Newest ingredient for Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes: real pumpkin

A fall favorite is about to get more real.

Starbucks Corp. said Monday that its popular pumpkin spice latte will now be made with real pumpkin and without caramel coloring.

In a blog post, Peter Dukes, director of espresso for the company's Americas region and creator of the pumpkin spice latte, attributed the change to customer and employee feedback. The post also lists the drink's new ingredients.

Last year, Vani Hari, who blogs as Food Babe, criticized the drink's ingredients and what she called the company's lack of transparency about the issue.

The Seattle-based coffee company is just one of a number of eateries that have pledged to remove artificial ingredients. Nestle and sandwich chain Panera Bread have said they would cut synthetic ingredients, citing consumers' preference for fresher fare and healthier options.

Starbucks’ announcement may have set off a battle of the pumpkin spice lattes: On Tuesday, Panera announced that it would release a "clean" pumpkin spice latte without any artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives.

In a statement, Panera Head Chef Dan Kish said the company's drink has "long been made with real pumpkin and without artificial caramel color" and that this move will take "'real' a step further."

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