Fox Business has a story about some social media outrage prompted by Starbucks' decision to replace its old ice machines with new ones in select locations - the old contraptions made ice cubes, while the new ones make "ice nuggets."
According to the story, "The change — albeit very small — is apparently infuriating some customers who claim the new nugget ice melts faster and can even dilute drinks … Others are ecstatic over the nugget ice, which is less dense than cubed ice."
Starbucks says that the new machines "are part of the company's plans to cut its water footprint in half by 2030." It also says that it "tested the nugget ice and confirmed that it does not melt faster than Starbucks current ice. Employees are also using the same ice scoop, so the volume of ice per beverage will not change."
- KC's View:
First, at least Starbucks is making changes that are relevant to the cold beverage business, which is now larger than its hot beverage sales. One of the reasons that Starbucks has been dealing with employee issues is that management ignored the shift that was taking place, leaving baristas to navigate stores that were ill-equipped to provide what customers wanted.
Second, this is an example of why consumer education is critically important. We were talking about this story around the dinner table last night, and my daughter was questioning the rationale behind the change. I told her that it was part of a water-saving initiative, and that satisfied her - Starbucks needs to be aggressive in educating patrons, both in-store and via its app, about changes like these that have their roots in responsible motivations.