Starbucks will cease using cochineal extract –a dye derived from crushed insects — to color select beverages and baked goods, according to a company blog post Thursday.
The company came under fire late last month when news that it was using the surprising ingredient lit up the Internet.
“As our customers you expect and deserve better — and we promise to do better,” Starbucks U.S. President Cliff Burrows wrote in the post. “After a thorough, yet fastidious, evaluation, I am pleased to report that we are reformulating the affected products to assure the highest quality possible.”
Lycopene will serve as the chain’s new red dye, and Burrows said he expects the changes to be in place nationwide by the end of June.
The Seattle-based coffee giant which is the nation’s third-largest restaurant chain, was using the bug to color its Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino, the strawberry banana smoothie, raspberry swirl cake, birthday cake pop, red velvet whoopie pie, and mini donut with pink icing.