Starbucks to Stop Using Bug Extract to Color Frappuccinos
Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), the world’s largest coffee-shop chain, plans to stop using an extract made of dried insects to color some Frappuccinos and pastries after an online campaign asked for the ingredient to be removed.
The retailer said today it will phase out by June use of a red dye derived from cochineal insects, a tropical bug found in Mexico and South America. The colorant will be replaced with lycopene, a tomato extract, the Seattle-based company said in a statement on its website.
More than 6,500 people signed a Change.org petition asking Starbucks to stop using the insects because it isn’t vegan, kosher, and consumers “don’t want crushed bugs in their designer drinks.” The extract had been used in the company’s Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino, Strawberry Banana Smoothie, raspberry swirl cake, birthday cake pop, mini donut with pink icing and red velvet whoopee pie, the statement said.
“We’ve learned that we fell short of your expectations by using natural cochineal extract as a colorant,” Cliff Burrows, Starbucks president for the U.S. and the Americas, said in the statement. “As our customers you expect and deserve better — and we promise to do better.”
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