Starbucks Tests Tiny Frappuccino As Customers Demand Smaller Portion Sizes

Starbucks is testing a tiny Frappuccino.

The 10-ounce drink, which is available only in Denver and Houston, is two ounces smaller than a “tall” size and costs 30 cents less. Starbucks spokeswoman Lisa Passe told USA Today that the company launched the test because customers are “looking for choices.”

“We’re learning and listening to what customers are saying,” she said.

Here’s a picture of the new size:

Starbucks patrons aren’t the only consumers looking for smaller portion sizes. In a recent National Restaurant Association survey of nearly 1,300 chefs nationwide, portion downsizing was identified as one of the biggest trends in the restaurant industry this year.

“Small plates have been a strong trend on table service restaurant menus for several years, and as a maturing trend, it’s widening to other areas of foodservice,” said Annika Stensson, the National Restaurant Association’s senior manager of research.

Analysts say the trend has been driven by customers looking to cut both costs and calories. Smaller portion sizes also encourage plate-sharing.

“Customers have become enamoured with tapas, tasting menus, and small plates, which allow a more casual, grazing approach to mealtime,” the restaurant trade publication FSR Magazine wrote in September 2012.

In response to the trend, casual dining restaurants such as T.G.I. Fridays and Olive Garden have been adding tapas-style dishes to their menus.

T.G.I. Fridays started offering a “Taste and Share” menu of small plates last year and Olive Garden recently rolled out smaller lunch portions with a “Taste of Italy” small-plates menu.

“Consumers today are looking for a variety of options on menus so they can get exactly what they want depending on the eating occasion, customising their meal and snack experiences — including the size,” Stensson said.

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