There are few corporations as polarizing as Starbucks. Even on this blog, it is the rare Slashbucks post that doesn't incite a ruthless comments war. Yet there is no denying that Starbucks is a fast food force and their products deserve coverage like everybody else, so simmer.
Today Starbucks is introducing yet another beverage to their liquid arsenal. Though frozen and blended, the new Vivanno isn't another tired variation on the -ccino theme. Nope, this is Starbucks' answer to Jamba Juice: A protein-packed smoothie.
Here's the scoop:
- One whole - real! - banana (seriously! it will be peeled and pulsed before your very eyes!)
- Whey protein (16 grams) and fiber powder (5 grams)
- Choice of milk (default is 2%)
- Secret Starbucks-Proprietary Orange-Mango Naked Juice
- Portion controlled (default is Grande, and always has less than 270 calories)
Orange Mango Banana Blend (250 calories, 16g protein, 5g fiber, 2g fat)
The banana blended nicely with the marquee juice, but the rather runny smoothie had that familiar tinny aftertaste which has long burdened whey protein powder. For regular smoothie drinkers, the flavor oughtn't faze, but I imagine regular smoothie drinkers will continue heading to Jamba where they have more options.
Orange Mango Banana Blend with Matcha Green Tea powder (250 calories, 16g protein, 5g fiber, 2g fat, 45% daily value of Vitamin C)
See above. Add Starbucks' Matcha Green Tea powder (as made famous in their Green Tea Frappuccino). Surprisingly, the matcha's earthiness adds a degree of thickness while killing the aforementioned tinny aftertaste, making this one an improvement on the original.
Banana Chocolate Blend (270 calories, 21g protein, 6g fiber, 5g fat)
Despite its inclusion of the oft-troublesome whey protein, this smoothie is dangerously drinkable. It goes down like a lightweight banana chocolate shake, with no plague of powder. If this is protein, sign me up!
Banana Chocolate Blend with shot of espresso (270 calories, 21g protein, 6g fiber, 5g fat)
See above. Add a shot of Starbucks espresso. Unlike the ill-conceived Banana Chocolate Frappuccino of summer 2006, the solo shot blends seamlessly into an already stellar smoothie, making this drink nutritious, delicious and caffeinated. Score!
All in all, I'm actually impressed. Have you tried the Vivanno? What do you think?