Frappuccinos have long been a popular item on the Starbucks menu, but this will be the first time they are available in vegan ready-to-go versions. There are two flavours available: Dark Chocolate Brownie and Caramel Waffle Cookie. Both will continue to be available exclusively through the oat milk line. Although there has been no announcement of a ready-to-go plain coffee Frappuccino, they can be made to order behind standard Starbucks counters.
Dairy-free Frappuccinos are not the only new release. Along with the announcement, a ready-to-drink oat milk cold brew was unveiled. Additionally, it will be a Dark Chocolate flavour.
“Since 1994, Starbucks has been a market leader in ready-to-drink coffee, and we continue to focus on beverage innovation using the highest-quality coffee and ingredients,” Chanda Beppu, Starbucks’ vice president of channel development for the Americas, said in a statement. “This year, we’re excited to offer customers new flavours and formats of their favourite Starbucks beverages, including Starbucks Cold & Crafted on Tap and the new Starbucks Frappuccino with Oatmilk.”
The new bottled beverages are expected to be distributed through a variety of retailers in the United States, including service stations and convenience stores. The launch coincides with Starbucks’ upcoming launch of a new line of energy drinks made with caffeine extracted from coffee fruit.
Starbucks was targeted by the nonprofit Switch4Good in 2021 for its plant-based issues. A phoney press release was distributed claiming that Starbucks was eliminating its surcharge for plant milk in an attempt to alleviate dietary racism exacerbated by the surcharge. The company was compelled to issue a statement denying the move, which sparked outrage.
In the United Kingdom, the charge for plant milk has since been repealed. It comes after Costa and Pret A Manger, two other coffee chains, eliminated surcharges in 2020. The United States continues to bear the brunt of increased costs associated with dairy-free beverages. Starbucks is testing the elimination of the surcharge in 1,000 of its locations, though it is unclear why the company cannot make a country-wide announcement, as it did in the United Kingdom.
While dairy-free Starbucks fans are gaining a greater share of the action, numerous studies indicate that the future of coffee is somewhat uncertain.