Starbucks has heard the consumer’s message loud and clear: “we don’t want any bugs in our Frappuccinos.” Okay, I admit, saying that there are bugs in the Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino
is a little dramatic, as there aren’t bits and pieces of bugs floating around in it — but there is a bug-based product in there. Cochineal extract is a natural colorant that helps give the popular smoothie drink its colorful red hue. It has also been used to color other products on sale at Starbucks, including the pink birthday cake pops.
After the bug brouhaha, Starbucks was forced to pay attention and despite the fact that it is a large corporation with locations around the world, the company is listening to its customers and scrapping the bug-based colorant.
Many of us figured strawberries could be used to color the Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino, but evidently that doesn’t make for an eye-pleasing drink. Starbucks wants more red in the drinks and other items and so the company is switching from cochineal extract to a tomato-based colorant called lycopene.
This is good news for vegans and individuals keeping kosher who like to partake in a Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino from time-to-time. Although my 10-year-old son thought it was cool that the cochineal extract was made from bugs, I thought it was kind of gross so stopped buying my two kids one of their favorite treats.
As the end of June rolls around and temperatures top 110 here in Phoenix, their favorite strawberry smoothie will be colored with lycopene instead of cochineal extract and I will gladly buy them one of their favorite warm weather treats.