Soy milk (and milk alternatives in general) are on the rise. But not all soy milks are created equally!
Which got us wondering, what soy milk does Starbucks use? And can you buy it in-stores?
What Kind Of Soy Milk Does Starbucks Use?
Starbucks began adding plant based milks to their menus in 1997, and the first non-diary milk they introduced was soy milk. The brand of soy milk they eventually chose to use long term is made for Starbuck’s exclusive use: it cannot be purchased from major grocery stores.
This article takes a look at the type of soy milk used by the Starbucks coffeehouse chain: what it is, how it’s used, and which artisan drinks are made with it.
Who Makes Soy Milk For Starbucks?
Starbuck’s soymilk is manufactured by WhiteWave, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dallas-based Dean Foods Co., and this partnership began in 2003.
White Wave’s commitment to creatively leading the full integration of natural soy foods in the mainstream American diet through socially responsible and environmentally sustainable business practices was of interest to Starbucks.
Starbucks, themselves, had recognized the need for increased focus on becoming more health conscious and more “resource positive”. The WhiteWave’s soy milk formula was designed especially to compliment and enhance Starbuck’s signature artisan coffee menu.
In 2016, WhiteWave Foods was sold to Danone, and has since continued to supply a range of plant based milks to Starbucks, known as the Silk milk range.
Danone has maintained that it sources only domestic US soy beans and that all soy beans are organically grown and produced. They claim that all of their products are enrolled in the Non-GMO Project’s verification process.
What Other Plant Based Milks Are Used At Starbucks?
As non-dairy beverages grew in popularity, Starbucks added coconut milk in 2015, almondmilk in 2016 and then expanded to offer oat milk nationally in 2021.
The coconut milk (introduced in 2015) is the Single Origin Sumatra Coconut Milk.
The U.S. menu features a range of non-dairy drinks ranging including the very popular Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso and the Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso.
You’ll notice that when ordering drinks at Starbucks (both online and instore), you can select your milk. Customers can choose from whole regular milk, either 2% milk fat or nonfat milk, or non-dairy alternatives such as soy, coconut and almond. Most drinks can be customized this way.
The full range of plant based artisan drinks at Starbucks includes:
- Iced brown sugar oatmilk shaken espresso
- Iced chocolate almondmilk shaken espresso
- Iced toasted vanilla oatmilk shaken espresso
- Iced honey almondmilk flat white
- Pink drink – an iced strawberry and passionfruit coconut milk blend
- Dragon drink – a tropical inspired combination of sweet mango and dragonfruit flavors. This drink is shaken with creamy coconut milk, ice and a scoop of real dragonfruit
All of these plant based drinks can be customized (in terms of sugars, sweeteners, and caffeine) to suit your taste and health needs. A full ingredient and nutrition list is included with each item on the menu. The soy milk drinks contain the natural sugar that is found in soy milk.
Each drink is available in Starbucks signature range of drink sizes:
- Tall – 12 fl oz
- Grande – 16 fl oz
- Venti – 24 fl oz
- Trenta – 30 fl oz
Enjoyed this article? You may also like:
Starbucks have been officially using their own brand of soy milk since 1997. This product is manufactured for them by Danone (once WhiteWave) since 2003.
Consumers often ask how they can purchase their own Starbucks soy milk for use at home.
Although you can’t actually purchase the exact same product, it is possible to buy soy milk which is similar.
The best way to do this is to ask the barista at your local Starbucks to recommend you a soy product that’s as close as possible to the one they use instore.