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CHICAGO (CBS) — Coffee giant Starbucks has decided to stop using a dye created with crushed insects in its beverage and food offerings.
“We heard you. After a thorough evaluation, we are pleased to report that we will be transitioning away from the use of cochineal extract in our food and drinks,” Starbucks announced Thursday in a Facebook post. “Thank you for your continued feedback and support.”
In a blog post, Cliff Burrows, president of Starbucks U.S., said the company will now use a natural tomato-based extract as a dye in its Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino and strawberry banana smoothie as well as raspberry swirl cake, birthday cake pop, pink mini donut and red velvet whoopie pie.
“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,” Burrows wrote.
Burrows said the transition from the cochineal extract — a dye derived from crushed insects — to the tomato-based lycopene will be complete by the end of June.
The company came under criticism last month when news that it was using the bug-based ingredient went viral on the Internet.