Starbucks may be raising its prices on coffee and lattes, but at least it's creating another option for caffeine lovers everywhere: Soda. Handcrafted soda, to be exact. Yes, the coffee giant is jumping into the carbonated-beverage game when its Starbucks Fizzio soda hits stores Tuesday. But these aren't just any old bottled sodas — the new Starbucks beverage will be made to order with a specially designed in-store Fizzio Machine. Plus, they're low calorie and reportedly cut back on a bunch of the preservatives typically found in soft drinks, so you don't have to feel guilty about ordering one on a sweltering summer day.
Here's how the Fizzio sodas work: The drink is made in the in-store machines with a 50-percent fizz ingredient, but it doesn't mix carbonated water with high-fructose syrup, like most soda beverages. Instead, the machine adds flavors and spices by merging them in a large teabag-like cloth that's then submerged in hot water.
The Fizzio currently only comes in three flavors: golden ginger ale, spiced root beer and lemon. Customers can also request different levels of carbonation, ranging from light to extra. The drinks are also just 100 calories.
"We are changing the game in terms of how to get a carbonated drink," Josh Fine, brand manager for Fizzio, told USA Today. "Like what Starbucks did to coffee 40 years ago, we think we can do in the carbonation space."
While the Fizzio drinks may bring additional business to the specialized coffee retailer during the summer, the sodas aren't quite that easy on the pockets. A small, 12 oz. Fizzio reportedly costs about $2.45, so considerably more than your average soft drink from 7-11. However, the Fizzio is way cheaper than your average grande whipped frappaccino, so for sugary cold-drink fans, these sodas may be your best new bet this summer.
It's not a surprise that Starbucks is making the leap into soda products — actually, it seems long overdue. And given the drought in Brazil that's causing coffee prices to surge to record-high numbers, this seems like the best time for Starbucks to roll out a new beverage line.
In addition to Fizzio, Starbucks will also be introducing two new iced tea drinks at its Teavana locations on Tuesday: the Teavana Shaken Iced Teas. According to Starbucks, these minimally sweetened teas are hand-shaken and come in specially designed flavors.
"The addition of Fizzio and Teavana Iced Teas gives our customers more refreshing beverage choices made with the premium ingredients they expect from Starbucks," Cliff Burrows, Starbucks group president, said in a statement.