International coffee giant Starbucks has announced it will begin selling almond milk in its US stores. In an internal release sent to stores last week, the company revealed plans to roll out the non-dairy milk, one of its “most-requested ideas of all time,” to 4,600 US stores, with the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, New York, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions getting the first shipments ahead of a nationwide expansion by the end of September. According to a statement released after VegNews broke the story, the “Starbucks Almondmilk” blend will be unflavored, contain three grams of sugar per eight-ounce serving, will contain real almond butter to add body and flavor, and can be used in any handcrafted beverage for an additional 60 cents. Currently, Starbucks’ vegan milk options are limited to organic vanilla soy and single origin Sumatran coconut milk, the latter of which was introduced in early 2015. Allergen concerns have, until now, kept the popular nut milk from being added to the company’s non-dairy lineup, but detailed plans and training to prevent cross-contamination will be implemented amongst all store locations. According to the release, the fall quarter will also see Starbucks adding zero-calorie stevia sweetener to its stores. Last month, Starbucks made plant-based news by unveiling its first (decidedly un-vegan) beverage made default with non-dairy milk. Now with current developments, the company will become one of the largest sellers of almond milk beverages in the nation, a wise choice by the global coffee purveyor, as recent reports indicate that sales of almond milk are up a whopping 250 percent, while dairy milk prices have fallen by $1 billion.
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