Tutorial: How healthy is the Starbucks menu?

In this tutorial, we are going to explore the Starbucks dataset found on OpenIntro and Picostat. Namely, we want to get a rough idea of how healthy their menu is. We can do that both through numerical analysis and visual analysis. To use the statistical operations illustrated here, you will need to register and login if you have not already done so.

First let's get an overall picture of their menu. Go to the dataset link mentioned above and click select Plot from the Analysis dropdown like the image below suggests.

Picostat Plot Operation

Next we will need to choose variables for the X and Y axis. The first column clicked on becomes the independent variable (x-axis) and the second column clicked becomes the dependent variable y-axis which will be darker.

Picostat Columns for Starbucks dataset

Next we choose the options we want to go with this analysis operation. Selecting the PDF option will generate a downloadable PDF version of the output. Choosing R File will provide a TXT file which you can copy into R directly to simulate the Picostat operation. Finally, choosing HMTL will provide a link to the HTML version of the output.

Clicking Submit, we will get plot as seen below.

Starbucks menu analysis

We can see most of the menu is between 300 and 500 calories with fat grams between 5 and 25 grams.  That doesn't seem that bad.

What if you really wanted to splurge on calories at Starbucks. You had been dieting all week and now its time to reward yourself by going to town at Starbucks. Let's find the item that has the most calories. For that we will need to choose Numerical Summary from the Analysis dropdown. Then choose the calories column.

R Numerical Summaries Picostat

Once we click submit we will get a number of numerical statistical analysis. What we are interested in is the max and min. As seen here.

R Max and Min Calories Image

It still doesn't tell us what menu item(s) have these value. For that we just need to go back to the dataset and use the filter for calories. First we enter 500 like this:

Slickgrid filter for Starbucks menu - Max and Min

We can see the Sausage and Cheddar Classic Breakfast Sandwich had the most calories from the Starbucks menu. So our splurge item would be this sandwich. Conversely if we wanted the minimum we would enter 80 in the filter which shows us the Deluxe Fruit Blend.

So today we did some basic analysis of the Starbucks menu item using both visual and numerical tools in Picostat. You may proceed to the Starbucks Menu Quiz if you wish. Good luck!