If the plethora of syrups, sugars, and sweeteners available to choose from at Starbucks weren't mind-numbing already, now there's another option to choose from at the condiment bar. The coffee giant has just announced they'll be adding their first Stevia-based calorie sweetener to their selection of sugar packets starting this week.
Starbucks—which already offers artificial sweeteners Splenda, Sweet'N Low, and Equal, as well as Sugar In The Raw— explains the decision was made to "address the needs of customers looking to cut back on calories without compromising on taste." The brand they went with, Whole Earth Sweetener Company's Nature Sweet packets, is a 'premium proprietary blend' of Stevia and monk fruit extracts, designed to offer the same taste as sugar without the cals. (Here, everything you need to know about the confusing world of sugar.)
So, what's this really mean? This is just one more option for those folks looking to reduce their calorie intake. "I think it is great that Starbucks is offering a sweetener with Stevia," says Keri Gans, R.D. "Just make sure you're not adding it to an already unhealthy drink." Touche. (Try these 10 Iced Starbucks Drinks That Are 100 Calories or Less instead.)