Last week, Starbucks announced that that they would be offering the new Mini Frappuccino until July 6 at participating locations in Canada and the US. The Mini size is just 10 oz, compared to Tall (12 oz), Grande (16 oz), and Venti Iced (24 oz). It is no secret that I am a fan of the Frappuccino. On one of my visits to Starbucks in Yaletown, I decided to try out the Mini Frappuccino.
Note: For all my Urbanspoon and Zomato readers, the Yaletown location is conveniently located just outside the Yaletown Skytrain station. I have also enjoyed interacting with the staff there as they seem to be friendly and helpful.
What flavors can you get a Mini Frappuccino in?
I asked the staff person that exact question and the answer is all of them! Starbucks has stated that the Mini size offers customers an opportunity to try out different Frappuccino flavours. From their perspective, it is a great way to bring in more customers and hopefully gain their loyalty. Did you know that the Starbucks Frappucccino has 11 million Facebook fans?
Is the Mini Frappuccino healthier in terms of calories?
When Starbucks announced the Mini size, I thought that one of the advantages would be that it would be somewhat “healthier” than a Tall. Blended beverages, like the Frappuccino, have a lot of calories with the added syrup and whipped cream. It seems like a smaller size would result in the consumption of less calories.
To answer the question on whether the Mini Frappuccino is healthier , I looked at the Starbucks website where they post nutritional content of the Frappuccino by size, flavour and options like type of milk and having whipped cream or not. I then selected a few nutritional measures for comparison across the sizes: calories, calories from fat, sugars, and fat.
On this Starbucks visit, I bought a Mini Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino. Unfortunately, Starbucks has no nutritional content data for this flavour in the mini size. However, there was data published on the Vanilla Bean Crème. This data can be found here on the Starbucks website.
For this analysis, I pulled select nutritional data (as of May 19, 2015) on the Vanilla Bean Crème with whole milk and whipped cream.
|Calories from Fat (cal)||60||100||140||160|
|Total Fat (g)||7||11||16||18|
The Mini does have less calories , calories of fat, grams of sugar and grams of fat per ounce compared to the other sizes. The Grande is the least healthy on all measures, even though it is only the second largest size. The Venti Iced is the largest size but did better on all the measures than the Tall.
|Calories from Fat/oz||6||8.3||8.8||6.7|
I then looked at all the measures relative to the Mini per ounce. The Grande is 60% bigger than the Mini, and has 40% more calories, 50% more calories from fat, 30% more grams of sugar, and 40% more grams of fat per ounce. The Venti Iced, however, had less of everything except volume compared to the Tall, which is the second smallest size.
|Calories from Fat||1.0||1.4||1.5||1.1|
Is the Mini Frappuccino a good deal?
I then decided to do some calculations to see if the Mini was a better deal per ounce compared to the other sizes. I obtained the prices of the Frappuccinos based on my photo of the Frappuccino menu, which can be found here. These calculations are again for the Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino.
|Price (CDN $)||3.45||3.75||4.25||4.75|
|Price/ounce (CDN $/oz)||0.35||0.31||0.27||0.20|
The data shows that the Mini is the most expensive of all the sizes at $0.35 per ounce for the Vanilla Bean Crème. Not surprisingly, the cost per ounce decreases as the size goes up.
The new Mini size allows you to enjoy the a Frappuccino at a lower absolute price and has calories, sugar and fat per ounce compared to the other sizes. However, in terms of value, the Mini Frappuccino is the most expensive in terms of cost per ounce. The Venti Iced offers the best value per ounce and has better nutritional content than the Tall.