‘Babe’ star makes dramatic move over Starbucks non-dairy milk markup – RetailWire
May 11, 2022
James Cromwell, the Oscar-nominated actor best known for his roles in films such as ‘Babe’, ‘The Green Mile’ and the HBO series ‘Succession’ has an issue with Starbucks over its mark-up policy for non-dairy milk options used in chain beverages. He went public with his disagreement yesterday at a Starbucks in Manhattan after sticking his hand to the counter as part of a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) expression.
Mr Cromwell, wearing a ‘Free the Animals’ t-shirt, sat on the store’s counter as baristas continued to prepare drinks behind him.
“Over 13,000 clients have reached out to you,” the 82-year-old actor said. “Now we ask: are you going to stop charging more for vegan milk? When are you going to stop raking in huge profits while customers, animals and the environment are suffering?”
Police arrived at the scene and told protesters they should leave or be arrested. Mr. Cromwell and another man broke away from the counter and left the store without charge.
—PETA (@peta) May 10, 2022
PETA says Starbucks charges up to 80 cents more for lattes made with almond, coconut, oat or soy milk compared to cow’s milk.
“We respect our customers’ right to respectfully express their opinions as long as it does not disrupt our store operations,” a Starbucks spokesperson said in a statement. The Washington Post. “Customers can customize any beverage on the menu with non-dairy milk, including soy, coconut, almond, and oatmeal for an additional cost (similar to other beverage customizations such an extra espresso or syrup). Prices vary from market to market.
Mr Cromwell is not the first public figure to challenge Starbucks’ extra charges for non-dairy milk. Sir Paul McCartney wrote a letter to the retail coffee giant in March asking it to end the practice.
The former Beatle wrote that Starbucks no longer charges extra for non-dairy milk in the UK and he was surprised it was done in the US, according to a vanity lounge report. He asked the chain to put an end to this practice in the service of the environment.
Sir Paul and Mr Cromwell pointed out that other retailers, including Panera Bread, Philz Coffee, Pret A Manger and Wawa, do not charge customers more for non-dairy drinks in their coffee or tea.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do objections from celebrities such as James Cromwell and Paul McCartney increase the likelihood that Starbucks will end the markup for non-dairy beverages in its coffee drinks? Will Starbucks’ justification for the surcharge be accepted by customers who include non-dairy beverages in their orders?
“I don’t condone stunts like the ones used in this example, but I suspect it will encourage Starbucks to at least reconsider its policy, thereby encouraging more stunts.”