Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Starbucks: The Treat that Drives Us

Are teats the quiet temptation we give into everyday?

On a typical day we wake up, get breakfast, and drive to work. During that time we can make a good cup of coffee at home and can get a reasonable cup at work. Coffee technology has gotten a lot better over the years and is cheap, so making a cup of coffee is easy, and can be fun at home or the work place. Unless we walk right by a Starbucks, many of us have to go out of our way to get some. 75% of Starbucks sales comes from coffee and one estimate has them selling 4B cups of coffee a year. 4 billion.  That's a lot of coffee. Unless you live in Seattle where there’s at least one on every corner, that’s a lot of people going out of their way to get Starbucks. Why? There are probably several reasons. A big one that comes to mind is that we like a treat.
In the article, “The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons Why Your Still Overfat”, a trainer gets real about over weight people. The article is very, shall I say, brutally honest. If you are easily offended, don’t read it.  He ran a health club and got tired of people coming in saying they wanted to loose weight but didn’t follow through. It happened so much that he said he could tell in the first 2 minutes of talking with a person if they were going to succeed or not. He makes some really good observations and the one that’s stuck with me is point #3: You Don’t Know What a Treat is.
"EVERY SINGLE F****** DAY you are exposed to ‘treats’. Donuts and chocolate milk on the way home from your kids sporting events. Trays of cookies in the office lounge. Bags of chips in the cupboard.Every. Single. Day.That’s without dinners and events every weekend or birthday parties, anniversaries, baby showers, sports events, holidays, and the plethora of celebratory events.‘Treats’ are something out of the ordinary. If it happens more than once a month it is no longer out of the ordinary. Stop saying treat. You aren’t having a treat."

We've turned treats into something else. We get them whenever we want them, which is a lot.  Which isn't the definition of a treat. Very convicting.
We go to Starbucks because they make the coffee we can’t make at home: the cafĂ© moca, caramel latte, etc. A treat basically. Starbucks has capitalized on our desire for a treat and has turned the treat into a regular and frequent event. Correction: we’ve turned a treat into a regular and frequent event. Billions of treats every year.
Treats drive us.  Our appetites drive us.  Are treats the quiet temptation we give into everyday?  What do we give up when we give in?  Well clearly there's a health issue: a 500 calorie cup several times a week, all year adds up on the waste line.  Doesn't seem like much for any given day, but check in a year later...  Maybe we loose a certain amount of discipline when we given in, a little at a time.  How will that show up later?

The treats in our lives: do we control them or do they control us? Worth thinking about.

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