version of the Big Gulp iced tea or iced coffee will henceforth be known as the ‘Trenta’ size. I’m told that trenta is the Italian word for 30. Anyway, the 31-ounce iced tea sells for $2.60 and the big iced coffee goes for $3.30.

If sales go well in those two warm-weather cities, look for the Trenta to be sloshing its way soon to the Starbucks on a corner near you. Surely it will be a successful trial. Isn’t this yet another case of ‘too big to fail?’

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