Coffee giant Starbucks has confirmed that it plans to launch a line of olive oil-infused drinks in Italy.
Chief executive Howard Schultz says olive oil’s “unexpected, velvety, buttery flavor… enhanced the coffee and lingers beautifully on the palate.”
Starbucks have struggled to break into the Italian market, a nation which traditionally prefers family-run coffee shops. Starbucks has 20 branches in Italy, which is a small number compared to the 1,187 branches in the UK and the 15,874 branches in the US.
“Now, there’s going to be people who say, olive oil in coffee? But the proof is in the cup,” Schultz said on Starbucks’ website.
“In over 40 years, I can’t remember a moment in time where I’ve been more excited, more enthused,” he went on to say.
Starbucks intends to introduce their olive-oil drinks to Southern California in spring before rolling them out The Middle East, Japan and the UK later in the year.
The Oleato olive oil range includes a latte, cold brew and the “Oleato deconstructed”, which pairs espresso with olive oil “infused with a luxurious passionfruit cold foam”.
Starbucks faced protests and boycotts in Italy when they opened their first store in 2018, including a palm tree they planted being set on fire.
Schultz stepped into calm the situation by clarifying that Starbucks are not here to educate the Italians on how to make coffee but have come with “humility and respect.”
In 2022, pizza chain Domino’s pulled out of Italy after failing to break into the country which is the origin of pizza.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: STARBUCKS
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