Starbucks Pulls Artificial Coloring From Pumpkin Spice Latte

Updated on
Vani Hari
Vani Hari, known as the "Food Babe," speaks in Los Angeles, on Sept. 12, 2014. Photographer: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

Starbucks Corp. is changing the recipe for its pumpkin spice latte a year after the coffee-shop chain was criticized for using artificial ingredients in the beverage.

The espresso drink, which the coffee chain has served seasonally for about a decade, will be made without artificial caramel coloring this year, the Seattle-based company said today on its website. Starbucks also said it will use real pumpkin in the drink this year.

The ingredient change came after Vani Hari, the blogger who calls herself “Food Babe,” criticized Starbucks for using caramel coloring last year. U.S. consumers are increasingly interested in avoiding artificial flavors and colors in their food and beverages.

The pumpkin spice latte is a perennial top-seller at Starbucks and has spawned a flood of pumpkin-flavored items across the food and beverage industries.

Panera Bread Co., which is working to rid its menu of food additives, pulled preservatives from its pumpkin spice latte this year. The company said the move makes it the only national restaurant chain to sell that beverage without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives. After Starbucks published its blog post, Panera allowed media to release information about the new recipe on Monday before the official announcement that was slated for Tuesday.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE