Starbucks’ First-ever Vegan Holiday Drink Is Inspired By Sugar Cookies

Image Source: Starbucks

Starting this week, Starbucks will launch its new seasonal menu featuring its first-ever vegan holiday beverage, an Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte. Inspired by “spritzen” cookies, a German holiday sugar cookie, this new vegan beverage that can be ordered iced or hot is made with a sugar cookie-flavored syrup combined with Starbucks Blonde Espresso, almond milk, and topped with red and green cookie sprinkle.

“Starbucks customers continue to look for new ways to enjoy plant-based options and customize their Starbucks Experience, and we are delighted to introduce the new holiday menu featuring our first non-dairy, holiday coffee beverage,”

Source inside the cppany statement

Marinan said in a statement.:

The beverage was dDeveloped to invoke a holiday baking memories, it was created by Erin Marinan from Starbucks R&D and Starbucks employee Sara Bennett. “Almond is used quite a bit in baking. The almond flavor from the almond milk makes for a natural pairing with the nutty notes in Starbucks Blonde Espresso,” 

“We also wanted to harness the buttery and vanilla notes of the cookie, which you can pick up in the aroma from that first sip from the sugar cookie flavored syrup and sprinkles. It reminds me of making cookies with my mom and sisters growing up. It gives me all the nostalgic feels of the holiday.”

The holiday drink does not require any modification to be ordered vegan but Starbucks does not label it as such due to potential cross-contamination concerns. The Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte is available while supplies last alongside returning holiday drinks, including an early launch of the Irish Cream Cold Brew which can be ordered vegan with plant-based milk. Starbucks is also serving its holiday drinks in four gifting-inspired cup designs: wrapping paper, candy canes, holiday lights, and ribbon. 

In the United States, Starbucks’ is by far the most anticipated holiday beverage, last time the Apple Crisp Macchiato was made with a combination of milk, brewed espresso, apple brown sugar syrup, and came topped with a spiced apple drizzle. The deep apple flavor of the beverage came from apple purée and ordering it vegan involved a simple swap of the dairy milk for any of Starbucks’ four vegan milk options (oat, almond, soy, or coconut).

Starbucks wants to become a resource-positive company by 2030 by implementing numerous new measures, including plant-based menu updates, across its global operations to get there. 

In addition to its first vegan holiday beverage, Starbucks is testing out a few fully plant-based items all around the US. Last year, Starbucks tested the Plant-Powered Breakfast Sandwich, Plant-Powered Potato Bake bites, and Chickpea bites, at one Issaquah, WA location where it also tested Miyoko’s Creamery’s vegan cream cheese. The Plant-Powered Breakfast Sandwich—made with meatless sausage, dairy-free cheese, and mung bean-based eggs—landed at Dallas area locations in January, but Starbucks has yet to expand the vegan sandwich to its national menu. The chain also began testing vegan whipped cream—made from a lentil base—at two Seattle locations in September. 

“Building on Starbucks’ sustainability commitment, the company’s goal is to expand plant-based choices as an environmentally friendly menu contributes to our goal to be a resource positive company,”

 “We continue to innovate with plant-based ingredients across key platforms like espresso, cold brew, refreshment, food, and more as we aim to provide our customers a variety of choices as part of their Starbucks experience.”

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