Thursday, January 20, 2011

Super-sized Coffee

American coffee chain Starbucks has introduced a super-sized cup that contains more liquid than an average human stomach. Already, the Grande (Italian for large, i.e. 473 ml) is more than enough for me, but now, they have introduced the Trenta receptacle ("Thirty" in Italian), which carries 31 fluid ounces (916 ml) in one cup – equivalent to more than an ordinary bottle of wine. Fourteen US states have welcomed Starbucks’ biggest coffee.

Starbucks claimed that it was launching the cup – 63 percent larger than the chain’s previous largest size, the Venti (Italian for twenty, i.e. 561 ml) – in response to demand. More likely, it is because Starbucks is already facing stiff competition, and this is one way to increase custom, and therefore, improve their $ turnover.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks' chief executive – a tough marketing executive raised in Brooklyn's housing projects who has revived the £7 billion-a-year company since returning to the helm in early 2008 – is thought to have been behind the Trenta. Schultz has been behind most of the innovations that have turned the company into a multi-national marketing success.

Starbucks is not the only one to introduce super sizes. Fast food and grocery firms in the US sell an increasing number of super-sized colas and coffees: the grocery chain 7-Eleven has cups called Big Gulps which can carry three pints, while Starbucks' increasingly close competitor, McDonald's, sells ice teas in 32 fluid ounce buckets for $1.

NMA.tv – a Taiwan-based subsidiary of Next Media, a Hong Kong media conglomerate, which is purposed toward creating CGI-animated, humorous re-enactments of news stories, narrated in Mandarin and subsequently subtitled in English – got into the act too by presenting online this Starbucks news story, showing zombie customers lurching into Starbucks and staggering out carrying cups larger than their bodies. Check out this NMA.tv video clip:



I have uploaded another two clips also produced by NMA.tv just to give an insight into what they are all about – all these are January 19, 2011 postings. Alternatively, check out their webpage at http://www.nma.tv/


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