Starbucks Announces Almond Milk is Nearly Here: Soon you can use almond milk in any Starbucks beverage.

Almond milk latte - inside the SODO 8 starbucksStarting September 6, 2016, almond milk will be available in more than 4,600 Starbucks stores as a non-dairy alternative. Almond milk joins the lineup of a number of milk options inside stores, including in soy milk and coconut milk. Of course, you can still order your beverages with whole milk, nonfat milk, and 2% milk. Also you can order a beverage with “Breve” milk, which means half and half (half milk and half cream) is used as your milk option.

Almond milk will initially be available in company-operated and licensed stores in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, New York, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, kicking off a nationwide rollout that will be complete by the end of September. It will be available for use in Starbucks handcrafted beverages including hot or iced drinks and Frappuccino® blended beverages.

We created our own almond milk recipe to complement our hot, iced and Frappuccino® blended beverages,” said Yoke Wong, manager on Starbucks beverage R&D team. “It was designed so that when steamed, it creates a rich foam for hot beverages and is delicious and creamy when served in cold beverages.”

Starbucks introduced its first non-dairy milk alternative in 2004 with the launch of soy milk, followed by coconut milk in February 2015. This summer Starbucks introduced the Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato this summer, the first signature beverage recipe to use coconut milk.

I remember when I was first a Starbucks customer, the only milk option was whole milk. That was it. You could only have whole milk for your beverage. In 2007, Starbucks moved from the default milk being whole milk to the default milk being 2%. All these changes are about responding to customer requests. Long before there was the website MyStarbucksIdea.com (which launched in March 2008), Starbucks was known to listen to customer feedback and respond accordingly. Starbucks is definitely a company that changes and responds to customer requests!

Iced Almond Milk Latte Macchiato - 1The image shown here is an official Starbucks media image of an almond milk Latte Macchiato. The new almond milk will be one of a kind. We will have to wait and see how customers like it! (I will be trying it early at the Starbucks headquarters. I’ll keep you posted.)

Your default milk at Starbucks is still 2% milk. Any of the following milk options is a 60 cent charge:

  • Soy milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Almond milk
  • Breve
  • Heavy cream

So weigh in!

What do you think of almond milk coming to Starbucks stores?

As to the issue of nut allergens inside Starbucks stores, here’s what I heard from an official Starbucks spokesperson:

“When we launch almond milk in September, we will use the opportunity to remind customers through in-store signage, the allergen disclaimer on our menu boards and we will display a temporary statement at the point of sale during launch.

Adding almond milk to our menu doesn’t change our message to our customers which is as follows: We openly handle several allergens throughout our store, including dairy, soy, tree nuts, eggs, wheat and other allergens. While we take precautions to keep ingredients separate, we cannot guarantee that any of our beverages and foods are allergen free as we use shared equipment to store, prepare and serve them.

Because allergic reactions are an individual’s response to a food allergy, only our customers know what choice is best for them. We want to provide our customers with the information they need so that they can make an informed choice.

We include allergen information on our menu boards. We also take efforts to minimize cross contact, such as using separate labeled steaming pitchers for our milk types.  However, we cannot guarantee that any of our beverages and foods are allergen free as we use shared equipment to store, prepare and serve them.

We encourage customers to review ingredient information and make informed decisions based on their specific circumstances.  Ingredient information for most of the food and beverages offered at Starbucks is available in the United States online at http://www.starbucks.com/menu.  Ingredient information for packaged foods is also available on the package labels.”

 

 

 

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8 Comments

  • Melanie Langdon

    Any news on the nutritional value? I love this alternative but hope it’s not too sugary.

  • Melissa lunde

    I wish that the Starbucks coconut milk didn’t have added sugar. I really hope this one won’t!!!

  • Stevi Hardy

    “Created our own blend”. Crap. That means it’s going to be sugary and processed like the Coconut milk. Also, goodbye to customers with nut allergies.

  • Cd

    I have the same comment/wish/complaint as everyone above – I wish they would not add sugar/sweeteners to their dairy alternatives. Their soy drink has more sugar than the comparable Silk brand soy, I’m sure the coconut is probably the same. (Not why there needs to be *more* sugar – but helps prove the notion they sell sugar not coffee).

    I don’t drink the dairy alternatives Starbucks precisely because of the added sugar.

    When you are at the early tasting Melody, would you ask them why they don’t remove the sweeteners from their alternative dairy products and allow the sweetener to be customized like they are doing with their frappuccinos and the new test chai?

  • jenninGA

    i was excited about coconut milk until i read the container. it’s not very pure, as in coconut and water and guar gum. there’s more in there, and i think it’s to help it foam when steamed. i am going to guess the same is going to be true of the almond milk. what i really wish is that it would be unsweetened, but i doubt that will be the case.

    what ever happened to what we were told as baristas that the residue left in the steam wand after steaming a nut milk would cause problems for those with nut allergies?

  • Donna

    Hi Melody,
    I’m lactose intolerant so I always choose the soy or coconut milk options at starbucks. I too wish they both were unsweetened & unflavored ( I believe the soy is vanilla flavored and sweetened) I wonder if the added sweetener makes the alternative milks foam better. I Will be interested to see the nutritional info regarding the almond milk. And while we are on the subject of adding sweeteners I wish the Matcha powder used at Starbucks was unsweetened too

  • LaurenKom

    I am just fascinated that it’s spelled “almondmilk” – one word! “Coconutmilk” as well. Must be a legal thing.

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