19 April 2012

No more buggy coloring: Starbucks to stop using cochineal extract

After weeks of negative press -- we may be responsible for that -- relentless pressure from consumers and possibly an epiphany-like common sense awakening, Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks has decided to stop using bugs to color their products.

“As I first shared on March 29, we’ve learned that we fell short of your expectations by using natural cochineal extract as a colorant in four food and two beverage offerings in the United States," said company president Cliff Burrows. “Our commitment to you, our customers, is to serve the highest quality products available. As our customers you expect and deserve better – and we promise to do better.”

And apparently “better” means no more crushed bug coloring in all of company’s offerings including the now infamous Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino blended beverage and Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Additionally food offerings which currently utilize cochineal including the Raspberry Swirl Cake, Birthday Cake Pop, Mini Donut with pink icing and Red Velvet Whoopie Pie will no longer use the coloring.

So what will Starbucks use instead of copious amounts of squished beetles? The java peddler will transition to a more ewww friendly product, Lycopene -- a natural, tomato based extract.

“This transition will occur over time as we finalize revisions and manage production. Our intention is to be fully transitioned from existing product inventories to revised food and beverage offerings near the end of June across the U.S.,” added Burrows.

On behalf of our readers and grossed out consumers from sea to shining sea, thank you for listening Starbucks.

View the original story along with media coverage here: Beware: Starbucks' Soy Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino is NOT vegan

Eric Fortney | Facebook |@elfortney | email
Greenville, SC Eric is the co-founder and executive editor of This Dish Is Veg. In addition to editing all the articles that appear on the site, he maintains TDIV's active social media accounts. Along with his work at TDIV, Eric is a copy editor for an online media company and father of three daughters.

Photo credit: tip photo