Coral Murphy and Kelly Tyko
Published 5: 00 AM EST Jan 7, 2020
Starbucks is kicking off 2020 by adding non-dairy drinks made with plant-based milk alternatives to its permanent menu.
Starting Tuesday, customers can order the Almondmilk Honey Flat White and the Coconutmilk Latte at participating stores in the U.S. and Canada.
The coffee giant also announced the introduction of the Oatmilk Honey Latte at approximately 1,300 participating stores in the Midwest — including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.
To create the three non-dairy drinks, Starbucks product developer Raegan Powell said the team started with the coffee.
“Starbucks Blonde Espresso pairs well with the lighter texture of milk alternatives, especially almondmilk,” Powell said in a blog post. “It’s a little bit nuttier, so it complements the almond-based milk.”
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Starbucks added its first non-dairy alternative, soy milk, in 2004, before adding coconut milk in 2015 and almond milk in 2016.
“We love how the nuanced flavor you get with plant-based milks pairs with espresso, either hot or iced,” Powell said. “It’s a new way to start your new year.”
Starbucks’ move comes after the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) became a Starbucks shareholder following several requests for the coffee company to stop charging extra for non-dairy milk.
The announcement of the new menu items coincides with “Veganuary,” a campaign that aims to get people to adopt a plant-based diet for the year.
Other chains like Chipotle, Burger King and Carl’s Jr. have been adding more plant-based options to their menus, with products developed by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. On Monday, Burger King announced it was testing plant-based sausage at select restaurants in five markets with the Impossible Croissan’wich.
Impossible Foods also presented at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Monday and announced it was adding plant-based pork and sausage and continuing to test bacon and fish alternatives.
The new Starbucks non-dairy drinks
Here are descriptions of the non-dairy beverages:
• Almondmilk Honey Flat White: Combines ristretto shots of Starbucks Blonde Espresso with steamed almond milk and a hint of honey.
• Coconutmilk Latte: Combines shots of Starbucks Blonde Espresso with steamed coconut milk and a “strike of Cascara sugar topping adds subtle notes of dark brown sugar and luscious maple after every sip.”
• Oatmilk Honey Latte: Shots of Starbucks Blonde Espresso with steamed oat milk and a toasted honey topping.