- Starbucks launched a new line of olive oil-infused coffees on Tuesday.
- From Wednesday, a café latte, an espresso shaken with ice and a cold brew will be available in stores in Italy.
- Interim Starbucks CEO Schultz called the new line “transformative” and likened it to “alchemy.”
Starbucks has convinced people around the world to buy Frappuccinos, often in unusual flavors like American Cherry Pie and even Red Velvet Cake.
Now the coffee giant is offering its new Oleato line – essentially coffee infused with olive oil.
The new drinks will be launched first in Italy on Wednesday, the coffee chain said in a Tuesday press release. Three drinks — a café latte, an espresso shaken with ice and a cold brew — will be available in regular Starbucks stores in Italy, the chain said.
These drinks are expected to be available in the United States this spring, beginning with Southern California outlets. The Japanese, Middle Eastern and UK markets will receive them later this year. Customers in certain markets can also request that a spoonful of olive oil be added to drinks such as espresso and tea lattes.
The new creations came after Howard Schultz, Starbucks interim CEO, was inspired by the Mediterranean custom of sipping a spoonful of olive oil every day during his travels around Sicily last year. He soon started sipping olive oil alongside his morning coffee, and “soon he had the idea of trying the two together,” Starbucks said Tuesday.
“There was, of course, some skepticism,” Schultz admitted, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Tuesday.
Schultz added Starbucks would not make any health claims for the olive oil-infused beverages, according to The Journal. “There will be haters, there will be cynics. We’re ready for them,” he told the media outlet. Schultz didn’t specify what those health claims were, but Starbucks executives told The Journal that these drinks could appeal to customers who want to drink olive oil for health reasons.
Schultz teased the new olive oil-infused beverage line on Starbucks’ fiscal first-quarter earnings call on Feb. 2, calling it a “game-changer.”
“While in Italy last summer, I discovered a permanently transformative new category and platform for the company – unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” he said. “The word I would use to describe it, without giving too much away, is alchemy.”
Schultz said CNBC’s Jim Cramer Tuesday that Starbucks’ new olive oil drink creations have a “velvety, very rich, almost creamy buttery flavor” that enhances the flavor of the coffee.
Starbucks’ Oleato line is likely Schultz’s final launch as the coffee chain’s boss. The Executive — who has been interim CEO of Starbucks since April 2022, is stepping down from his position and passing the baton to Laxman Narasimhan, who will be Starbucks’ next CEO on April 1.