August 12, 2013

An Ingredient Change May Move Starbucks Closer to Kosher

NEW YORK — The kosher status of Starbucks has always been a bit of a challenge with certain products being certified kosher and others not. The issue became even more complex when dealing with individual stores, ranging from the non-kosher products they served to the cleaning agents, according to a discussion on Starbucks on the website of the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc). But now Starbucks lovers can take heart as rumors persist that Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino and other products that contain cochineal extracts at Starbucks may soon be eligible for kosher status. 

Many vegans and kosher eaters have been complaining about the extract that is used for strawberry drinks that comes from insects. Starbucks is aware of consumers that are avoiding their strawberry products and are planning to use a vegan based extract lycopene. As for kosher customers of Starbucks, the Frappuccino’s that are bought in store are still to be avoided with the exception of the packaged version sold in many supermarkets that are all kosher except for the Strawberries & Crème frapp. For the moment the smoothies at Starbucks is not kosher certified. If the cochineal extracts are replaced, it will no doubt receive another look by the Orthodox Union (OU) which certifies Starbucks. 

Some critics of Starbucks say that the mega chain has not moved fast enough to accommodate the growing number of kosher consumers who would otherwise buy more products at Starbucks locations.