Starbucks Blends Dairy-Free & Vegan Frappuccinos, but Don’t Go Light on Your Order


A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the new frappuccino base at Starbucks that allows dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan consumers to partake in the frozen caffeine goodness. Quarry Girl shared the following specifics that she received from a Starbuck’s manager about their frappuccinos.

The old method to make the frappuccinos used a base that contained dairy, but the new way you basically add a thickening syrup to base of milk/ flavour syrups/ coffee depending on the drink, so as long as the drink is made with soy it’s vegan. The coffee and creme frappuccino bases are vegan, however, the light one is not— and all the other inclusions and toppings are vegan except for whip and caramel drizzle

Starbucks Frappuccinos - dairy-free and vegan versions

Starbucks Blends Vegan Frappuccinos, but Don’t Go Light on Your Order

But this initial transition caused some confusion. It seems the new formula may contain gluten, and some were wondering why the light frappuccino 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 caramel drizzle and whip cream do contain dairy, so pass on these extras to keep the beverage non-dairy and vegan. Thanks to Starbucks for this clarification.

For more details on dairy-free and vegan options at Starbucks, see our Starbucks Dairy-Free Guide.

Starbucks Dairy-Free Guide to Food, Drinks, and Custom Orders

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food 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, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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