The Trashpanda Scoop on Starbucks Holiday Drinks

Dec 14, 2021
Whether you’re a coffee drinker or not, when the festive Starbucks cups come out, it’s hard not to notice. We’re all for enjoying the sweet drinks that put you in the holiday spirit, but how much do you actually know about what goes into them? This week, we’re scanning the ingredient lists behind Starbucks Holiday drinks and letting you know what we find.
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Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino

Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino uses a variety of flavorings, syrups, and toppings to craft that delicious chocolate-mint taste. The potentially harmful ingredient that we think is worth knowing about is Sodium Benzoate; A preservative used in processed foods and drinks to extend shelf life. Commonly found in sodas, packaged lemon juice, pickled foods, jelly, salad dressing, soy sauce, and other condiments.

Caramel Brulee Creme

We’ll use the seasonal Caramel Brulee Creme to explain an ingredient that is apparent in most of the Starbucks menu, and commonly seen in beverages, Natural Flavor. We flag natural flavors because “[they] can be made with 100s of chemicals, none of which are required to be disclosed on the product label, so it can be very hard to determine what harmful ingredients lie within them, especially for people with food allergies.”

Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso

Starbucks’ Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso has taken social media (and, admittedly a few of us at Trash Panda) by storm. Don’t believe us? Just search the name in TikTok and see how it boasts 11.5M+ views.
This drink is popular as a “low-calorie” alternative to some of the other drinks on this list. While we all have different goals and priorities, Trash Panda values quality ingredients over calorie count - and believe we all benefit by reading and understanding what ingredients like Rapeseed Oil or Invert Sugar are.

Toasted White Chocolate

Lastly, we’re leaving you with a holiday favorite: Starbucks Toasted White Chocolate. While delicious, added sweeteners Glycerin and Maltodextrin may leave you feeling negative side-effects like headaches, stomach pains, or sluggishness.
Our swap? Opt for your favorite milk (Califia Farms is ours right now), this peppermint whipped topping from Whole Foods, and Starbucks’ hot chocolate mix (available on Amazon) for a warm drink that will leave you ready for the holidays.