The American multinational chain of coffeehouses, Starbucks Corporation has lately launched a line of olive oil-infused drinks in Italy.
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks in a statement said that the “unexpected, velvety, buttery flavour… enhanced the coffee and lingers beautifully on the palate.”
It is worth noting that Starbucks is one of the major US-based businesses that faced hurdles whilst venturing into the Italian food and beverages market – the reason being Italy’s coffee scene is famous for its independent and often family-run cafes.
Starbucks currently has around 20 stores in Italy.
“Now, there’s going to be people who say, olive oil in coffee? But the proof is in the cup,” said Schultz
“In over 40 years, I can’t remember a moment in time where I’ve been more excited, more enthused,” Schultz added.
The US-headquartered coffee chain aims to launch the selection of hot and iced drinks to stores in Southern California in the US this spring. The UK, Middle East and Japan are set to follow the route later this year.
The company says that olive oil is a key part of the Mediterranean diet, associated with countries including Italy, Greece, and Spain. Its health benefits can partly be attributed to its monounsaturated fatty acids, which contain vitamins and minerals, and polyphenols, which are micronutrients derived from plants.
The term “drink olive oil” trended on the video-sharing platform TikTok last year, with supporters saying it had anti-inflammatory properties.
Some Italians called for a boycott of Starbucks when it announced plans to open its first store in the country in 2018.
Replying to that, Schultz said,
“We are not coming to teach Italians how to make coffee. We’re coming here with humility and respect, to show what we’ve learned.”
Last year, news that Domino’s Pizza was leaving Italy was celebrated by some social media users. The multinational fast-food chain is running through a struggling phase in the birthplace of Pizza since its launch in 2015.
It faced increasingly stiff competition during the pandemic as local restaurants signed up for food delivery platforms like Deliveroo and Just Eat.