The secret ingredient in Starbucks’ new drinks: olive oil

by Ana Lopez

Starbucks takes a leap of faith. The caffeinated icon introduces a new line of coffee drinks called Oleato. Drinks are made with extra virgin olive oil, which adds 120 calories per serving, and the company is launching the line in Italy, with three different options available in Italian locations.

If the olive oil drinks prove successful, Starbucks will expand later in 2023, making the drinks available in the UK, the Middle East and Japan.

CNN reports that the decision to launch Oleato comes as consumers are watching their budgets and baristas are already dealing with complicated drink orders. Starbucks CMO Brady Brewer told CNN that this is “one of the biggest launches” his company has had in decades.

Brewer continued, “Rather than a flavor or a product, it’s really a platform.” Brewer means customers have another option: adding olive oil when personalizing drinks.

Starbucks is partly betting that people are still interested in trying new and unique coffee experiences.

Tommaso Asaro came up with the idea behind Oleato and then introduced Starbucks founder Howard Schultz to the concept of adding olive oil to coffee. Schultz then turned to his Starbucks team in Seattle to perfect the recipe and create the optimal blend—the perfect amount of oil.

Up to 12 different options will be available for the Oleato beverage line, each made with a spoonful of premium olive oil. While the line doesn’t make any specific health claims, Starbucks hopes people will see it as an extra healthy option.

Starbucks opened its first Italian branch in 2018, raising eyebrows among locals. Five years later, the company is expanding its reach in the country. With the launch of Oleato, Starbucks clearly wants to attract customers looking for something new and exciting in their daily coffee routine.

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