From Coffee to Cola

Story by Meghan Jackson 

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From coffee to alcohol and now soda, Starbucks is slowly, but surely monopolizing the world of beverages. Fizzio, a line of handcrafted sodas is the newest addition to the coffee house’s drink menu. The line boasts no preservatives or high fructose corn syrup and weighs in at around 100 calories for a Grande (16 ounces). Just to compare, 12 ounces of Coca-Cola or Pepsi comes in at around 150 calories.

Each soda is made individually and then carbonated with the Fizzio machine. Unlike existing sodas or at-home carbonation machines, this one carbonates finished beverages, giving equal carbonation to each ingredient. Customers are also able to specify how much fizz they want in their drink. Golden Ginger Ale, Lemon Ale and Spiced Root Beer are the first flavors being introduced.

Not being a coffee drinker used to be an acceptable reason why someone wouldn’t visit the caffeine emporium, but Starbucks has virtually eliminated that excuse by greatly expanding their menu since their humble beginnings in 1971. In addition to coffee drinks and soda, they now serve a variety of beverages ranging from iced tea to Refresher fruit drinks, Evolution green juices, Izze bottled beverages, sparkling water and even alcohol.

Though not majorly advertised, Starbucks Evenings started in 2010 and have slowly grown to select stores in a few major cities, including Atlanta. Customers can order beer, wine and appetizers after 4 p.m. at participating locations. The chain wanted to offer a way for customers to relax later in the day, without having to go to a full on restaurant or bar. Fizzio soda was introduced in a similar fashion.

“We have heard from our customers that they’re looking for more refreshing, cold beverages, especially during the warm summer months,” Cliff Burrows, Group President confirmed on the Starbucks website.

And it seems as if Fizzio will be adding just that to the coffee shop turned beverage superstore this summer. The soda made its debut on June 24th at select Starbucks stores.