Starbucks to stop using crushed bugs in Frappuccino

Posted at 2:25 PM, Apr 19, 2012

SEATTLE (WTVR) – Starbucks officials said Thursday the company will stop using crushed up insects to color the chain’s Strawberry Frappuccino drinks.

A blogger complained about the ingredient last month and created a firestorm of complaints for the chain.

“After a thorough, yet fastidious, evaluation, I am pleased to report that we are reformulating the affected products to assure the highest quality possible,” said Starbucks CEO Cliff Burrows Thursday on the company’s blog.

The CEO said the chain expects to be transitioned to lycopene, a natural, tomato-based extract, for the strawberry sauce in the frappuccino by late June.

However, the company, and the USDA, still insist the drink is safe and that the bugs helped the chain to limit use of artificial ingredients.

The company has been using cochineal extract, which comes from ground-up cochineal bugs native to Mexico and South America.

The ingredient has been used for ages to help liven up the dull hues of jams, meats, cheese, baked goods, alcoholic drinks and more.