If you’re driving through San Francisco any time soon, you’ll likely see at least one billboard reading “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.”
Additionally, thanks to the newest legislation approved by city supervisors, soft drink advertisements are now required to warn consumers that too much soda pop could be hazardous to their health, much like the warnings on cigarette boxes.
The regulations exempt certain sugar-laden drinks, like most coffee beverages, but a new concern has popped up: Starbucks’s infamous Frappucinos, which are realistically more sugar than they are coffee, do not seem to be protected under the exemptions.
It’s not the first time that a very popular food or drink company was targeted for producing unhealthy items. Coca-Cola, for example, has long been referenced when dental experts explain the dangers of too many sugary drinks.
But Coca-Cola, oddly enough, never seemed to lose its momentum (even if sales were dropping quite a bit during 2013 and 2014). It still remains one of the most popular companies because it manages to emphasize a certain brand that resonates well among many different audiences.
Will Starbucks respond with a similar approach? It’s hard to say, especially since the company has had plenty of small disasters in the past few months alone (two words: “Race Together”) and these missteps have certainly affected the company’s brand negatively.
If Frappucinos end up being exempt from San Francisco’s rules, will Starbucks be viewed as trying to hide something from its consumers? If Frappucinos aren’t exempt, will the company experience a decrease in sales when consumers start to realize just how unhealthy the drinks are? Only time will tell.