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U.K. Retailer Introduces “Plain English” Coffee Menu

depenhams department storeCiting research that says more than 70 percent of coffee consumers have experienced retail “coffee confusion” at some point, a U.K. department store chain is ditching what it calls “fancy” names on its menu.

Debenhams, which has 240 stores throughout the world, is calling its campaign “Plain English,” an attempt to demystify coffee shop menus for its in-store consumers.

“Whether it is coffee, tea or hot chocolate, it needs to be in plain English so customers can make an informed choice,” says  Debenhams Chrissie Maher, founder and director of the Plain English Campaign. “If they can read the menu clearly, they are more likely to try something new – and who knows – they may come back for more.”

In a press release announcing the campaign, the company cites Starcucks size classification system.

Rather than offering confusing ‘tall’ (meaning small) ‘grande’ (meaning large) or ‘venti’ (meaning extra large) coffee sizes as found in other shops, the high street retailer has also scrapped different size options, instead offering thirsty shoppers simply a ‘cup’ or a ‘mug’ of their favourite drink.

Here’s the “Plain English” drink menu in full:

The new Debenhams coffee menu
Fancy name (usually seen in high street coffee shops) Plain English version (as seen on the new Debenhams menu)
Black coffee Simple coffee – with or without milk
Caffe latte Really really milky coffee
Cappuccino Frothy coffee
Caffe mocha Chocolate flavoured coffee
Espresso shot A shot of strong coffee




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