Starbucks adds oat milk drink amid growing demand for vegan options

PETA Purchases Starbucks Stock to Make Non-Dairy Options Free PETA announced its new role as a shareholder of Starbucks Corporation on Tuesday. The animal-rights group will protest the upcharge of 80 centsfor non-dairy milk options at the company's annual meetings. "Many coffee drinkers are lactose intolerant, and PETA is intolerant of cruelty to cows, which is why charging extra for soy and nut milks is hard to swallow. PETA is heading to Starbucks’ boardroom to urge the company to end this unfair

Starbucks on Tuesday introduced a new oat milk beverage to their menu.

The Oatmilk Honey Latte is one of three new drinks the Seattle-based coffee chain added as a dairy-free option on Jan. 7.  Starbucks announced the beverage is available in select U.S. markets in the Midwest.

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Approximately 1,3000 participating stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin will serve oat milk as a cow’s milk alternative and will also serve the oat milk latte, according to a news release. Oat milk has been included on the coffee shop’s European menu since January 2018 and select Starbucks Reserve locations since March 2019.

Increased demand for more vegan alternatives to dairy has led to the change.

“Customers are looking for more ways to personalize their beverages,” product developer Raegan Powell said in the press release. “We love how the nuanced flavor you get with plant-based milks pairs with espresso, either hot or iced. It’s a new way to start your new year.”

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The Oatmilk Honey Latte is made with Starbucks Blonde Espresso infused with Honey Blend, and steamed oatmilk with a sweet and savory honey topping.

“When I think about oats and winter, it’s very natural to pair honey with oats,” Powell said. “Just think of a lightly sweetened oatmeal cookie or warm bowl of oatmeal.”

The beverage joins the permanent additions of the Almondmilk Honey Flat White and Coconutmilk Latte. Almond milk and coconut milk have been available at Starbucks stores since 2015 and 2016 respectively. The shop served its first dairy-alternative beverage, the soy latte, 15 years ago.

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Starbuck’s new vegan drink offering follows People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals buying a stock in the coffee brand in December. PETA became a Starbucks shareholder so they can protest the 80 cent upcharge for patrons to add nondairy milks to their drinks.

“Many coffee drinkers are lactose intolerant, and PETA is intolerant of cruelty to cows, which is why charging extra for soy and nut milks is hard to swallow,” said executive vice president, Tracy Reiman, in a press release. “PETA is heading to Starbucks’ boardroom to urge the company to end this unfair surcharge.”

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