Just in time for the New Year, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX – News) helps customers keep their resolutions without sacrificing flavor with the introduction of the “Skinny” platform, a nonfat Latte made with sugar-free syrup. Bringing the sugar-free syrups to the forefront of the menu, Starbucks is adding a new sugar-free syrup flavor–Mocha–to the already sweet selection of Vanilla, Hazelnut, Caramel, and Cinnamon Dolce. By simply ordering a Starbucks Caffè Latte or Caffè Mocha “skinny,” customers can satisfy their desire for something sweet while reducing calories and fat.

Made with Starbucks’ signature espresso, the tall (12 fl. oz.) Caffè Latte or Caffè Mocha ordered with sugar-free syrup, perfectly steamed nonfat milk, and a dash of foam contains only 90 calories. If customers replace their daily tall Starbucks Vanilla Latte with Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte they would save 700 calories and 35 grams of fat per week. Swapping out a daily, tall Caffè Mocha (made with 2 percent milk and no whip) for a Skinny Mocha would save 550 calories and 30 grams of fat per week.

Milk Does a Latte Good

Not only do Starbucks Skinny Caffè Lattes and Skinny Caffè Mochas provide customers with that delicious sweet taste they desire without having to give up a thing, the drinks also provide the natural goodness of milk. A tall Skinny Latte or Skinny Mocha naturally contains 30 percent of recommended daily calcium and 9 grams of protein.

“Milk is a nutrient-rich food that provides nine essential nutrients. Research shows milk drinkers have an overall healthier diet, with higher intakes of calcium and other important nutrients compared to non-milk drinkers,” says Ann Marie Krautheim, registered dietitian and spokesperson with the National Dairy Council. “With two out of three Americans failing to meet their daily calcium recommendations, ordering a Caffè Latte or Caffè Mocha and asking for it ‘skinny’ helps you save about 100 calories while getting one of the recommended three servings of dairy needed daily.”

Meeting Customers’ Needs

The Skinny platform is one of the ways Starbucks is committed to meeting customers’ desire for healthier options in 2008. The nutrition page on Starbucks.com is the most accessed page and growing in popularity–10 million visits in the past four years, 3.5 million of which were in 2007 alone.

“We regularly hear from our partners that customers are cutting calories and seeking healthier options,” says Katie Thomson, registered dietitian, Starbucks Coffee Company. “We understand how important overall wellness is to our customers and so we’ve made it easier for them to stick to their New Year’s goals without giving up their daily coffee routine by introducing the Skinny platform. In fact, customers can consider replacing that sweet snack so many of them reach for in the afternoon with a Skinny Latte. Not only will they save on calories and fat but they’ll be getting an extra shot of calcium and protein to get them through the day.”

Skinny Any Starbucks Beverage

The Skinny Latte will be featured on menu boards starting in January 2008 and available at participating Starbucks as a core beverage offering in North America, so customers can enjoy this lower calorie, sweet tasting espresso beverage all year long.

Thomson offers tips on other ways to customize Starbucks coffee beverages:

* Skip the whip. If you typically ask for whipped cream on your beverage, request extra foam instead. It tastes just as good and saves anywhere from 60-110 calories and 6 to 11 grams of fat.

* Satisfy a sweet tooth. Feel free to ask your Barista to add Splenda, Equal or Sweet’N Low to your favorite beverage.

* Lighten up. Make your next Frappuccino blended beverage a Frappuccino Light blended coffee or Frappuccino Light blended crème and save up to 250 calories and 4 grams of fat.

News, Starbucks