Starbucks is bringing customers its first new holiday beverage in five years – Starbucks® Chestnut Praline Latte, a blend of fresh espresso and flavors of caramelized chestnuts, with freshly steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and spiced praline crumbs.
In the fall of 2012, Starbucks Global Beverage Innovation team began to explore new flavors for holiday beverages. Amy Dilger, a research and development manager who has developed new Starbucks foods and beverages for more than 15 years, shares how Chestnut Praline Latte came to life.
“I am a pastry chef by training, and I was inspired by my time working at restaurants and hotels in Europe and experiencing what European Christmas markets had to offer," Dilger said.
Picturing narrow cobblestone streets, wooden stalls, the sweet aroma of roasted chestnuts in the air, Dilger saw an opportunity to bring a taste of Europe to Starbucks lineup of holiday espresso beverages, and add a new trend-forward flavor to U.S. markets.
“The rich, earthy, sweet, roastiness of chestnut is a perfect foil to espresso. Then we balanced the nutty chestnut flavor with brown sugar and spice,” Dilger said. “It’s a quintessential flavor of the holiday season.”
Dilger and the beverage team brought their product to the sensory department, where it received one of the highest product guidance scores a new beverage has ever received. By fall of 2013, Starbucks tested the beverage to an enthusiastic response in a handful of markets in the United States.
“There aren’t many chestnut beverages currently in the marketplace,” Dilger said. “It’s exciting to be able to share something new.”
Starbucks® Chestnut Praline Latte will be available during the holiday season in U.S. and Canada.