Skip to Content

Starbucks to Columnist: You Say ‘Tomato’. We Say ‘Sun-Dried Optimized Natural Product’

The Art Of Craft Coffee Curations At PalladiumThe Art Of Craft Coffee Curations At Palladium
Photograph by Rubina A. Khan—GettyRubina A. Khan Getty Images

Rather than licking its wounds from those that criticize its love of jargon, Starbucks has embraced the call-out.

In her final column for the Financial Times, Lucy Kellaway continued her campaign against corporate jargon, something she said Starbucks gave her more fodder for than any other company.

However, Starbucks has responded to the dig in true Starbucks-jargon fashion.

Simon Redfern, an executive from Starbucks’ European branch, submitted a letter to the editor to the Financial Times on Kellaway’s column.

“The challenge is — we just don’t see the issue,” Redfern wrote. “Ms Kellaway says ‘tomato’ and we say ‘sun-dried optimised natural product driving positive consumer sentiment if served on organic rye.’ Ms Kellaway says ‘potato’ and we say ‘waxy-skinned tuber with a satisfying mouthfeel when fried or boiled.’ Surely there is no difference.”

While noting that the coffee company referred to its Starbucks Roasteries as “delivering an immersive, ultra-premium, coffee-forward experience,” Kellaway commented, “In this ultra-premium, jargon-forward twaddle, the only acceptable word is ‘an.'”