Starbucks Loses Christmas With 23-Teaspoons of Sugar in One Cup

By Gary Cutlack on at

Scientists poking their fingers into drinks from the leading high street coffee chains and sucking off the results have declared Starbucks the seller of the least-healthy Christmas indulgence beverage special, with the chain's Signature Caramel Hot Chocolate found to contain a staggering 93.7g of sugar in each large-cup serving.

That's 23 teaspoons' worth of sugar, equal to about three cans of Coke, or an amazing 758 calories in one extreme-comfort hot drink. If you get a cake or a sandwich on the side, or secretly eat three of the Tesco mince pies in your bag when the barista's not looking, that's all of the day's energy in one three-minute guzzle. That could be considered a clever time-saving life hack in the hectic festive season by some, but pressure group Action on Sugar would not put it like that.

These milk-based drinks are not currently covered by the Soft Drinks Industry Levy – more commonly known as the Sugar Tax that triggered mass reformulations within the chiller cabinet – and Action on Sugar would like it if they were. Particularly because today's shift towards alternative milks, some of which are additionally sweetened themselves, could see those wanting a healthier option unknowingly adding half a cup of sugar to their latte by simply going vegan and being good like we're supposed.

Katharine Jenner from AoS said: "You can always add sugar in, but you can't take it out. Customers looking for dairy alternatives could be shocked to learn that many coffee shops and cafes use pre-sweetened alternative milks as the nutrition information is often very difficult to find -- with information only available on websites or not at all." [Action on Sugar via BBC]

Image credit: Unsplash