Starbucks Surprised by Pumpkin Flavored PR Crisis

starbucks pumpking spice pr


Ronn Torossian has some comforting and gentle words of wisdom for you. If you are successful in whatever you do, eventually, people will try to knock you down. Even if what you have is almost universally loved, somebody out there probably hates it. Or they hate you. Or they hate bubble wrap and tacos and long walks on the beach. It really doesn’t matter. If they have hate, they will direct it. Sooner or later that misdirected rage and frustration might be directed towards you.

Recently, someone even created an infographic to “reveal the secrets” of  be pumpkin flavored. Turns out, the hugely popular pumpkin spiced latte, has a few ingredients some customers are none too happy about. And they are taking their None Too Happy attitude to the web en masse. the pumpkin spiced latte to Pollyanna consumers.

Cue the public relations crisis.

Except, not really. See, here’s the thing. Starbucks offerings are not healthy. People are downing massive quantities of caffeine and sugar and chocolate stacked on top of layers of caffeine and sugar and chocolate. Mixed with milk. Frappuccinos are not protein shakes, and most people realize that; even the ones who insist on “half caf” or “skim.”

These are comfort drinks. Products of a combination of cultural and chemical addiction. They are delicious and social and just the thing their customers need to jump start whatever part of the day they are attacking. And Starbucks KNOWS this. So, don’t expect to see an “all organic, entirely natural” PSL replacing old faithful any time soon. Could Starbucks come up with that option? Of course they could. Will they? It’s possible.

But it’s more likely they will continue to sell their massively popular drinks to their dedicated customers in record quantities. After all, remember when everyone complained about whatever they put in Oreo cookies and the manufacturer changed the recipe? Of course not, because that never happened. People criticized Oreo … and they invented Double Stuf. Don’t be surprised when Starbucks does the same.

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals in the company’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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