Starbucks launched a new “Mercato” lunch menu in 100 Chicago locations today. The menu is a step in diversifying options for patrons of varying dietary restrictions and preferences, and, according to a Starbucks representative, will focus on “meeting a variety of dietary lifestyles, including vegan, vegetarian, and high-protein.” Mercato items will feature Mediterranean-inspired sandwiches and salads, including a certified vegan Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad made with cauliflower rice, cucumber, tomato, canola oil, lemon juice, parsley, scallion, extra virgin olive oil, mint, salt, lemon zest, pepper, and will be tossed with arugula. Starbucks made inroads with its vegan customers last year after its introduction of almond milk and the development of several plant milk-based veganizable signature drinks. The coffeehouse giant also recently introduced several vegan food options—including overnight grains soaked in coconut milk and a guacamole-like avocado spread—to all locations nationwide.
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