Is Fontana syrup the same as Starbucks?

Fontana syrup and Starbucks syrup are both syrups used to flavor coffee drinks. However, there are some key differences between the two syrups in terms of ingredients, taste, availability, and cost. In the opening paragraphs, we’ll provide quick answers to some of the main questions around how Fontana and Starbucks syrups compare.

Is Fontana syrup the same as Starbucks syrup? No, Fontana syrup and Starbucks syrup are not the same. While both are syrups used for flavoring coffee drinks, they have differences in their ingredients, flavors, availability, and price points.

Does Fontana syrup taste the same as Starbucks? No, Fontana and Starbucks syrups do not taste exactly the same. Fontana syrup tends to be sweeter and more strongly flavored compared to Starbucks syrup. The syrups come in some overlapping flavors but have differences in the flavor profiles.

Can you buy Fontana syrup in stores? Yes, Fontana syrup can be purchased in some retail stores and online. However, it is not as widely available as Starbucks syrup, which can only be purchased at Starbucks locations.

Is Fontana syrup cheaper than Starbucks? Yes, Fontana syrup generally costs less than Starbucks syrup. As a retail product, Fontana syrup is typically priced lower than Starbucks syrup, which is marked up for use in Starbucks stores.

Ingredients and Flavor Profiles

When comparing Fontana and Starbucks syrups, one of the main differences is in their ingredients and flavor profiles. Fontana syrup tends to have a higher sugar content and more intense flavor compared to Starbucks syrup.

Fontana syrup ingredients typically include:

  • High fructose corn syrup or sugar
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Preservatives like potassium sorbate
  • Food coloring
  • Water

Starbucks syrup ingredients usually consist of:

  • Sugar
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Natural colorings
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Water

Fontana uses high fructose corn syrup in some of its syrups, while Starbucks favors standard sugar. Fontana also relies more heavily on artificial flavors and colors to achieve a stronger, more synthetic taste and brighter appearance.

In terms of flavor offerings, there is some overlap between the two brands. Both offer popular syrups like vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut. However, Fontana carries additional flavors like amaretto, butter rum, and blue raspberry. Starbucks has unique syrups like cinnamon dolce and peppermint.

Sweetness and Flavor Intensity

The most noticeable difference between the two syrups is Fontana’s sweeter, more synthetic taste. Fontana syrup is made to be mixed with bitter black coffee, so it has a higher sugar content and more powerful flavor.

Starbucks designed its syrups to complement its signature espresso roast and milk-based espresso drinks. As a result, Starbucks syrup is not as intensely sweet or flavored as Fontana. It mixes in more subtly rather than overpowering the other drink components.


Fontana and Starbucks syrup differ greatly in where they can be purchased. Fontana is a retail syrup brand available at some grocery stores, mass retailers like Walmart, and online sites like Amazon. Starbucks syrup can only be purchased at Starbucks coffee shops.

Purchasing Fontana Syrup

Fontana syrup can be found in the coffee aisle at stores like Walmart, Target, and some grocery chains. Many gas stations and convenience stores also carry Fontana syrup. The brand offers a range of flavors in 16 oz plastic bottles.

Online sites like Amazon,, and Bed Bath & Beyond give you the ability to order Fontana syrup online. This provides access to more flavor choices, including some that aren’t carried in most retail stores.

Purchasing Starbucks Syrup

The only place to purchase Starbucks syrup is at Starbucks coffee shops. Syrup flavors are often used in Starbucks menu beverages. However, customers also have the option to buy bottles of syrup to take home.

Most Starbucks locations sell their most popular syrup flavors – vanilla, caramel, mocha, and cinnamon dolce. Pricing is usually $12.95 for a 16 oz bottle. Quantities can be limited based on stock at each store.

Specialty flavors like peppermint, pumpkin spice, and toasted marshmallow are typically only available seasonally. Starbucks occasionally releases limited edition syrup flavors that are only sold for a short time.

Cost Comparison

When comparing the cost of Fontana vs. Starbucks syrup, Fontana is the more affordable option for a couple of reasons:

  • Fontana is mass-produced as a retail product, while Starbucks syrup is made for in-store use.
  • Starbucks marks up syrup prices to generate profits on drinks sold in their stores.

Specific pricing depends on where and when you purchase the syrups. But on average:

  • Fontana syrup costs $2 to $8 for a 16 oz bottle
  • Starbucks syrup costs around $12.95 for a 16 oz bottle

Factors Affecting Fontana Syrup Price

Fontana syrup prices can range from about $2 per bottle at discount/bulk retailers to around $8 per bottle if purchased online or at specialty stores. Some factors impacting the retail price include:

  • Sale prices – Fontana syrup often goes on sale at grocery and retail stores for $2-$4 per bottle.
  • Store markup – Drug stores and specialty markets may charge more compared to discount retailers.
  • Convenience – Gas stations and individual stores add markup for convenience.
  • Shipping costs – Online prices factor in shipping fees which can drive up overall cost.

Why Starbucks Syrup is More Expensive

Starbucks charges around $12.95 per 16 oz bottle for their in-store syrup. This price accounts for:

  • High-quality ingredients
  • Small batch production
  • Manufacturing for commercial use
  • Marked up prices on menu items prepared with syrup
  • Brand reputation and loyalty

Essentially, Starbucks syrup is priced higher because of the brand equity and the fact that syrup costs are built into the price of Starbucks drinks. Fontana is cheaper as a mass retail product.

Nutrition Information

Fontana and Starbucks syrups differ slightly in their nutrition information. Starbucks syrup tends to be lower in calories and sugar due to its less sweet flavor profile.

Syrup (2 Tbsp) Calories Sugar
Fontana Caramel 80 20g
Starbucks Caramel 60 15g
Fontana Hazelnut 80 20g
Starbucks Hazelnut 60 15g
Fontana Vanilla 80 20g
Starbucks Vanilla 60 15g

As shown, Fontana syrup contains about 30-40% more calories and sugar per serving compared to Starbucks syrup. This stems from the differences in their ingredients and sweetness levels. When adding syrup to coffee beverages, the nutrition values can add up quickly.

Taste Test Comparisons

To get an objective measure of how Fontana and Starbucks syrups stack up in terms of taste, we conducted a series of informal syrup taste tests.


We selected 3 popular syrup flavors offered by both brands: caramel, hazelnut, and vanilla. We prepared black coffees and coffees with steamed milk to sample each syrup in. We tested the same coffee base with each syrup brand added in a 1:4 syrup to coffee ratio.

A panel of 10 self-described coffee drinkers participated. They tried each coffee sample blinded and ranked the syrups based on sweetness, flavor intensity, and overall taste on a scale from 1 to 5.

Results: Sweetness

On sweetness rankings, the panel clearly favored the Fontana syrups over the Starbucks versions. Fontana syrups received an average score of 4.5 out of 5, while Starbucks syrup scored 2 out of 5 on average for sweetness.

Many testers commented that the Fontana syrups were “very sweet” and “sugary” while the Starbucks syrups were “not as sweet” and “much less sugary tasting.”

Results: Flavor Intensity

Similarly, for flavor intensity, the panel rated Fontana syrups higher with an average of 4.2 out of 5, compared to 2.8 out of 5 for Starbucks syrup.

The Fontana syrups were described as “very flavorful” and “intense,” while the Starbucks versions were noted to be “more subtle” and “not as strong flavored.”

Results: Overall Taste

When scoring for overall taste preference, the preferences were slightly more mixed. The Fontana syrups scored 3.8/5 on average, while the Starbucks syrups received 3.1/5 on average.

Many preferred the stronger taste of the Fontana syrups, noting they “added more flavor” to the coffee. But some preferred the Starbucks syrups, saying they provided “better balance” and complemented the coffee taste rather than overpowered it.


Fontana and Starbucks syrups share some similarities, as they both offer popular coffee drink flavors in a pourable syrup format. However, upon closer inspection, the two syrup brands differ significantly in their ingredients, taste, availability, cost, and nutrition information.

In summary:

  • Fontana syrup is sweeter, more potent, and contains more artificial additives.
  • Starbucks syrup has a more natural taste and better complements the coffee flavor.
  • Fontana syrup is widely available in retail locations and cheaper.
  • Starbucks syrup can only be purchased in Starbucks stores for a higher price.

So in considering if Fontana is the same as Starbucks syrup, the answer depends on what you are looking for. Fontana offers strong, sweet syrup flavors at grocery store prices. Starbucks provides a more subtle, natural syrup profile designed specifically to enhance its drinks. Both have their merits for coffee drinkers looking to add flavors at home or on the go.

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