Starbucks expects the Vivanno, its new line of fruit smoothies, to become as ubiquitous as the frappuccino. But they taste like SlimFast shakes. [rssbreak]
After a half-hearted effort to market breakfast sandwiches, the once-mighty but now struggling coffee chain is trying out a healthier offshoot. And since The Vivanno (full name: Vivanno Nourishing Blends) is so strenuously presented as the healthy option, a closer look at its nutritional boasts is in order.
First, the claim is that each Vivanno contains at least one serving of fruit. Looking at Starbucks' "transparent" ingredient list, the single serving of fruit is simply a banana. Here:
- one whole banana
- a proprietary whey protein and fiber powder
- choice of milk (though many stores don't offer?)
- ice (in the Orange Mango Banana Blend, Naked Juice is also added).
The nutritional line goes like this: 16 grams of protein, and five grams of fiber with 270 calories or less. (Nothing is said, of course, of the sugar content, which is the subject of some debate.)
Like the serving of fruit (also known as a frozen banana), these nutritional benefits don't exactly stand out: 16 grams of protein can be had from under eight ounces of yoghurt. Five grams of fibre is like eating a piece of brown bread. 270 calories is kind of a lot.
All totaled, its health benefits don't exactly warrant the near $5 (after tax) cost. And neither does the taste.
Both flavours - the Orange Mango Banana and Chocolate Banana - could be accurately described as chalky. There's a powdery je-ne-sais-quoi that gets worse as the drink nears the bottom. Thus the comparison to SlimFast shakes makes sense and ultimately dooms the beverage. As anyone who's ever tried a fruit smoothie will attest, anything chalky, powdery or otherwise SlimFasty is the death of a juice.