is looking to expand, and not just in
emerging markets. Starbucks plans to roll out the Trenta, a new 31-ounce beverage cup size.
Starbucks' Trenta, Italian for the number 30, will actually hold 31 fluid ounces (nearly a quart) and will set customers back 50 cents more than if they purchased the next largest size, the Venti, which holds around 24 ounces.
Trenta-sized offerings will be cold beverages only, such as iced lattes, iced teas and coffees, frappuccinos and lemonades.
It will be available nationwide on May 3, in time for customers to fill up on iced beverages as the weather warms up across the U.S.
A phased-in roll out will precede that. The Trenta will be available in 14 states beginning Tuesday -- Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona.
California customers can order the Trenta beginning Feb. 1.
Starbucks tested the 31-ounce cup size in several markets -- such as Phoenix, Tampa, Fla. and Atlanta -- before deciding to roll out the extra large offering nationwide.
An illustration in Canada's
demonstrated that the Trenta's 31-ounce size, or about 916 milliliters, is actually larger than the capacity of the average human stomach, or about 900 ml. (While it is, however, slightly smaller than
32-ounce offerings, it is not as large the Golden Arches' 64-ounce supersized cups.)
The coffee chain behemoth has made several announcements in recent months about its plans for change and expansion in ways less related to its customers' waistlines.
Starbucks recently unveiled a new, wordless logo, removing the outer green circle that bares the Starbucks Coffee name, enlarging the inner siren, sometimes referred to as a sea nymph, in the company's signature green hue.
Starbucks said its brand is so ubiquitous it no longer needs to display its name around the logo in order for customers to recognize it, calling to mind other easily recognizable brand logos like those of
. A logo without words also reflects
Starbucks' expansion plans in China and other international markets, it said.
Vikas Mittal, a Rice professor of marketing and co-author of two studies on customers, logos and brand commitment, found that rounded logos are widely accepted in Asian countries such as India and China where interdependency and collectivism are cultural norms, as opposed to Western cultures which tend toward independency and individualism.
The professor said that while some loyal U.S. customers may feel alienated, Starbucks' new logo could drive new loyalties in strong emerging markets like China, India, Taiwan and Singapore.
That bodes well for
Starbucks, which recently announced plans to grow its presence in China by 40% this year, opening 200 new stores in the country over the next three years.
Perhaps discount retailer
already knew that to be true.
Recently, with no fanfare or press release to go along with it, Target, which already had a rounded logo, removed the word Target from its iconic bulls eye -- though it uses its older, worded logo and new, wordless logo interchangeably.
Just last week
Starbucks announced a partnership with India's Tata Coffee to procure, roast and sell coffee in India, and implied it is looking into opening retail outlets in the subcontinent as well.
Starbucks shares gained 1.1% to $33.07 Tuesday morning.
-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.
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