Starbucks New Frappuccino Formula Causes Confusion, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Issues Get Clarified


Starbucks Frappaccino offers dairy-free / vegan optionA couple of weeks ago when I posted about the new frappaccino base at Starbucks that allows dairy-free and vegan consumers to partake in the frozen caffeine goodness, some confusion ensued. It seems the new formula may contain gluten, and some were wondering why the light frappaccino base isn’t classified as dairy-free while the regular version is.

Thanks to Kim at Gluten-Free is Life and her inquiry to Starbucks, we now have some answers. According to Starbucks’ customer relations:

“None of our Frappuccino bases contain dairy as an ingredient. However, the Light Frappuccino Syrup base contains a milk allergen warning on the label because dairy is used as a processing aid during manufacturing. There are no dairy proteins in the Light Frappuccino Syrup base. There is gluten in the Coffee Light Frappuccino Syrup base. There is no gluten in the Coffee Frappuccino Syrup base and the Crème Frappuccino Syrup base.”

So it seems the light and regular bases are being made with different formulas (one with gluten, one without) and on different equipment (one with shared dairy lines, one without). But remember, the bonus carramel drizzle and whip cream do contain dairy, so pass on these extras to keep the beverage non-dairy and vegan. Thanks again to Kim and to Starbucks for this clarification.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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