On September 3rd, Starbucks will unveil a new line of breakfast foods ostensibly featuring better nutrition and lower calorie counts than its previous fare. According to USA Today, the menu will be higher in fiber, fruit and protein with fewer of those sweet, sweet carbs found in its previous offerings.
I compared the new menu with similar selected items on the Starbucks menu from 2003, as broken down by dietfacts.com. In 2003, the chain offered a 138-gram (quarter-pounder) Blueberry Muffin that packed 450 calories, 200 from fat, with 1 gram of fiber and 6 grams of protein. The new Apple Bran Muffin has only 330 calories, 8 grams of fat and 7 grams each of protein and fiber. Definitely an improvement.
The old Blueberry Walnut Coffee Cake ran to 340 calories, 162 from frat, with 1 gram of fiber, 4 of protein. The new menu doesn't have such a beast, but offers the Baked Berry Stella. At 280 calories with 13 grams of protein and 7 of fiber, a much better choice, imho.
Gone too are is the Apricot Currant Scone (450 calories, 3 gram fiber, 7 grams protein), but new items available included the Starbucks Power Protein Plate with peanut butter, 330 calories with a hefty 16 grams of protein and 7 of fiber.
Add to these items oatmeal in various incarnations served in a disposable bowl, and other diet-friendly fare appearing on the new menu, and I think Starbucks should be commended for making real progress in its morning offerings. The corporation seems very pleased, too, that the new selections don't override the coffee aroma that it sees as an essential part of the ambiance of its shops.