Cochineals, used for red colorings in a number of food products: image via wikipedia.org
Just as I was introduced to Starbucks coffee-free Strawberries and Creme Frappachino, I learn that its lovely ballet pink color is not from the mix of deep ripe strawberries and luscious thick cream. Darn that I had to find out that a cactus feeding bug found in Central and South America is the mother of the color in Starbuck's pink drinks and desserts. Yum. Chopped cochineals.
Although Starbucks announced its use of cochineal extract in nearly a month ago - in Strawberries and Crème Frappuccino, Strawberry Smoothies, and three food items –
the Birthday Cake Pop, Mini Donut with pink icing, and Red Velvet Whoopie Pie - Starbucks announced just today that it would 'phase out' use of the buggy red dye and start using lycopene, a tomato-based extract, to tint offerings from strawberry banana
smoothies to miniature donuts.
Starbucks Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino"Our intention is to be fully transitioned from existing product inventories to
revised food and beverage offerings near the end of June across the U.S.," wrote Cliff Burrows, the company's U.S. president.
In the meantime, if you go to your local Starbucks, you'll find that certain items are on sale!
sources: Market Watch, Starbucks blog, Wikipedia