NEW YORK ( The Street) -- First came light beer. Now there's the light frappucinos.
Available until July 6 at Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada, the somewhat adorable mini frap was originally tested last summer in select markets. A 10-ounce mini frap will cost about 20 to 30 cents less than a typical tall size, which could approach $4.00 depending on flavor.
When made with whole milk, a mini frap will weigh in at 120 calories and 24 grams of sugar. As for the "light" version infused with nonfat milk, it has 60 calories and 13 grams of sugar. Both options are far cries from the notoriously sugar-rush causing venti (large) Starbucks size, which depending on flavor, could reach over 400 calories and 80 grams of sugar.
In essence, Starbucks has created a new, highly profitable product line, boasting fewer calories, just in time for summer bathing suit season. Mini-sized cans have been a boon to the bottom lines of soda makers, like PepsiCo (PEP) and Coca-Cola (KO), as they have allowed health-conscious people to indulge on a sweet product with far less calories and sugar. The product prices on the smaller cans aren't generally dropped commensurate with the reduced liquid in the can, hence padding profits.
"The consumer is moving strongly to small packages, and we're continuing to see low to mid-teens (sales) growth in those packages," pointed out Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent on the company's April 22 earnings call.