Spend-wary? How about health-wary?

Starbucks, like the rest of the world, has been suffering some financial setbacks.  Sales at the coffee giant have been decreasing, forcing even the closing (GASP!) of some stores.  In an attempt to garner more revenue, several promotions are being tested in a variety of cities across the US.  One promotion that is now going nationwide is the 2 after 2 deal.  If you buy something in the morning, you can get any iced grande drink for $2 after 2 pm simply by showing your receipt.

While the idea to give value to customers and increase afternoon traffic, there are also profound health consequences.  Increasing the amount of caffeine you imbibe (say, going from a cup in the morning to two cups total in a day) can increase the strain on your heart.  Drinking any caffeine after noon can also keep you from sleeping as well or as deeply.  In particular, the size of the afternoon beverages might increase caffeine dependence.  Not that people would have to buy coffee in the morning or afternoon – you could get a baked good in the morning and get an iced…chocolate(?) in the afternoon.  But I would guess the majority of customers would get coffee each time.

Like everyone else, I like a good bargain.  And I like the frou-frou sweet coffee drinks at Starbucks.  I think they are a good company, for the most part, with a strong business model.  But I wonder in this case if they are implementing a policy that will have widespread damaging effects.  After all, this particular model has already been tested in select cities.  If coffee consumption and revenues are up in these places already, that doesn’t bode well for our future health.