Starbucks is raising the white flag of surrender on the bug juice front. After getting flack from riled up vegan patrons and members of PETA for using Cochineal extract—aka beetles— to dye their Frappuccinos pink, they were quick to respond.
After a thorough, yet fastidious, evaluation, I am pleased to report that we are reformulating the affected products to assure the highest quality possible. Our expectation is to be fully transitioned to lycopene, a natural, tomato-based extract, in the strawberry sauce (base) used in our Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino® blended beverage and Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Likewise, we are transitioning away from the use of cochineal extract in our food offerings which currently contain it (Raspberry Swirl Cake, Birthday Cake Pop, Mini Donut with pink icing, and Red Velvet Whoopie Pie).
PETA has called Starbucks a "corporation with a conscience" for agreeing to keep the drinks 100% vegan. So everything is settled and now we know that PETA is actually more like Paulie from The Sopranos than we realized.