- Sep 23, 2007
References: msnbc.msn
Starbucks is doing all it can to appeal to the masses. In the last weeks we've seen the Date Frappucino debut in the Middle East in celebration of Ramadan, and now we're seeing the coffee company market to youth.

Walk into any Starbucks and you're bound to see youngsters sipping beverages in branded white cups, but you can pretty much guarantee they're not slurping back hot chocolate. Even elementary school-aged children can spotted ordering Mocha Frappuccinos, and often, it's mom or dad picking up the tab.

These are the same kids who fuel up on Red Bull and Rock Star energy drinks. At their young age they're already so used to caffeine, they don't even realize the effects anymore. But here's the kicker -- unlike alcohol and cigarettes, there are no rules about selling to minors.

Starbucks is recognizing the younger crowd it has attracted and wants to try new marketing approaches to appeal to this demographic, but hasn't come up with the right campaign yet. Obviously, kids love sweets; that's a good start.

"Seattle-based Starbucks is considering whether to add new drinks or drink sizes that better meet the needs of kids or teens," MSNBC reported. "Right now, it only lists limited kids' items, such as milk and hot chocolate, in a smaller size, while teenagers have the choice of adult-sized, and often heavily caffeinated, beverages. A 16-ounce Caramel Frappucino coffee drink, for example, has nearly three times the caffeine as a 12-ounce can of regular Coke or Pepsi."

But the real marketing has already been done. They'll never have to worry about getting a celebrity to promote the product -- in fact, having young celebs like the Olsen twins, Mischa Barton and drinking Starbucks is likely what sparked the trend in the first place.