Did Kenny G Really Help Inspire the Frappuccino? Starbucks Responds

02/09/2015 at 06:40 PM ET

Starbucks Kenny G
Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic; Courtesy Starbucks

When Kenny G revealed he had a hand in bringing about the Frappuccino, we thought a great piece of pop culture trivia had been unearthed.

During the promotion of his new album, Brazilian Nights, the Grammy-winner recounted how he had helped introduce the famous beverage to the Starbucks menu.

“Well, at the beginning, Starbucks didn’t have anything but coffee, and there was another company, Coffee Bean, that had something called blended … it was a sweet drink, and people were lined up around the block,” the sax star told Bloomberg.

“And I would always call Howard [Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and CEO] and say, ‘Howard, there’s this thing that they do there that’s like a milkshake or whatever, ” he continued. “And so I think that part of the reason that they did Frappuccino was people like me giving them that kind of feedback. I like to think I was partially responsible for that.”

So, Kenny G and coffee — who knew? And according to the Starbucks fact sheet, it looks like the Frappuccino has enjoyed a very rich — and delicious — history since it first debuted in 1995.

So what does Starbucks think of Kenny G’s comments?

“Kenny is a dear friend of Starbucks and an early investor in the company,” a spokesperson for Starbucks tells PEOPLE … “He did provide feedback on the creation of Frappuccino. That’s true … We are very appreciative of everyone, including Kenny, who’ve been a part of the success of Frappuccino.”

We’ll raise a frothy blended beverage to that!

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Showing 4 comments

bellaboone on

Oh! So basically, they stole the idea from another company, slapped a silly psuedo-Italian name on it and claimed it as their own. Gotcha.

seabot on

It’s actually not like the Coffee Bean one at all, theirs is more like a milkshake. It’s also not a “pseudo Italian name,” it’s a frapped cappuccino. Hence the combo name.

BC on

Gawd…anybody hear of a thing called “Google.” Kenny G and even Starbucks had nothing to do whatsoever with the invention of the Frappuccino: it was developed years earlier by a Boston-area coffee chain called the Coffee Connection, and it was called a Frappuccino then. When Starbucks started expanding into the Boston area, they first competed with the Coffee Connection shops, but then ended up buying out the entire chain, which included rights to the Frappuccino. I use to get Frappuccinos at the Coffee Connection, and the basic Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino tastes identical to what was the basic Coffee Connection Frappuccino. Starbucks basically added additional flavors, including the whip cream stuff.

Lola Mcvey on

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