Starbucks expands plant-based ingredients and products in China

New items from Starbucks China's plant-based platform

Starbucks is joining forces with plant-based innovators in China, Beyond Meat and Oatly, to continue its strategic focus on expanding plant-based ingredients and products. Starting today, Starbucks stores across China will offer a new plant-based food and beverage menu, as well as new merchandise made from recycled content. The new plant-based platform in China marks another step towards Starbucks global aspiration to become a resource positive company, giving more than it takes from the planet.

“Starbucks is thrilled to partner with Beyond Meat to provide even more choices to consumers through innovative new plant-based offerings. Our new menu items make it easy and enjoyable to explore new lifestyles, starting from what we eat and drink. Through our new plant-based platform, we seek to inspire new routines by inviting everyone to eat good, feel good and do good. Together, we can take a small, humble step to make a better world,” said Leo Tsoi, senior vice president, chief operating officer and president, Starbucks China Retail.

As a leading innovator in the industry, Starbucks is committed to constantly reimagining its menu to offer a range of food and beverage choices for customers. The company also continues to explore creative new solutions with customers beyond its menu to create a positive impact on the environment and support their lifestyles.

Reimagining a core food menu built on plant-based ingredients

Starbucks is working with Beyond Meat as part of its entry into the Chinese mainland. Culinary experts from Starbucks used plant-based Beyond Beef™ to create three delicious new dishes inspired by modern, international favorites and designed with the palates of Chinese consumers in mind. Available in most Starbucks stores across the Chinese mainland from April 22, the new food menu includes:

  • Beyond Beef™ Pesto Pasta: Macaroni pasta tossed with a refreshing pesto sauce made from fresh basil, cheese, and pine nuts. Plant-based Beyond Beef™ provides a rich meaty flavor.
  • Beyond Beef™ Classic Lasagna: A classic Italian favorite featuring layers of plant-based Beyond Beef™, tender lasagna pasta and golden gooey cheese.
  • Beyond Beef™ Spicy & Sour Wrap: Fun tortilla wrap stuffed with juicy plant-based Beyond Beef™, smothered in American style spicy and sour sauce, together with crunchy lettuce and carrots.

“Today we mark an important milestone as Beyond Meat launches in China, advancing our goal of increasing accessibility to plant-based protein globally. Starbucks is a trusted brand with a strong market presence and deep understanding of customers in China, and we’re pleased to partner with them on our market entry. We believe the new Beyond Beef menu items deliver on our promise of enabling consumers to Eat What You Love™ while also enjoying the nutritional and environmental benefits of plant-based protein,” said Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat, Inc. Founder and CEO. “We are proud to support Starbucks in furthering their efforts around health and sustainability while offering Chinese consumers more diverse protein options.” 

Additionally, Starbucks is partnering with OmniPork to offer two more tasty dishes featuring a plant-based protein that pairs well with Asian dishes:

  • OMNIPORK® Vietnamese Style Noodle Salad: A fresh and zesty Vietnamese-style salad featuring minced plant-based protein inspired by pork, brightly-seasoned with fresh herbs and spices. Served with silver needle noodles.
  • OMNIPORK® Mushroom Sauce Grain Bowl: Hearty multi-grain rice topped with plant-based protein inspired by pork, served with a deliciously luscious mushroom and black truffle sauce.

Packaging for the new menu items is made from plant-based material which have received OK Compost HOME and INDUSTRIAL certifications, two widely recognized international standards. Products also feature a thoughtfully-designed sleeve made from recycled from milk cartons which opens up to form a meal mat, reducing the need for cleaning up. A handle is integrated into the packaging design to remove any need for secondary packaging.

Expanding non-dairy choices with oatmilk

Starbucks is also introducing oatmilk to the core beverage menu in all stores across China with Oatly. Customers at all Starbucks stores across the Chinese mainland may now customize their favorite Starbucks® beverages with oatmilk. The smooth and mellow texture of oatmilk pairs perfectly with the Starbucks signature espresso, accentuating its full-bodied taste and velvety microfoam.

In addition to the new customization choices, Starbucks has created oatmilk versions of two signature Starbucks® beverages, as well as a special limited time offer beverage. Available in all Starbucks stores across the Chinese mainland from April 22, the new beverages include:

  • Oatmilk Latte: A classic handcrafted beverage reimagined with Starbucks intense signature espresso and velvety smooth steamed oatmilk.
  • Oatmilk Matcha Latte: Featuring aromatic green notes of matcha, Starbucks signature tea beverage creates a unique yet familiar pairing with the smooth, mellow taste of oatmilk, providing a balanced lingering sweetness.
  • Berries Oatmilk Black Tea Macchiato: Available for a limited time, this seasonal beverage infuses a black tea macchiato with a fruity medley of berry flavor notes.

Starbucks has offered soymilk in China since 2007, and the introduction of oatmilk provides customers another unique way to customize their Starbucks Experience.

“It’s a significant step for the growing plant based movement that Starbucks customers in China can now enjoy their favorite beverage with Oatly,” said Toni Petersson, Global CEO of Oatly, the original oatmilk brand from Sweden. “Oatly pairs extremely well with espresso and creates a wonderfully dense and creamy foam for lattes.”

Inspiring sustainable lifestyles

Starbucks has also launched a line of stylish and creative merchandise that can be woven into customers’ everyday lifestyles. This includes tumblers and notebooks that are made with recycled coffee grounds collected from Starbucks stores. The coffee grounds are processed and mixed with polypropene to form an industrial grade material with over 30 percent recycled coffee ground content, which can potentially be used to manufacture a variety of lifestyle items. To further bring this new approach to sustainability to life in Starbucks cafes, furniture made from this material will be rolled out into stores in the near future.

Building on Starbucks global sustainability commitments

The new platform marks the latest chapter in Starbucks sustainability commitment announced earlier this year. As part of this commitment, the company announced plans to build a Coffee Innovation Park in China by 2022, which aims to become the most energy, water and waste efficient roasting operations for Starbucks around the world.

Last year, Starbucks also eliminated plastic straws from all of its stores in the Chinese mainland, saving about 200 tons of plastic waste annually. It is now accelerating the rollout of new waste sorting stations and will complete installation in over 80 percent of its stores by the end of September 2020.

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