Starbucks Ushers in Fall With New Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Creamer
With autumn around the corner, Starbucks is preparing for the return of its most popular seasonal drink–the Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL for short. The international coffee chain just announced that it will be bringing its pumpkin spice with a vegan twist to retailers across the US. The Pumpkin Spice Flavored Non-Dairy Creamer is made to taste just like the traditional PSL but without any dairy products. Over recent years, Starbucks has made significant strides to cater to its plant-based consumers by including dairy-free options for its drink menu and even rolling out vegan sausages on its food menu.
“Inspired by the fan-favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte, we crafted our creamer with a smooth, rich blend of almond milk and oat milk, and the delicious flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg to pair with our coffee for a perfect taste of fall,” the company describes the new dairy-free creamer.
The new Pumpkin Spice creamer joins a line-up of vegan creamers that the company released last July. The non-dairy creamer line includes Hazelnut inspired by the Hazelnut Latte and Caramel inspired by the Caramel Macchiato. The creamer lines are made with oat and almond milk and can be found at retailers nationwide.
Consumers will be able to find the Pumpkin Spice creamers alongside the other non-dairy creamers for $4.99 per 28-ounce container. To get the full PSL experience, Starbucks also debuted its Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew Concentrate. The new cold brew concentrate will allow the pumpkin spice lovers to taste fall a little early. The concentrate is available at grocery retailers for $9.99 per 32-ounce container. The cold-steeped coffee drink features the classic Starbucks coffee blend accented with cinnamon and nutmeg flavor, and only requires the addition of water.
Before the Pumpkin Spice creamer, Starbucks revealed a vegan version of the PSL in 2019 in the UK, Netherland, France, Switzerland, and Austria. The global coffee company launched a version of the PSL that could be ordered vegan. The vegan PSL became so popular in the UK that locations across the country began running out of the product by October.
Right now, the Pumpkin Spice Latte cannot be ordered vegan within the US. The foundation of the specialty drink contains dairy ingredients, making it impossible to order the drink vegan even with non-dairy milk substitutes. Starbucks' development of the Pumpkin Spice creamer will be the first time the company has made an effort to provide a plant-based alternative for the fall-time specialty drink.
Starbucks, however, introduced oat milk nationwide earlier this year. The chain rolled out Oatly’s oat milk to its national menu after its 1,300-location wide trial experienced extreme success. Following the company’s oat milk launch, stores nationwide experienced an oat milk shortage almost immediately. Now, Starbuck is pushing the diary alternative into its menu’s spotlight. The company recently introduced its Iced Brown Sugar Shaken Oatmilk Espresso which contains brown sugar, cinnamon, and Oatly’s signature dairy substitute. Oat milk –alongside coconut, almond, and soy milk – can be ordered to replace dairy milk in most of Starbucks’ specialty drinks.
While consumers anticipate the return of the PSL and even more so, a plant-based PSL, The Beet compiled a plant-based guide to the Starbucks menu. With multiple non-dairy milks on its national menu, Starbucks provides an extensive dairy-free menu. Even though its food menu features an option with Impossible Food’s plant-based sausage, the Impossible Breakfast Sandwich itself is not fully plant-based.
Last month, national coffee chain Blue Bottle announced that it would begin testing oat milk as its default milk at two locations to encourage its customers to try plant-based milk. Starbucks still adds a surcharge to its non-dairy creamers, but with more competitors incorporating plant-based milk to their menus, it is likely that Starbucks will continue its own plant-based shift, catering to its growing level of plant-based customers.