According to CNN, Starbucks said that it is phasing out the use of an insect called cochineal as food coloring in its drink and food products.
The company should be fully transitioned from the existing product inventories by the end of June, according to the Starbucks President Cliff Burrows.
Burrows wrote in a Thursday blog, that Starbucks “fell short of your expectations by using natural cochineal extract as a colorant in four food and two beverage offerings in the United States.”
Burrows identified the two beverage drinks as the Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino and the Strawberry Banana Smoothie. The four food items were the Raspberry Swirl Cake, the Birthday Cake Pop, the Mini Donut with pink icing and the Red Velvet Whoopie Pie.
After the products with the insect dye are fully transitioned out, Starbucks will use lypocene, a tomato-based extract.
The decision to move away from cochineal extract stems from numerous petitions and individual requests from customers, according to Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson.
Change.org, an organization where people can sign petitions to help fight injustices around the world, contacted CNNMoney to claim partial responsibility for pressuring Starbucks to end its use of cochineal. The organization had a petition with 6,000 signatures gathered by blogger Daelyn Fortney, who said the purpose was to switch to a “vegan-friendly” extract.