Starbucks’ Decision Not To Change Menu Flies In The Face Of Bloomberg’s Sugary Drinks Ban

UPDATE: Looks like Starbucks knew what it was doing — since we published this story earlier today, a New york judge has ruled that Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on large sugary drinks is invalid.

Original story follows below.

Today is the last day for New Yorkers who want to guzzle large, sugary drinks over 16 ounces — at least those served from corner carts, restaurants, sporting venues and other places with prepared food — as tomorrow Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda police will start cracking down on offending beverages. While some eateries admit to confusion, Starbucks is dealing with the brouhaha by simply refusing to change its menu.

Starbucks says it’s not making any immediate decisions on menu changes, citing a lawsuit the American Beverage Association filed to ban the ban. A spokeswoman for Starbucks says that pending litigation is leading the company not to “make any knee-jerk reactions.”

“Our understanding is that any beverage with 50 percent or more milk is exempt from the ruling,” a Starbucks spokeswoman told Business Insider. “Because many of our beverages are made from milk or are customized by the customer, many of our beverages fall outside the ban.”

While plenty of Starbucks’ drinks are safe under the ban, like lattes that include lots of milk, there are others that are still on the menu but don’t meet Bloomie’s standards. For example, a 20-ounce “Venti” serving of green iced tea lemonade. Who’s gonna put 10 ounces worth of milk in that?

Bloomberg thinks that’s a bunch of malarkey, in so many words. He reportedly told Face The Nation‘s Bob Schieffer that Starbucks’ refusal to make changes under the guise of rule-confusion is “ridiculous.”

“Starbucks knows how to market things, knows how to package things,” Bloomberg said. “They can change instantly when it’s in their interest to do so.”

Starbucks Refuses To Follow NYC Sugary Drink Ban — Mayor Bloomberg Dismisses This As ‘Ridiculous’ [Business Insider]