Are Starbucks A Bit Coconut Shy?

Ever been let down by someone or something?

Sucks, doesn’t it?

I’ve long been of the opinion that Starbucks coffee is far from the best, but I still visit regularly due to the reliable internet and see the accompanying below par beverage as a sort of wi-fi tax.

However I was encouraged and excited to see that Starbucks were introducing coconut milk as an option with their coffees. Overall it’s another sign that the demand is there (apparently it received 84,000 votes on a website asking customers for ideas) and that big companies are being forced to listen and react accordingly.

This was it, their chance to offer a genuinely healthy option.

But they royally c*#ked it up. Coconut milk normally has just 2 ingredients…

Coconut milk, and water.

Have a snoop online and you’ll find that Starbucks rabbit on about it being creamy and delicious, creamy, from Sumatra, and single origin.

Oh, and did they mention it’s creamy?

There is, however, no actual ingredients list – which is a big old red flag.

So I emailed and tweeted them to ask…


No response as yet, but I’m an optimistic guy, maybe they took a week off or dropped their phone in the toilet..

So I did some digging around and discovered it includes the following little smorgasbord:

Water, coconut cream, cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, coconut water concentrate, natural flavors, sea salt, carrageenan, gellan gum, corn dextrin, xanthan gum, guar gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin d2.

14 ingredients. Anything missing though? Oh yeah. COCONUT MILK.

I’m being a bit facetious as this isn’t actually a huge problem in itself – mixing water with coconut cream is a great way to make coconut milk if you find yourself short, but they didn’t stop there.

Carrageenan might come from seaweed, but it has been shown to trigger an autoimmune response similar to pathogens like salmonella, high levels of inflammation and ulcers – for the full geek out on this from all round mega-dude Dr Weil click here.

Side note: this bad boy tends to crop up in a lot of cheaper health products, so keep an eye out.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, they’ve sweetened the deal with some sugar, and drastically reduced the (good) fat content as well.

So the results might taste delicious, and it’s certainly a decent alternative for those of us that don’t tolerate dairy well, but don’t kid yourself that this is doing you any good.

My advice? If you like coffee, drink it black. And if you need their wifi, buy a water.

Ian “Myth-Buster” Male

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