Starbucks UK ditches dairy-free alt-milk surcharge

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

Starbucks is ditching its surcharge for alt-milk substitution in the UK. From this month, the coffee chain will remove the surcharge in all of its 1020 UK stores.

Customers in other countries, however, will still have to pay extra if they want to go dairy-free – for now, at least.

Starbucks UK currently offers five dairy-free options: almond, coconut, oat, soy, and its own Nut Blend made from a blend of rice milk, hazelnuts, and cashews. The alt-milks previously cost an extra 54 cents (US) for each milk replacement, except for soy milk which has always been free.

“With customisation at Starbucks core, this latest menu change will provide increased personalisation options and make it even easier for customers to choose whichever dairy alternative or milk they prefer, all year round,” said the company in a press release.

While the coffee chain did not directly disclose or clarify the reasons behind the decision to eliminate dairy-free milk surcharges, it comes just weeks after nonprofit organisation Switch4Good’s campaign went viral, which called out the company for charging its customers extra.

As part of expanding its plant-based offer, the company adds an alt-tuna sandwich to its UK menu, its first plant-based fish. It’s also adding three new oat milk-based lattes: strawberry and vanilla, dark cocoa and orange, and honey and hazelnut.

“Our first plant-based fish alternative pairs succulent The Vegetarian Butcher plant-based tuna alternative style flakes with sharp red onion, refreshing cucumber, rocket and vegan mayonnaise,” said the chain.

Starbucks added that its efforts to transition to a more environmentally-friendly menu forms part of ‘a wider ambition to become a resource-positive company’.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.

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