ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Starbucks is expanding its Oleato drinks to additional states and cities, reports CNN. Initially, the olive-oil-infused drinks were only available in California, Illinois, New York and Washington, but the company is bringing this lineup to Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Miami, plus many other cities, bringing the drinks to a third of Starbucks’ company-owned U.S. stores.
The line of drinks includes an oat milk latte and a toffeenut iced shaken espresso, also made with oat milk, and each includes a spoonful of olive oil. Starbucks also has an olive-oil infused cold foam, called golden foam, made with a double serving of olive oil.
The Oleato line has been received by customers with mixed reviews. One pair of reviewers posted a video titled “We Tried Starbucks Olive Oil Coffee Drinks and Seriously Regret It.” Others had mixed reviews, and many have decided that the line is more of a stunt by Starbucks.
“We feel this line of drinks is more for the headlines than the longevity on the menu,” Tasting Table noted in its review. A Bon Appétit reviewer wondered if the drinks will “turn into a ‘secret’ menu item, with stores outfitted with carafes of [extra virgin olive oil] in case someone wants a pump of it.”
Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan said Oleato is “highly successful,” calling it “one of the top five product launches in the last five years in terms of brand awareness and excitement.”
The olive-oil drinks began from a habit of former CEO Howard Shultz, who consumes a tablespoon of olive oil each day. He wondered if he could combine the habit with his daily coffee routine and asked the Starbucks beverage team to see if they could create an olive oil drink.
Starbucks recently announced it was changing its ice cubes to “nugget ice”—smaller than the ice currently used by the beverage chain. Iced beverages account for 75% of Starbucks’ sales.
Starbucks updated its rewards program earlier this year, making it harder for members to earn free menu items. Customers will need to earn an additional 50 to 100 points (or stars) to receive bonus food and beverages, with free items ranging from free hot coffee to a bag of coffee beans. In the three months ended October 2, 2022, the number of active Starbucks rewards members jumped to 28.7 million, up 16% year over year.