Starbucks Value Meals Unveiled: $3.95 For A Latte And Oatmeal

CEO Howard Schultz once vowed he would never have value meals at Starbucks. Hey, he lied. As foretold, Starbucks has just unveiled their new “breakfast pairings” which is the Starbucksian code for a value meal. For $3.95 you can get a drip coffee and a hot sandwich or a latte and a bowl of oatmeal or cinnamon swirl coffee cake.

McDonald’s reaction to Starbucks emulating them for a change?

“Value has, and will always be on the menu at McDonald’s,” spokeswoman Danya Proud says.

In case you’re confused as to why Starbucks suddenly cares about “value,” their same store sales are down 10% (!) and net income down 69%.

Struggling Starbucks unveils menu deal to halt slide [USAToday]
(Photo:Atwater Village Newbie)

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  1. Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

    Is it like slow-cooked, steel-cut Irish oats? Or are we talking about a dinky packet of Quaker instant?

    • downwithmonstercable says:

      @Ash78: People were going nuts when they introduced their oatmeal a while back..apparently it’s pretty good. They’ve been handing out free samples at college sports games recently too.

    • madanthony says:

      @Ash78:

      Apparently, their oatmeal has a loyal following amoung cats owned by consumerist staff members

    • hedonia says:

      @Ash78: I had the oatmeal there once, and it was absolutely fantastic. It was slow-cooked, and plain (you could pick dried fruit or nuts or brown sugar to mix in, if you wanted). It was a good sized cup, and very filling. I think it was $1.85 or something like that – and I’d rather eat some nice plain oatmeal than a nasty greasy sandwich.

      • lonestarbl says:

        @hedonia:

        If the oatmeal was $1.85… is this really any type of actual “Value” deal? Last I remembered, a large (Venti) coffe was right in the low to sub $2 range

    • Meg Marco says:

      @Ash78: It’s instant, but it’s not bad. Cats like it.

    • revmatty says:

      @Ash78: It’s somewhere between the two in terms of taste. I’ve had it a few times and that’s a pretty decent price for the latte/oatmeal deal.

    • c_c says:
    • CupcakeKarate says:

      @Ash78: I had it once and it was ridiculously priced- like $4. I watched the barista open an instant packet and poor hot water over it. It was tasty, though.

    • orlo says:

      @Ash78: All oatmeal costs the same. Sounds like you are being gouged for “special” steel-cut oats, but really the Quaker should cost more because of packaging advertising and processing.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Ash78: It’s instant. I’ve gotten it a few times, and at my location they tend to put too much water in it, turning it into a gloppy mess.

      Wouldn’t be so bad, except the bowl says “Perfect Oatmeal” on it. It ain’t perfect.

    • pixiegirl1 says:

      @Ash78:

      I’m not sure but I think it’s instant, but it is GOOD! My only beef was it’s too small I guess I’m the odd one out, most people think it’s more than enough. I would need at least 2 to be full. I will admit that I am one of those people who always wakes up *hungry* and eats a huge breakfast.

  2. summerbee says:

    Danya Proud is…well, proud.

  3. downwithmonstercable says:

    That seems like a decent price. And I’d imagine it tastes better than McDonald’s.

    Does hot sandwich = some type of egg McMuffin type thing?

    • CaffiendCA says:

      @downwithmonstercable: Not even close. I got one figuring it’d be mealish. It was smaller than an english muffin (I got one that was some sort of pastry dough, they do sell english muffin versions), and had very little in the way of fillings. Didn’t hold me for an hour.

      • howie_in_az says:

        @CaffiendCA: Was it burnt like their coffee? I think it’d be particularly lol if the meal was undercooked.

        • CaffiendCA says:

          @howie_in_az: They’re precooked and then reheated in a convection oven, so they don’t lose all of the crispyness. The more I write about it, the better it sounds! Damn it. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t much!

          • Brunette Bookworm says:

            @CaffiendCA: The ones I’ve had were on English muffins and were quite tasty. It’s not that bad of a deal. Sometimes I would get a coffee and sandwich in the morning on my way to work if I didn’t stay at home the night before. I need my morning coffee.

      • Katxyz says:

        @downwithmonstercable:

        I had an egg and spinach wrap deal, and it was awful. The egg tasted like the liquid eggs cafeterias use, and the texture was terrible. However, that’s true for every Starbucks food I’ve ever had, other than the fruit. Horrible baked goods.

    • jamar0303 says:

      @CaffiendCA: Wait, what? Over on this side of the Pacific their sandwiches are definitely capable of holding most people for at least a couple of hours. Think a little smaller than Subway sandwiches.

      • CaffiendCA says:

        @jamar0303: It was one of the breakfast things. Like a less flakey pie crust folded into an oragami like square. Maybe four inches diagonal. Egg & sausage.

        • jamar0303 says:

          @CaffiendCA: Oh. That sucks. They do the precooked and reheated thing here too, but at least they offer something substantial for that money. 4 inches diagonal? I’d go for the street vendors instead if they tried to charge for that.

  4. tc4b says:

    Anyone here ever tasted the oatmeal? This doesnt sound like a bad deal at all. What size coffee?

  5. razremytuxbuddy says:

    Latte and oatmeal, yea! Starbucks knows what I like! The price seems fair, too. Seriously, I will totally go for this Breakfast Pairing.

  6. Nolarchy says:

    Had the oatmeal yesterday, and it wasn’t bad. It’s not a huge amount, but it also comes with a packet of dried fruit and brown sugar to mix in.

  7. twophrasebark says:

    I like Starbucks. Why is everyone so mean to them?

    • downwithmonstercable says:

      @twophrasebark: It’s the hipster code of ethics. You are only allowed to like little hole-in-the-wall type no-name coffee places. Along with that, you need to have thick rimmed trendy glasses, and read political science pieces, and rant on the blindness of the mainstream people. They are all wrong… but you, in the “underground”…you are in the know.

      /rant

      • downwithmonstercable says:

        @downwithmonstercable: BTW that is not a shot at Meg. More like an overly sarcastic response, which is helping channel my frustration due to an already suckass workday.

        • Trai_Dep says:

          @downwithmonstercable: I’m actually OK with the local-only cafe hipsters. Let 1,000 flowers bloom.
          What draws my snickers are the Folgers in a can people complaining about beans roasted past the shade of beige, who predictably have never set foot in a Starbucks, let alone a real cafe.
          “Bitter” isn’t only found at the bottom of a coffeepot that’s sat on the warmer too long.

          • downwithmonstercable says:

            @Trai_Dep: I am too for the most part, I have a lot of hipster friends and I love making fun of them just because they so easily fit into various stereotypes. It’s all in good fun.

      • Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

        @downwithmonstercable: Side note–your excellent assessment reminded me of an onion article from several years ago:

        Local Hipster Over-Explaining Why He Was At The Mall
        [www.theonion.com]

      • Yossarian says:

        @downwithmonstercable: As a wise man once wrote, more or less, I am so unhip it’s a wonder my bums don’t fall off. I make that same rant against Starbucks customers but, clearly, I am aiming at least one level too high in the hipster hierarchy.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @downwithmonstercable: “read political science pieces, and rant on the blindness of the mainstream people.”

        Off topic here, but I teach intro philosophy, and last semester I had these totally emo hipster kids who thought I was super-cool because I was employed THINKING about stuff like Neitzsche, until they found out I did such horrifically bourgeois things as GET MARRIED and WATCH FOOTBALL and DRIVE A FORD.

        They were so disappointed their little emo-hipster hearts broke, and then they turned on me and started mocking my empty middle-class existence.

        They totally hated Starbucks because it was part of the coffee-industrial complex. Or something. I was never entirely clear, but they were always on about the other students’ coffees.

        • downwithmonstercable says:

          @Eyebrows McGee: LOL – Nietzche was the name I was trying to pull out, I just wrote Poli sci instead :D

          Yes…I know exactly what you are talking about. When you’re in the hipster lifestyle, normal every day things are illegal, and also you should die for even considering them. Marriage is out of the question because not everybody can marry legally, thus nobody should. Plus that totally closes you out of possible future relationships. Married people are closed minded because of that. Football is out of the question, it’s too surfacey and lacks real depth. It’s just guys hitting each other, it feels so last century and we’re totally over it. And American cars? Please. Subarus only please. They are zero emissions and they plant trees when you buy their cars.

          INBEFORETHEHIPSTERTRACKMYIPANDJUDGEMETODEATH…

          • regenerator says:

            @downwithmonstercable: I know it’s not your point, but Subarus are not very environmentally friendly in and of themselves. The company may make some environmental contributions, but their cars’ mileages are pretty bad across the board (approx. 24-27 mpg). I don’t understand how people can think they’re being “green” driving one.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @downwithmonstercable: “Marriage is out of the question because not everybody can marry legally, thus nobody should. Plus that totally closes you out of possible future relationships. Married people are closed minded because of that.”

            Is that their reasoning? I just figured it was all a cover for the fact they were jealous I was actually having sex. :P

        • drjayphd says:

          @Eyebrows McGee: Shoulda told them to take vows of silence until they got into the Air Force. ;)

        • Nick1693 says:

          @Eyebrows McGee: “GET MARRIED and WATCH FOOTBALL and DRIVE A FORD.

          And comment on a blog called The Consumerist…

        • Stonecutter says:

          @Plates: All right, now we’re just trying to draw each other offsides.

    • Plates says:

      @twophrasebark: Because you can get a better product for way less money elsewhere. Plus ever been to Manhattan? It is filled with Starbucks, banks, and Duane Reades.

    • Cyclokitty says:

      @twophrasebark:
      I like Starbucks too. I’m there every couple of days enjoying coffee and my favourite treat APPLE FRITTER. Honestly, the fritter is so good it could probably bring an end to war if samples were passed around a battlefield.

      But one thing I won’t be ordering is oatmeal. Ick. I won’t make it at home and I definitely won’t buy it already prepared outside someplace. Ick.

      Since I don’t live near a hole-in-the-wall-hipster-approved-coffee-shop I have the choice of Tim Hortons or Starbucks. I don’t like Tim’s coffee. It’s like bilge water.

      Is Starbucks suffering in Canada too? Because the locations near me (6) are always packed to the door regardless of time of day. And they beg for employees.

      • valueofaloonie says:

        @Cyclokitty: Starbucks in Canada is not nearly in the same state that the US is in. Then again, one could also argue that our economy is not nearly in the state that the American economy is…yet.

    • drjayphd says:

      @twophrasebark: Once you signed up for the site, Our Fearless Leaders were supposed to wipe from your memory any positive experiences you’ve had at Starbucks. In their place: “Starbucks coffee tastes burnt”, “Starbucks charges OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAND for a small cup of coffee” and “there’s two Starbucks in my neighborhood, so they’re clearly a pandemic which must be exterminated”. :)

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @drjayphd: Err, I think you mean some Consumerist commentators, not the staff.
        Captain Duvel Moneycat’s evisceration of that poor, deceased intern who disparaged the quality of Starbucks’ fare set the editorial tone at Consumerist pretty early in the game. On the bright side, it resulted in an excellent Bounty DOES Absorb Twice Its Competitors article. Although the accompanying pictures were… Unsettling.

    • mbz32190 says:

      @twophrasebark: Everyone is mean to Starbucks because they are a big chain, trying to act like a neighborhood coffee shop, but it is no different than the corner Walgreens, McDonald’s or Walmart. And since Starbucks is overpriced (IMO) for the quality you receive, that is another reason. Their expansion into every shopping center, supermarket, etc. is what is killing them, but anyone could have seen they would eventually run into problems.

    • tc4b says:

      @twophrasebark: Some people here have a predilection for locally owned places, including me. However, I go to SB sometimes, I like their coffee. I just shrug at the people saying their coffee tastes bad. I mean, it’s just a matter of taste, I like how it tastes, some people don’t.

      • Brunette Bookworm says:

        @tc4b: I like it better than DD. Plus, SB’s espresso fudge brownie is a tiny slice of heaven. :) I don’t think their coffee tastes burnt, but I usually drink darker roasts of the drip coffee. Maybe it depends on what they make that day.

    • CheritaChen says:

      @twophrasebark: Ever heard of backlash?

      Besides that, I never thought their coffee was very good to begin with. And if they weren’t ensconced in my nearest Barnes & Noble I wouldn’t have any reason to know how lame it is at all.

    • twophrasebark says:

      Wow. I have never received so many comments to one of my posts.

      I am starting a new website “ILikeStarbucks.com”

      Howard Schultz, call me.

    • Meathamper says:

      @twophrasebark: Because they are selling OATMEAL!

  8. ElizabethD says:

    Sounds good, but still so much cheaper to do it yourself. I have instant oatmeal packets (hey, I like them) at work and can nuke my cereal in a plastic bowl. I always bring a thermos with tea or coffee, and a banana.

    Anyway, I guess this is a good deal for ppl who would rather pay someone else to prepare their coffee and food. Their baked goods have always been quite yummy in my limited experience.

    • downwithmonstercable says:

      @ElizabethD: I love love love their butterhorns. My sister-in-law’s boyfriend briefly worked for the bakery that mass produces them and would bring boxes home. Those were the days.

    • ludwigk says:

      @ElizabethD: I can’t eat instant oatmeal after eating steel cut oats for a few years now. The real stuff is just so much better. PITA to make, however, so I usually cook up a big batch on the weekends and eat it for breakfast for a few days.

  9. JGKojak says:

    Everyone is so mean to them because
    1) They represent corporate mass-marketing at its best/worst

    2) They charge $4 for a cuppa Joe. ’nuff said.

    3) They really represent the worst in terms of western values- I know some vegan earth-firsters who bemoan the state of the third world, yet damn you to hell if they can’t get their favorite coffee.

    • aedude01 says:

      @JGKojak: Gonna correct you on one thing here… compared to all the other major coffee brands, Starbucks does give a considerable larger share of its profits to the growers of the coffee. They aren’t “Fair Trade” certified, but they are MUCH MUCH BETTER than any of the other nationalized coffee distributors out there.

      There was a really interesting documentary on coffee that aired on PBS this weekend.

      /Yes I watched it, why do you ask!?!? :)

      • TVarmy says:

        @aedude01: I don’t mean to be “that guy,” but Dunkin Donuts’ espresso drinks are made from certified Fair Trade beans (the drip presumably isn’t). Oddly, they don’t advertise this fact. [www.dunkindonuts.com]

        Granted, that means you have to spend more, and I don’t like their espresso, and in my area they’re more expensive for espresso than Starbucks, which is not a good sign. My favorite coffee shops are independent and cheaper than either. Living in central NJ, I like Orpha’s Coffee and Halo Pub. Both are fair trade and organic, and Orpha’s is even shade grown.

        And it gets weirder. Dunkin Donuts is owned by the Carlyle Group, considered to be a military-industrial company. And Starbucks only uses 3.7 percent fair trade coffee in their blends, but they sell much more espresso than Dunkin Donuts’ fair trade, that they are a bigger purchaser of fair trade coffee. They still buy much larger quantities of the “regular” coffee, but they’re also making a bigger market for fair trade coffee.

        In my opinion, I’d say Starbucks is more ethical than most other fast food companies. They can do that easily with their margins when they are doing well, though. What will be interesting is to see what they cut first when the company suffers. If they keep the executive salaries high but start cutting back on health care benefits, we’ll see how committed they are.

    • c_c says:

      @JGKojak:
      Their espresso drinks may be $4, but that is comparable to the local coffee shops around me. Their regular coffee is a lot less.
      That being said, I generally make my own coffee or hit a local shop when I want a cappuccino

    • TheWillow says:

      @JGKojak: They charge 4 bucks for a fancy cuppa Joe…

      My coffee from there is 1.50ish.

    • drjayphd says:

      @JGKojak: Point the second, repudiated!

      They don’t charge $4 for a cup of coffee. Coffee drinks, yes, but their drip coffee is pretty much in line with Dunkin Donuts (where, as a New England resident, I am legally barred from speaking ill of their product).

    • jeteplumererie says:

      @JGKojak: I can’t bring myself to drink the coffee there, but they do give health benefits to all their employees, as well as the domestic partners of said employees. For that, I can forgive the insult to coffee.

      • c_c says:

        @jeteplumererie:
        It is strange that people tend to lump them in the same category as Wal Mart as a big evil company; as you said, they actually treat their employees very well.

      • Brunette Bookworm says:

        @jeteplumererie: Very true, I’m willing pay more for coffee when I know some of that money is going towards better or just actual benefits for their employees.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      @JGKojak: YES! I agree 110% .

      But it’s the worst in western values that nails it .In many respects Starbucks is nothing but a name but when people say things like ‘ I need a triple latte mocha (or what ever) from Starbucks ‘ they are simply trying to give themselves status .How low their self esteem must be .That’s the pathetic part :a person’s status in society is influenced simply by where they shop or how much they spend .It’s simple materialism .

      And yeah the price sucks .

      But wasn’t it over last summer where Starbucks wanted to get rid of the smells of breakfeast food especially eggs like it was a poorman’s unhealty food .That’s why they’re serving oatmeal deals .

      How many freakin calories in some of those lattees again .

  10. rpm773 says:

    Hey, that’s my breakfast. Except I buy it in bulk
    8 O’clock Coffee – $6/bag
    Old-fashioned Quaker Oats – $4/cannister.

    So that’s around $10 for about 10 day’s worth of breakfast.

    I’m cool with paying a little extra for convenience, but let’s not pretend $3.95 is a “value”.

    • rpm773 says:

      @rpm773: Oops, I forgot the $2.50 or so for the pint of light cream for the coffee. It still works out, though.

    • MrBryan says:

      @rpm773:

      I’m with you. I buy quick oatmeal at my local bulk store, $4 for three pounds. Can’t beat that! Some raisins, and cinnimon, and I’m set.

    • philmin says:

      @rpm773:

      Convenience and time value of money are things you aren’t considering. If you want to do other calculations, it would never make sense for many doctors/lawyers etc to ever do anything but pick up quick breakfasts/coffee from places like Starbucks.

      • rpm773 says:

        @philmin: I made a concession for convenience…see my post. Starbucks is making 200% margin over supermarket retail prices (based on my calculations). Busy as they may be, I wouldn’t underestimate the ability of doctors, lawyers, and other smart people of finding a better deal and going with it, regardless of their respective time values of money.

        To dust off an old chestnut in this economy: a penny saved is a penny earned.

      • chargernj says:

        @philmin: It would make perfect sense for them to do it themselves when you consider the time it takes for them to stop at the store would actually take longer than if they kept a coffee maker and microwave it their office. Even it the store was down stairs in the same building it would still take less time to do it themselves.

        Of course once you’ve gotten into the habit of just ordering food everyday, you look upon doing it yourself as a chore. Something that has been known to happen to me from time to time.

        The fact is is that on some visceral level, people enjoy being served. So if they can afford it, and often even if they can’t people will continue going to Starbucks.

      • sean98125 says:

        @philmin: It takes about five minutes to make oatmeal and make a cup of coffee. You’ll spend more time than that going to Starbucks and waiting in line.

  11. Onion_Volcano says:

    I can get bottomless coffee and a huge breakfast at huddlehouse for 4.99. It’s the depression special.

  12. krispykrink says:

    Considering I can make a 10 cup pot of coffee and enough oatmeal to make me curse life, the universe, and everything for half the cost, I’m not seeing much “value” here.

  13. Plates says:

    I can make a lot of oatmeal at home for $3.95. Where is the value?

    • craptastico says:

      @Plates: the value is you’re also keeping a smug, self important, condescending “barista” employed

      • valueofaloonie says:

        @craptastico: Pot, meet kettle.

        And really…it’s a job, isn’t it?

      • annexw says:

        @craptastico:

        Those bastards, how dare they have a job! With a CORPORATION!

        Don’t they know they should be employed by a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop?

        The value is in the convenience Plates. If you don’t see the convenience out-weighing the price, the deal isn’t for you. For others it makes perfect sense if they normally buy those items.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @annexw: That makes sense because I personally don’t eat a lot of oatmeal. Once in a while, I like a cup or bowl of oatmeal. If it’s from Starbucks, it’s probably better for me to spend the $1.85 buying a cup of oatmeal made for me rather than spend the same $1.85 on a giant box of oatmeal, and eat one or two packets…and because it’s an occasional convenience thing, it’s cheaper overall just to buy it when I feel the urge.

  14. Bush2008 says:

    Considering you can buy 1 lb of hamburger meat for $1.20 and make 4 hamburgers, I’m not quite seeing the value of a dollar menu hamburger! In case you have not noticed, everything that someone else made will always have a convenience charge attached to it.

  15. c_c says:

    Serious Eats did a review of “fast-food” oatmeal options; it looks like Starbucks came out near the bottom. Au Bon Pain and Jamba Juice are the best options; they offer actual slow-cooked steel cut oats, which might be worth it to me as I don’t have the time to make those most weekday mornings. Starbucks on the other hand just uses a quick-oats pack, which are gross and can be bought in bulk at the grocery store for a lot less.
    [newyork.seriouseats.com]

  16. Matthew Brundage says:

    Seeing how you can already get a tall coffee and a toasted bagel for $2.75 (incl. tax where I live), I don’t see this as much of a revelation. Sometimes, they’ll even throw in a free cream cheese, or butter, depending on the person at the register. Order the coffee in a grande cup and make yourself a “ghetto latte.”

  17. intellivised says:

    @undefined: @twophrasebark: Because they are everywhere and the coffee they make tastes like hot garbage.

  18. Claytons says:

    I’d stay clear of any and all Starbucks food. If you’re a customer, the next time you’re in a Starbucks, ask a “partner” how many calories and how many grams of fat are in the lemon loaf or the pumpkin loaf if they carry it. It’s something Starbucks doesn’t get called out on enough, their food is a terrible mashing of fat and sugar and will probably give you diabetes and a heart attack or three. Buy some bulk oatmeal and save yourself the trouble. Or better yet, just don’t go to Starbucks.

    • morganlh85 says:

      @Claytons: lol Yeah, unlike the food in every OTHER fast-food/quick service type restaurant…

      • ccbweb says:

        @morganlh85: Also non-fast-food/quick service restaurants.

      • Claytons says:

        @morganlh85, @Red-headed bookworm: Starbucks is not McDonalds. They’re more like neighborhood coffee shops and bakeries than burger joints. Sure a lot of those places sell filth, too, but most don’t. It’s entirey possible to make pastries, especially pumpkin loaves and Lemon loaves with considerably less fat and fewer calories. @annexw: Myopia got you down? Most people don’t check websites before patronizing chains like Starbucks. I worked at a Starbucks briefly a few years ago and can tell you that the majority of Starbucks customers have no idea what they’re eating.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @Claytons: Most people don’t look the calorie content up, sure…but at the same time..who the heck cares? People who drive themselves into the ground will continue to do so until they get a wake up call. If it’s from seeing that a lemon loaf from Starbucks is 300 calories, so be it. If it’s a heart attack, okay too. I’m just so sick of people not understanding that eating a box of Little Debbies will eventually lead the health problems that I don’t even bother with the warnings anymore. You want to kill yourself by eating crap junk food? That’s your right, and Starbucks sure as heck isn’t responsible for how people eat.

          And I love that lemon loaf. I eat it once or twice a year though. Their high prices ensure that I don’t spend much money on pastries there.

          • Claytons says:

            @pecan pi: There are any number of issues that make this more than a black and white “it’s their choice” issue (unless you’re Ayn Rand). You don’t have to look far to see that the people eating the worst food from the fast food places are often poor. No they’re probably not going to Starbucks, but they probably are buying Little Debbies. There’s also a dearth of education on health and nutrition, especially for poor citizens. So, yeah, it’s a choice, but when the alternatives are next to nil, you’ve been given nothing in life and you still have to feed yourself and children, it becomes a little less clear where the line of blame rests.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      @Claytons: @morganlh85: Um, yeah, since I don’t go out to eat often, I don’t expect it to be healthful. Lemon loaf is basically cake, which kind of requires fat and sugar. It’s an everything in moderation kind of thing.

    • annexw says:

      @Claytons:
      Or I can look up the calorie/fat count online. On the Starbucks site. Its not really a secret.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Claytons: Well, in NYC, Starbucks, as a chain restaurant, is now required by law to reveal the calorie counts for all of the their food producs. Three hundred calories isn’t unreasonable for a piece of cake. If you are eating cake, especially greasy, fatty, sugary tasting cake like the kind sold at Starbucks, you probably shouldn’t be shocked at the number of calories in it. If you are counting your calories, then it’s not unreasonable to check online before hand. Serving fatty food is not evil.

      • Claytons says:

        @MarianGalumphing: Marian, the fact that Starbucks and other establishments are required to show nutrition information is proof that of the problems present when they don’t. Regulations like this aren’t put in place for educated, cautious, diet-smart consumers, they’re put in place for people who don’t realize buying something called “Pumpkin Loaf” is actually, like you said, buying “greasy, fatty, sugar” cake. Most consumers are uninformed, gullible and suckers for ads. Of course, a private business can sell anything they well please, but my point is that with so many complaints about McDonald’s and other fast-food joints’ fattening of America, why don’t more people call out Starbucks for selling Pumpkin Loaf with 330 calories and gobs of saturated fat and 800 calorie blended drinks? In other words, one can get a snack and a Venti frozen drink at Starbucks, consume it in five minutes and have already had most of their DRV of calories and saturated fat. How is that any different than the problems of Big Macs and french fries? Sociologists and others don’t complain about fast food because they are shocked hamburgers are unhealthy; no, that would be missing the point entirely.

  19. GarretCater says:

    Rlly, “ld,” dd h? H ddn’t myb jst chng hs mnd bsd n nw nfrmtn r sttns? t’s jst pt pv f mn, whn ppl chng thr mnd nd sy “ps, ld” whn thy ddn’t. Nw y’r clmng t bt smn ls, nd dn’t fnd tht t b gd jrnlsm. n fct, tht mght b grnds fr lbl, thgh wll nvr b lwyr, s wht d knw? t’s jst lk whn pltcns clm tht thr ppnnt s flp-flppr. mn, cm n. Bng flxbl t chngng crcmstncs shld b cnsdrd gd thng.

    Myb y wnt hm t plgz fr gng bck n hs wrd? Tht wld gr wth, bt n tht cs, y shld sy s, nstd f cllng hm lr.

    • Charmander says:

      @GarretCater: ??? Your post is unreadable.

      • bluewyvern says:

        @mamalicious: It’s called “disemvoweling.” Click on the little “a” at the end of the post to see what it means.

        Usually I try to reconstitute them for fun and curiosity’s sake, but this one is too long and makes my eyes hurt.

      • TWinter says:

        @mamalicious: The post was disemvoweled – that’s what they do to people who post things against the comment code.

    • Zak Robinson says:

      @GarretCater: As the original poster of this comment (in an anonymous manner, as I hadn’t quite figured this thing out yet), I must apologize if anyone at the Consumerist was offended by my comment. I still do not see a clear breach of any of the points in the Comments Code, but if that is the way you feel, so be it, and I will attempt to adhere to the code more closely. If my tone was mistaken, then I am very sorry, and will endeavor to write in a more ‘neutral’ style.
      As far as the content of my message, I was simply pointing out the, I believed, erroneous use of the word “lied” in connection with the CEO of Starbucks, which I did not think was supported by the facts of the case. While I agreed that some sort of acknowledgment from him that he was changing his stance on this would have been nice, without being provided with more information on when or how he made his earlier refutation of “the value meal,” I do not see it as being accurate to state that “he lied.” I am sorry if perhaps my tone was mistaken, but I really was trying to “substantively contribute to an engaging discussion.”

      • Zak Robinson says:

        @Zak Robinson: Ah, perhaps I see now. One might have thought that I was attacking “an editor’s headlines or writing style,” (under rule #1) rather than the actual content of the post. Please believe me when I say that it was my intention only to argue the factual representation of the CEO’s words. To many people, being called a liar is a serious charge. I do apologize if this seemed to be an attack on the editor. I follow The Consumerist daily, and I really appreciate it as a source of information. I rarely take the time to look at the editorial signature, but when I do, I often find that Ms. Marco has written intelligent, thoughtful, and often funny posts about important topics. I thought it uncharacteristic of her to give Mr. Shultz the lie without more back-up for that claim. For instance, if he had made the comment mere days or weeks ago, when the “value meal” project was still in works and he should have known about it, then I certainly see a case for saying that he is being dishonest. I would not personally go so far as to say that he lied, but I also would not argue with anyone who might do so.
        So please understand that I hold Ms. Marco’s writing in the highest regard (or at least, waaay up there), and I would never intend to attack her or her writing style.

      • Anonymous says:

        @Zak Robinson:

        Not to nitpick, but you did also say that this was bad journalism and grounds for libel (!!!). Dead wrong on both counts, BTW.

        But whatever. The fact is that he once said that there would never be value meals at Starbucks… and now there are value meals at Starbucks. So yes, I very much agree with the fact that he lied, plain and simple.

        If I remember correctly, the reason he had said it before was because they wanted to keep the “Starbucks brand” in a higher status than say, Dunkin’ Donuts, for example; Starbucks should be focused on “premium coffee”, they argued, and investors agreed. They didn’t want to dilute their image. You can justify it any way you want (changing market conditions, etc), but the truth of the matter is that he lied in order to make money. It’s understandable.

        Think of Steve Jobs when he said “There will be no ipod video” and then 4 months later “hey guys! we’re releasing an ipod video!”.

  20. Thassodar says:

    @drjayphd: WHAT, NINE THOUSAND?

    I hate when nobody responds to my over 9000 jokes.

  21. sixseeds says:

    @downwithmonstercable: Dunkin’ Donuts is hardly “underground” but it beats Starbucks hands down. SB coffee always tastes like that burnt crud that forms in the office coffeepot when your resident idiot doesn’t turn off the warmer plate.

    Their food is also much better.

    • ShachiAssaracus says:

      @sixseeds:

      Yeah, but DD lost me as a customer last year with the Rachel Ray keffiyeh kerfuffle. I told them I’d never patronize their business again, and, yay me, I haven’t….

    • VeiledThreats says:

      @sixseeds: Is there some weird east coast conspiracy to convince everyone that DD coffee is good? I heard so much about how wonderful it is, but it’s really not. Not that SB is, but seriously, DD coffee tastes weird despite my Rhode Island branch of family walking around with a DD coffee cup surgically attached to their hand.

      I Like it’s a Grind best.

  22. Anonymous says:

    All steel cut oats are quick cook oats…just pour boiling water over them the night before and cover with a lid.

    Heat ‘em and go the next morning. You can also do them in a slow cooker.

  23. morganlh85 says:

    I was in a store yesterday and their bags of coffee beans were ON SALE. For reals. It’s so bad, they have to have a SALE.

  24. darkoline says:

    This post is meaningless without a picture of The Consumerist cat devouring the famed oatmeal.

  25. Trai_Dep says:

    And, yes, I’m quietly seething over the lack of The Captain’s pictures not gracing any story concerning Starbucks.
    Well, considering I’m whining here about it, scratch “quietly”.

  26. sean98125 says:

    Get an electric kettle and a single-cup filter holder for your office. Use the hot water to make oatmeal and coffee. You’ll spend about 30 cents for the oatmeal and about a dime for the coffee.

    Sugar is about 75 cents a pound, or about .006 cents per teaspoon. Throw a few dried cranberries on there for a dime. Maybe a couple of toasted walnuts for another dime. Sixty cents and maybe five minutes of time, and you get to control the ingredients and make the coffee to your taste.

  27. ludwigk says:

    Anyone know how Starbuck’s oatmeal compares to Jamba Juice’s oats?

    I think slow cooked oatmeal is a very smart food for specialty food retailers to be selling in this here economy. It’s preparation-intensive, but extremely cheap. It’s also healthy and satisfying. Good margins, happy customers, heart AND colon healthy (hey, its high in dietary fiber)!

  28. sixseeds says:

    @Trai_Dep: Wait, I’m confused…Folgers people complain about Starbucks?

  29. jpdanzig says:

    I must agree — $4 for coffee and oatmush that probably represent an actual material cost of 50 cents — is considered a value only at chains like Starbuck’s.

    Every time I see a new chain appear, it seems that they have discovered a new way to sell a low-cost commodity at some ridiculous markup.

    Other examples: the ubiquitous soap and lotion stores, frozen yogurt concessions, tanning salons…

  30. Margaret Powell says:

    Their hot breakfast sandwiches are really good. Throw in meal tax here though, and That’s nearly 5.00, so not really that much of a “deal” especially if the coffee is a drip tall.

  31. FrugalFreak says:

    Howard Schultz didn’t lie at all. There is no VALUE involved in price, so it can’t be VALUE MEAL. Maybe combo Meal would be more usable because $3.95 for coffee and bowl of cheap oatmeal shouldn’t cost over $2.50

  32. mariospants says:

    Still, it isn’t rocket science, this new value menu. Actually, it’s so uncreative it’s positively un-Starbucksish.

  33. jake.valentine says:

    Too late Starbucks. I left you several months ago for McDonalds coffee (Nobody is more surprised than me!). They offer better coffee at a lower price. You are too late to the value party. Besides, I heard Dunkin Donuts is coming to my area so I would have left you anyway. Its not you, its me…….okay, its you.

  34. quail says:

    I prefer to make breakfast at home, a 7 grain hot cereal with a big fistful of frozen blueberries and dollops of honey. But if I’ve got to eat out I’ll be remembering the oatmeal as a possibility. Got to be better for you than a greasy Egg McMuffin.

  35. downwithmonstercable says:

    @SarahC83: I know. I just meant the perception. They’ve become some sort of green-viewed company because of their naturey commercials. In the end…they’re still a car burning gas at the same rate as others.

  36. thewriteguy says:

    Wow, I can’t believe this discussion has boiled down to the social politics of Starbucks.

    Here’s my take: Starbucks is one of the few “good” corporations in America. They are one of the few that provide bennies for their employees — something that most indie coffeehouses cannot afford to provide. The problem with the company and brand is that there are too damn many locations, which has caused some resentment among the hipster/indie folk. But, regardless, Starbucks corporation really should close more stores in order to achieve sustained profitability, rather than devising more drink/food gimmicks that so far have not caught on (anybody really like their Vivanno banana milkshakes?).

    Myself, I patronize both one particular Starbucks that I like (because of its size, location, clientele and staff) and a cool hipster indie coffeehouse. I think I split my time and money about equally between the two. (I prefer the coffee at the indie place more.) Sometimes I prefer going to the indie place, sometimes the Starbucks. It depends on my mood — I go to the Starbucks if I want to concentrate getting work done on my notebook, and if I want to just relax and slack about, I go to the indie place.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      @thewriteguy: the social politics of Starbucks .

      I think people are tired of arguing it just cost too darn much .The social politics comes in as to why it cost so much ? .

      Overpriced or simply not worth it(my choice) that’s what it still boils down to .

  37. Charmander says:

    Sounds like a good deal to me. Also, let’s not compare McDonald’s to Starbucks. To me, there is no comparison…I’d never willingly enter a McDonalds.

  38. downwithmonstercable says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: I hadn’t considered that theory. very well could be true… I figured hipsters were against sex too for some reason, although it could just be a cover because they aren’t getting any? Who knows. Maybe they’re totally over sex too.

  39. orlo says:

    You’re paying $4 for cloudy water and water with chunks in it. Maybe you might need to pay $4 for dirty water, but you shouldn’t feel good about it being a “deal”

  40. Meathamper says:

    Speaking of Starbucks, I need to go get an overpriced tumbler from them.

  41. theczardictates says:

    @twophrasebark: Because people think it makes them look clever and superior to be down on something that is popular — like they’re the only ones smart enough/gourmet enough to see through this highly successful company. It’s one step removed from being an Internet Tough Guy.

    Think of it as the adult equivalent of teenagers and college kids pretending to like an obscure band nobody else has ever heard of more than those sell-out, commercially successful bands with recording contracts and radio airplay that you like.

  42. kwsventures says:

    This DEAL costs about .40 cents if you make your own coffee and a bowl of oatmeal at home.

  43. Anonymous says:

    McDonald’s is far from a “great company.” But the company is positioned right for the biggest recession anyone alive can remember. It’s taking advantage of that position – and in the process will likely crush Starbucks. When people are ready for a cozy chair and soft jazz with their coffee they won’t want to stay with McDonald’s. But very likely Starbucks will have killed itself by inviting head-on competition with “value meals” that allows McDonald’s to crush them.

  44. baristabrawl says:

    That will make you poo your pants.