Starbucks and Jamba Juice: Corporate oatmeal wars

Oatmeal may be a traditional, longstanding breakfast choices, but it’s gaining popularity these days on upscale breakfast menus, and even among corporate chains.

Starbucks introduced "the perfect oatmeal" last September for roughly $2.50. It comes with little baggies of dried fruit, sliced almonds and brown sugar, so you can pick and choose your toppings. Then, this winter, smoothie chain Jamba Juice introduced its version of oatmeal — steel-cut, slow-cooked organic oats topped with brown sugar crumble and a choice of fruit: blueberry-blackberry, apple cinnamon andfresh bananas.

I have tried both and personally prefer the Jamba version, if I’m choosing oatmeal-on-the-go. You can compare for yourself with two current specials: Starbucks is offering a new all-day pairings menu, including a tall latte with perfect oatmeal; and Jamba Juice is offering its oatmeal for a buck until next Tuesday, March 31. (Make sure to print out the coupon.)

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For oatmeal at a neighborhood restaurant, try Cafe Brazil, if you like it milky, or the Cliff Cafe, where a plain ol’ cup of oatmeal is $2, and the almond butter oatmeal is $6.


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