by Mark Tarses
October 14, 2004
Starbucks announced today that they are going to start selling a new hot chocolate beverage on January 8, 2005 in its coffee shops in the U.S. and Canada.
They aren't going to call their new beverage "hot chocolate" or "hot cocoa". (I guess those terms are too vulgar.) Starbucks is naming its new product Chantico (pronounced "shan-TEE-ko"), named for the Aztec goddess of the hearth.
Unlike ordinary hot chocolate and cocoa beverages, which are made from cocoa powder, Chantico is made with cocoa butter and steamed milk.
Chantico is not a diet drink. A small (6-ounce) cup contains 390 calories, 21 grams of fat, and 51 grams of carbohydrate.
These numbers seem to run against the increasing concern in America over obesity, but despite all the talk about healthier lifestyles, Americans have become increasingly indulgent since 9/11. Calorie and carbohyrate rich "comfort foods" are selling better at most restaurants than diet plates. Starbucks plans to market Chantico not as a beverage, but as a "drinkable dessert." That is appropriate, since a small cup of Chantico contains more calories and fat than 2 standard-size Hershey bars.
Chantico will sell for around $3.00 a cup. It should sell well. Starbuck's hugely successful Frappuccino coffee beverages contain about the same amount of calories, fat, and carbs, as Chantico.
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