Consumer Feedback Causes Starbucks to End Use of Red Dye Made from Bugs

April 20, 2012 Updated Apr 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM CDT

Starbucks says it will stop using a red dye in its drinks that is derived from crushed bugs.

The company says it will swap out cochineal extract, which is made from the juice of a tiny beetle, and instead use lycopene, a tomato-based extract.

Cochineal dye is widely used in foods and cosmetics products such as lipstick, yogurt and shampoo. Starbucks had used the coloring in its strawberry flavored mixed drinks and foods like the raspberry swirl cake and red velvet whoopie pie.

The coffee chain said it made the decision to reformulate its drinks after feedback from consumers prompted a "thorough" evaluation.