With the record high summer temps in Portland this summer, I am more than ready for the cool weather of fall. Along with cozy sweaters and falling leaves, another fall staple is the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

However, last year, popular “Food Babe” blogger Vani Hari revealed that the fall favorite drink not only did not actually contain any real pumpkin in its ingredients, and it contained class IV caramel color, which she said is made with ammonia and considered a carcinogen, as well as high sugar content and several other unhealthy looking ingredients. Her post went viral and created an embarrassing PR conundrum for the major coffee retailer.

Pumpkin Spice Latte



But in a positive PR move, Starbucks  posted on its blog earlier this week that it has listened to its customers concerns and the latte would now contain real pumpkin puree and no longer include caramel coloring:

After hearing from customers and partners about ingredients, we took another look at this beverage and why we created it so many years ago. It was simple – espresso, perfectly steamed milk, warm fall spices with delicious flavor of pumpkin pie that reminds you of the cool, crisp days of autumn. So, with that great taste you know and love, the PSL returns this fall, and this time it will be made with real pumpkin and without caramel coloring.

But for now, enjoy the rest of summer and when PSL is back in stores, I look forward to celebrating the season with all of you.

Warm Regards,
Peter Dukes

Of course, you can’t make everyone happy and there are those customers complaining that they liked the Pumpkin Spice Latte just the way it was, or that the lattes still aren’t vegan, or that they are still far from healthy, but I am happy to see Starbucks respond in a positive manner in the wake of other big name food brands, such as Kraft Mac & Cheese and General Mills cereals, changing the ingredients in their food to remove artificial flavors and colors.

It seems like many Starbucks customers are satisfied now too, and their biggest question is now, “When will it be available?”