A New Starbucks Drink Is So Sugary It's Outraging Brits

The venti-sized offering has a remarkable 25 teaspoons of sugar in it. In the UK, that is three times the maximum recommended adult daily intake of sugar.
February 22, 2016, 3:00pm
Photo via Flickr user James S Warwick

Action on Sugar is a British organization composed of nutritionists, scientists, and researchers that bills itself as "a group of specialists concerned with sugar and its effects on health." Hoping to trigger "a consensus with the food industry and Government" in its war against overconsumption of sugar, the group just released a report that says some hot flavored drinks have a shocking amount of sugar in them.

The worst offender should really come as no surprise—it is Starbucks' Hot Mulled Fruit. That drink is described as "Grape with Chai, Orange and Cinnamon." The venti-sized offering has a remarkable 25 teaspoons of sugar in it. In the UK, that is three times the maximum recommended adult daily intake of sugar.

After the report came out this week, Britons took to the Internet to express their outrage and to ask this important question: Who the fuck drinks that shit anyway?

You mean, people actually go to Starbucks for a Hot Mulled Fruit (grape with chai, orange and cinnamon venti)?! https://t.co/e0dtd3GR1n

— Toa Fraser (@ToaFraser) February 17, 2016

The report also found that 98 percent of hot flavored drinks have excessive levels of sugars per serving. Over a third contain the same amount or more sugar as a can of Coca Cola.

The UK is becoming known as "the fat man of Europe" and, according to the NHS, almost a quarter of all people in Britain are obese. Action on Sugar looked at 131 hot flavored drinks and sold at various chains in Britain. The Starbucks sugar bomb is a mix of chai and fruit concentrate, topped with a cinnamon stick and a slice of orange.

Starbucks grape with chai, orange & cinnamon contains 25 sugars, presumably to mask the flavour & kill off the sort of people who order it. — Gonuts McDie (@GonutsMcDie) February 17, 2016

Of the entire lot of 131 drinks studied, 55 percent contain the equivalent, or more than, the maximum daily recommended amount of sugars for an adult and teenager, which is around 7 teaspoons a day.

Another Starbucks doozy is the Starbuck's Chai Tea Latte Venti, which contains 13 teaspoons of sugar per serving. Action on Sugar is pro-tax on sugary drinks and anti-extra-large cups, which the venti would qualify as being.

This is the amount of sugar found in a #Starbucks Venti Grape with chai and hot mulled fruit. #highsugar @PA pic.twitter.com/pkoY69cz6j

— Paco Anselmi (@PacoHansel84) February 17, 2016

Professor Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, and Chair of Action on Sugar says, "This is yet again another example of a scandalous amount of sugar added to our food and drink. No wonder we have the highest rates of obesity in Europe."

A Starbucks spokesperson told The Independent, "Earlier this year we committed to reduce added sugar in our indulgent drinks by 25 percent by the end of 2020. We also offer a wide variety of lighter options, sugar-free syrups and sugar-free natural sweetener and we display all nutritional information in-store and online."

The hot mulled offering does not appear to be available in America and that's probably for the best.