Friday, April 14, 2017

The New Starbucks Vegan Menu Additions: My Thoughts

Perhaps you have heard the news. Vegans have demanded more cruelty-free food products at Starbucks and the coffee shop giant took notice and appropriate action. They have done an excellent job with the vegan milk variety, with most stores offering three types of non-dairy milk options, and now they are expanding their food menu to include more vegan-friendly offerings, with a focus on a new lunch item.

There's going to be a Mediterranean inspired lunch choice that has vegetables and riced cauliflower or something like that. Very fancy schmancy stuff.

You want to know what I think? I think it is great! A swell idea indeed. Want my prediction? It'll fail like the other vegan lunches they offered, on and off, for the past few years. They are too fancy for a coffee shop.

I (as well as many other vegan people that I talk with about topics like this) would be perfectly happy with packets of nut butter to go on bagels (like they used to have), packets of vegan butter to put on bagels or bread (like they should have - they are a coffee shop after all), or a vegan scone or muffin on the menu.

Why get so sophisticated with these jazzed-up menu items when adding some baked goods, sans eggs or dairy, would do just fine? Or how about a tofu and veggie sausage sandwich on an english muffin or bagel that can be enjoyed during breakfast or lunchtime? These heavy-on-the-vinegar vegetable dishes they keep introducing are okay, but they are just, okay. Veganizing one or more of their existing menu items would not only be cost effective to Starbucks, but would also satisfy their vegan customers so much more than their souped up salads.

I appreciate any vegan offerings that any eatery can offer us, but frankly it is long over due and also I think they have the wrong impression of who most vegans are. We aren't all healthy eaters, all the time, because let's face it, if we were we wouldn't even be drinking coffee. You know what I want to see? A vegan cake pop, for crying out loud. It isn't hard, Starbucks. It'll actually be cheaper to make than your existing cake pops and more shelf stable. I can create the recipe and send it to you if you'd like. Or just take something from my vegan cookbook and call it a day, if it will make you stop with these over-the-top veggie dishes that never go past a few months in existence.

I'm just saying, obviously I say this out of love and respect; I'm a Starbucks fan and get all my beverages from there made with soy milk. I am a longtime customer, I just think we can do better here, not just for the consumers but for your business too. I doubt if these new vegan dishes will last more than a year.

Do you want to eat salad and vegetables with your coffee? I don't.

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