Starting tomorrow, Starbucks across the sunbelt states will offer a new drink that's—get this—carbonated, USA Today reports. Baristas will be making Fizzio Handcrafted Sodas at rather noisy machines (that add ambiance, not annoyance, apparently) in ginger ale, lemon ale, and root beer flavors. They'll be caffeine-free, without additives or preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup, and cost about $2.45 for a "tall." So what's up? "We are changing the game in terms of how to get a carbonated drink," says Fizzio's brand manager. "Like what Starbucks did to coffee 40 years ago, we think we can do in the carbonation space."
Starbucks is expecting only so-so growth from Fizzio sales, but hopes to lure health-conscious Millenials and other customers beyond the morning rush into lunchtime, reports BusinessWeek. Why now? Well, homemade softdrinks are popular these days, named the No. 1 beverage trend in a national survey of top chefs last year (although actual carbonated-drink sales have fallen in the US). The move also comes as Starbucks hikes prices on some drinks by up to 20 cents, reports USA Today.