Starbucks has added vegan oat milk to the menu in 1,300 locations.
The biggest coffee house chain in the world now offers dairy-free oat milk across Midwest, states including Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. It has opted for Oatly, a popular Swedish vegan oat milk brand.
Starbucks has also launched three new dairy-free drinks. The Coconutmilk Latte consists of shots of blonde espresso, steamed coconut milk, and cascara syrup. While Starbucks introduced coconut milk in 2015, the latte is now officially on the menu.
The chain has also added two more dairy-free options: Oatmilk Honey Latte and the Almondmilk Honey Flat White. The drinks—which feature shots of blonde espresso with steamed oat milk and almond milk respectively—can also be ordered without the honey syrup. The new oat milk latte is only available in locations that offer oat milk.
The chain already offers oat milk in select Starbucks Reserve stores, as well as in its European locations. In the U.S., vegan milk options include soy, coconut, and almond.
Despite acknowledging the environmental impact of dairy on its website, the coffee giant currently charges customers extra if they opt for vegan milk instead of cow’s milk in their drink.
Many have asked Starbucks to drop the surcharge; one petition now has more than 180,000 signatures. It says, “Starbucks should be encouraging customers to choose animal-friendly, vegan milk rather than cow’s milk.”
Actor Alicia Silverstone spoke out against the extra fee last year.
“[Why] should we be penalized [for] making the eco-choice,” she Tweeted. “It would be amazing for Starbucks to lead the way and consider enviro externalities associated with the dairy industry by having dairy cost + or at least = [plant milk] fees.”
According to Toni Vernelli—the head of communications at Veganuary—dropping the extra charge would encourage more people to try dairy-free milk.
He told the Independent last year, “animal farming is responsible for more than half of all food-related greenhouse gases and cows are the prime cause, with each one burping out 600 liters of methane a day. The true cost of cow’s milk is a climate catastrophe.”
He added, “[responsible businesses] should be making it as easy as possible for people to choose the planet-friendly options.”
Starbucks has not confirmed when it will roll out oat milk to the rest of its U.S. stores.