Starbucks just launched a brand new line of energy drinks in the United States and by doing so has entered the energy drink market for the first time!
It has done so by introducing the Starbucks BAYA Energy drink line-up, currently offering three distinct fruit flavors - Mango Guava, Raspberry Lime and Pineapple Passionfruit.
The new beverage line-up are ready-to-drink (RTD) energy beverages developed by the North American Coffee Partnership (NACP). The NACP is an almost 30-year old venture between Starbucks and PepsiCo.
What exactly are these new energy drinks, and where can you find them? Are they healthy for you, and how do they compare with the likes of Redbull, Rockstar Original and Celsius?
And how will the Starbucks energy drinks line-up fare, especially in light of Coca-Cola's failed attempt to enter the energy drink market with Coke Energy?
In this blog post we will answer all these questions, and give you all the information you there is to know about these new Starbucks energy beverages!
Let's get into it!
The Starbucks BAYA Energy drink line-up is Starbucks’ response to the energy drink market. Although Starbucks has already entered the ready-to-drink market with its bottled frappuccinos and canned doubleshot drinks, it is the first time they offer a caffeinated non-coffee drink.
Yes, you may be wondering about the Starbucks refreshers. These are caffeinated non-coffee drinks, but they do not contain as much caffeine as the BAYA energy drinks.
These new Starbucks energy beverages have been developed by the North American Coffee Partnership (NACP), a joint venture between Starbucks and PepsiCo that has been operational for almost 30 years.
The current line-up includes three fruit flavors:
They come in 12-oz cans, packing 160 mg of caffeine. For comparison, an average cup of coffee usually contains close to 100 mg of caffeine.
The drink has caffeine naturally found in the coffee fruit, more specifically green coffee bean extract.
Starbucks markets these drinks as a "refreshing, fruit-flavored boost of feel-good energy, in a way only Starbucks can deliver".
The feel-good energy makes reference to the added antioxidant Vitamin C for immune support.
We have prepared a table comparing BAYA Energy drinks to other energy drink competitors.
By the way, this is by no means a thorough comparison; we just want to give you an idea of how BAYA Energy stacks up versus their main competitors.
|Comparison||Starbucks BAYA (Pineapple Mango)||Redbull (Original)||Monster Green*||Rockstar*||Celsius (Mango Passionfruit)|
|Size||12 oz||12 oz||16 oz (12 oz)||16 oz (12 oz)||12 oz|
|Caffeine||160 mg||114 mg||160 mg (120 mg)||160 mg (120 mg)||200 mg|
|Calories||90||160||230 (173)||270 (203)||10|
|Sugars||23g||39g||54g (41g)||63g (47g)||0g|
Starbucks BAYA compares favorably against Redbull, Monster, Rockstar and Celsius.
In terms of caffeine content, BAYA Energy has a relatively high caffeine content with significantly less sugars and calories than the Redbull, Rockstar and Monster energy drinks.
Celsius though comes up on top. Being marketed as a product for fitness and athletes, it has only 2g of carbs and no sugars, and offers the highest caffeine content at 200 mg in a 12 oz. can (that is of course ignoring the more extreme versions of the Monster Energy line-up).
In their media release, Starbucks state that these drinks are made with caffeine that is naturally found in the coffee cherry, and with "antioxidant vitamin C for immune support to give customers a boost of feel-good energy."
I'm also able to recognize most the ingredients of this drink (Pineapple Passionfruit): carbonated water, white grape juice from concentrate, cane sugar, pineapple juice from concentrate, natural flavors, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), beta carotene (color), citric acid, coffee fruit extract and green coffee bean extract.
It does not seem like they added too many preservatives, additives and other chemicals. Which is good!
One thing to keep in mind is that you see cane sugar as ingredient #3, and this is reflected in the nutritional info - 17 out of the 22 grams of sugar is added sugar. The fruit juice which only contains 5 grams of sugar.
This means that this drink is not that healthy and should be consumed in moderation. However, it seems like a healthier alternative to other energy drink brands (except perhaps the Celsius one).
We are curious to see if a version with less sugar will become available in the future.
Another thing we noticed is that each can has 100% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. However, it is best to get your vitamins from whole food sources as per research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The body needs fibre and water to help it absorb vitamins, and fruits and vegetables most-often contain these.
Finally, watch the caffeine! If you've already had 2-3 coffee drinks, then maybe having an energy drink is not the best thing for you.
For reference, an average cup of coffee has 100 mg of caffeine, the Starbucks drink has 160 mg of caffeine, and the FDA has set the maximum caffeine daily intake at 400 mg.
The Starbucks BAYA Energy drinks are available at most major retailers across the United States. You can find them at Walmart, Target, Safeway and other grocery stores, as well as convenience stores like Circle K and Speedway.
Starting March 1, you'll also be able to purchase them at all Starbucks locations in the US.
They are also available for purchase online via Amazon. Check often as this is a hot item that sells out quickly.
Yes, Starbucks released their Refreshers energy drinks in 2012.
However, these are not similar to the BAYA Energy drinks. The main difference is that the Refreshers contain much less caffeine. A 12 oz Refresher contains about 35 mg of caffeine, and a 12 oz can of BAYA contains 160 mg!
Starbucks already offers other Ready-to-Drink (RTD) drinks. These are usually cold coffee drinks, such as their bottled Frappuccinos and their canned doubleshot and tripleshot products. So the Baya energy drink is an addition to the existing coffee beverage lineup Starbucks already offers.
Starbucks will also be expanding their ready to drink portfolio. As part of their commitment to reduce their carbon footprint by 50% by 2030, Starbucks is betting on oat milk.
The new ready-to-drink beverages that will find their way into your local grocery store include:
As per Mintel, a market researcher, energy drink sales have been a very strong performer, with an increase in sales of 9.2% in 2020. This means a doubling well within this decade if things continue as is.
So it’s not surprising Starbucks wants to capitalize into this opportunity.
How Starbucks will do is hard to say, but based on our comparison, their new energy drink sits somewhere between Redbull/Monster energy drink and the Celsius energy drinks. So they are offering something different to the market.
Also Starbucks has very good brand recognition.
If I were an energy drink competitor, I would be worried.
The suggested retail price for a 12-oz can of Starbucks Baya is $2.89 cents per can.
Each 12 oz can contains 160 mg of caffeine.
Unfortunately, no. This drink does not come caffeine free. However, check out our list of the best caffeine free Starbucks drinks if you are looking for options without caffeine.
In conclusion, the new Starbucks Baya Energy drinks are comparable in terms of caffeine to the competition. They are also relatively healthy when compared to other energy drink brands. Just don't make it a habit of having these every day, they still contain a significant amount of sugars! You can find them at most major retailers across the United States and soon in all Starbucks stores.
Let us know if you have any questions!
This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of coffee, tea or herbal infusion if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.