Vegan Frappuccinos? Seriously?

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The word "Frappuccino" might call to mind a creamy, sweet and icy drink that can cost $5 or more, but now Starbucks is making a vegan version that's less indulgent than its original trademarked treat.

The dairy-free Frappuccinos may seem counter to the definition for “frappe,” which is commonly understood to mean a milkshake made with ice cream, but the coffee giant sees a market for these drinks. After all, soy-based products are frequently touted for their health benefits and have become wildly popular in some parts of the U.S.

In fact, Starbucks (Stock Quote: SBUX) has already been serving the vegan Frappuccinos in certain Los Angeles locations to see how they’d be received by consumers and the company expects to serve them nationwide in early May, according to The Consumerist.

There is one considerable downside to the vegan drinks, however, leading some coffee drinkers to wonder whether they’re actually Frappuccinos at all. Among traditional Frappuccino ingredients, the caramel sauce that Starbucks uses is not vegan and its whipped cream is not vegan. Only the caramel-flavored syrup is, according to a letter from a Starbucks manager to quarrygirl.com, a vegan blog.

But without the whipped cream and other indulgent toppings, why bother, especially when it’s cheaper to just get an iced coffee or iced espresso with soy milk and a shot of flavored syrup if you must? Because you can dole out more cash to have your ice blended into your soy milk in a separate pink blender to make a statement for animal rights.

 

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