Bobby Parrish (@flavcity) collectively gained over 4.4 million views when he sat down to expose the nutrition facts of two beloved seasonal drinks: the Pumpkin Swirl Frozen Coffee from Dunkin’ and the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.
Now, much like the Dunkin’ employee who went viral when he revealed the true volume of those large iced drinks, Parrish’s revelation is convincing customers to rethink their favorite seasonal beverages.
Pumpkin Swirl Frozen Coffee from Dunkin’
In a video that gained over 3.1 million views, 316,000 likes, 22,000 saves, 42,000 shares and 8,100 comments, Parrish sat down to evaluate a large Pumpkin Swirl Frozen Coffee.
“Who the f*** thought it was a good idea to put this on the menu?” he asks at the top of the video.
According to both Parrish and Dunkin’s website, the popular pumpkin drink contains the following:
11 grams of fat
290 milligrams of sodium
185 grams of sugar
As Parrish asserts, that amount of sugar is equivalent to 46 teaspoons — or 14 glazed doughnuts (a single glazed doughnut from Dunkin’ contains 13 grams of sugar).
Parrish also calls out the drink for not actually containing any pumpkin whatever, but instead a bevy of artificial flavors and 12 separate mentions of added sugar.
This isn’t the first time a Dunkin’ beverage has gained viral attention for its nutrition facts. In a press release from Sept. 12, the company announced its new collaborative drink, the Dunkin’ Ice Spice Munchkins Drink.
According to the release, Ice Spice Munchkins Drink “blends its smooth, creamy Frozen Coffee with Pumpkin MUNCHKINS® Donut Hole Treats, topped with whipped cream and caramel drizzle.”
While the caloric information for the Ice Spice Munchkins Drink is available on the Dunkin’ mobile app — 590 for a small, 830 for a medium and 1,080 for a large — the sugar content cannot be found online, because Dunkin’s official nutrition guide has not been updated since July 31, despite listing limited-time fall products.
Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks
But Dunkin’ isn’t the only fast food coffee chain that Parrish has targeted in his videos.
Last month, just as Starbucks’ famous PSL was reappearing on menus, Parrish broke down the nutritional profile of the beloved fall drink.
According to Parrish and the Starbucks website, a grande Pumpkin Spice Latte contains:
14 grams of fat
230 milligrams of sodium
50 grams of sugar
As Parrish observes, that’s the equivalent of 12.5 teaspoons of white cane sugar. “This is officially a meal,” he says.
He also compares the PSL with the Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte, which contains 460 calories, 17 grams of fat and 66 grams of sugar (the equivalent of 16.5 teaspoons).
However, comparing it with Dunkin’, Parrish gives Starbucks credit for using real pumpkin puree in its seasonal drinks — but that’s where his compliments end.
How much sugar is too much?
According to Heart.org, beverages are the leading category source of all added sugars, followed closely by snacks and sweets.
The American Heart Association recommends the following for sugar intake:
Men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) of added sugar per day.
For women, the number is lower: 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) per day.
“Many people consume more sugar than they realize. It’s important to be aware of how much sugar you consume because our bodies don’t need sugar to function properly,” the organization states.
“Added sugars contribute zero nutrients but many added calories that can lead to extra pounds or even obesity. That can reduce heart health.”
How to order healthier PSLs at Starbucks
For those who love seasonal drinks but not all the calories and sugar they come with, TikTokers are taking to the app to share their custom drink orders.
In one such video, TikTok coach Brooks Hurbis (@sweatsimple) shared her order for a 75-calorie Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew.
To cut down on the calories, sugar and fat, Brooks recommends a grande cold brew with:
1 pump of sugar-free vanilla
1 pump of pumpkin
Cold foam made from almond milk
“Oh I need to try this because I can’t take all that sugar,” commented @candygrl918.
“The normal one is too sweet for me but I love this! All the flavor without being too sweet,” Brooks replied.
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