First world problem: Vegans want Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes too


When the fallen leaves begin to crunch under your boots, you know fall is coming. For many, it’s the best time of year. It means back to school, Halloween candy, cozy coats and the return of the coveted Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. But not if you’re a vegan.

Brent Caldwell, of Ferndale, Mich., has started a petition on He wants his Pumpkin Spice Latte, and he wants it to be vegan.

If there ever were an actual, bona fide first world food problem, this would be it.


In the petition, Caldwell asks Starbucks to please make a vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte. He explains that he and his girlfriend visit their local Starbucks up to four times a week and that many of the drinks can be made vegan, but not the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

The Starbucks website lists the latte ingredients as: “Signature espresso blended with the unmistakable spices of fall -- cinnamon, nutmeg and clove -- smooth with steamed milk, topped with delectably sweetened whipped cream and pumpkin pie spices.”

“There is currently no vegan option for this drink mix, which is a total bummer,” wrote Caldwell in bold.

A Starbucks representative confirmed Thursday that if you look at a Pumpkin Spice sauce mix container at a Starbucks, or ask a barista, you’ll find the mix contains condensed milk.

“We really welcome customer feedback like this,” said the rep, who offered a couple of vegan alternatives to the latte. “We have our VIA Pumpkin Spice coffee that does not contain dairy. We also have our Pumpkin Spice Topping that you can finish the beverage with if a customer wanted to add that hint of fall.”

The rep also pointed to a website called My Starbucks Idea, which allows people to tell Starbucks their ideas. The company has drawn from this website for numerous beverages it has added to its lineup, including skinny beverages, the Mocha Coconut Frappuccino, the Hazelnut Macchiatto and the VIA Pumpkin Spice Coffee.


Caldwell’s petition, which he ends with a smiley face, has received 2,000 signatures.

Should Starbucks make a vegan version of its popular drink? Or should vegan fans just chalk it up as a loss to their chosen diet? Tell us in the comments below.


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