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Starbucks Exploring Alternatives to Bug-Based Extract

Consumer outcry has prompted Starbucks to reconsider its use of an insect-based red food dye.


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In the midst of the media frenzy surrounding Starbucks’ use of cochineal extract—a pervasive red dye made from crushed insects—CEO Howard Schultz has announced that the coffee-shop chain is considering reformulating its Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino without the controversial ingredient. In an appearance on CBS News, Schultz explains that the company’s use of the substance represented an effort to move away from artificial ingredients. “No good deed goes undone. We tried to embrace an all-natural method for this product,” he says, adding that the company is exploring the possibility of using plant-based dyes, such as those derived from red beets or black carrots.

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