Michael Bloomberg’s large sugary drink ban begins on March 12, but Bloomberg is getting some push back from Starbucks, which has announced it plans to make no immediate changes to its business based on the ban.
The new mandate limits sugary drinks sold at restaurants, movie theaters, street carts, and more to 16 ounces. But some drinks, such as those made up of 50% milk or more, are exempt from the ban.
“Our understanding is that any beverage with 50% or more milk is exempt from the ruling,” Mills told Business Insider. “Because many of our beverages are made from milk or are customized by the customer, many of our beverages fall outside the ban.”
But Starbucks also plans to continue to sell beverages like its green iced-tea lemonade in larger sizes too, which doesn’t contain milk but is high in sugar. Starbucks also “recognizes pending litigation” about the ban and “doesn’t want to make any knee-jerk reactions,” Mills said. The American Beverage Association filed to stop the ban until a judge decides on whether to stop it altogether.
Dunkin’ Donuts, however, is complying with the mandate, Business Insider reported. Dunkin’ customers will have to add their own sugar or flavors to large and extra-large hot beverages and medium and large iced beverages. Sweet beverages like hot chocolate will only be available in small and medium sizes.
Bloomberg told television show Face The Nation that Starbucks not changing its offerings is “ridiculous.” He noted that the coffee giant knows how to market such changes. “They can change instantly when it’s in their interest to do so,” he said.