Sunday, May 23, 2010

Starbucks: Their Latest Gluten Free Options!

One of the great things about Starbucks, is that whenever you have a question about the gluten free status of one of their drinks, you can just dial 1-800-235-2883, speak to a representative and find out if the drink is gluten free.  It's extremely easy and convenient!

The other good news is that many of their drinks are gluten free.  However, recently Starbucks decided to change one of their products.  The new Coffee Light Frappuccino Syrup base contains gluten.  Thankfully, the regular Coffee Frappuccino Syrup base and the Creme Frappuccino Syrup base still do not contain gluten.  So, when ordering a Frappuccino now remember there is a heightened risk of cross-contaminationStarbucks protocol instructs that baristas wash blenders between drink orders but you may also want to notify your barista about your allergy and the importance of this crucial step when making your drink!

As far as the gluten free food options at Starbucks, there are a few choices.  Starbucks was the first and only mainstream coffee shop to offer a gluten free pastry option with their Aztec Ancho Chile Brownie introduced into the NY market in April 2007 and then this was followed by the Orange Valencia Cake introduced nationally in May 2009.  Unfortunately, both items were discontinued shortly after their introduction.  

Although, we no longer can look forward to a delicious pastry at Starbucks as everyone who does not follow a restricted diet can, we still have some new snack options.  The following items are now offered at Starbucks for those on gluten free diets and are all 220 calories or less:

*Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips = $1.50

*Lucy's Cookies (Chocolate Chip, Sugar, and Cinnamon) = $1.50 (Grab & Go Packs) and $5.95 (Box)

*Kind Bars (Mango Macadamia, Almond Cashew, Fruit & Nut Delight, Cranberry & Almond)  = $1.95

*Peeled Snacks (Organic Much-Ado-About-Mango, Apple-2-The-Core, Cherry-Go-Round) = $2.00

*Stretch Island Fruit Company (Harvest Grape, Autumn Apple, Summer Strawberry) = $0.75

*Two Moms In The Raw (only the blueberry and gojiberry flavors that are labeled gluten free) = $3.95

Hopefully, Starbucks will soon reconsider offering gluten free pastry options, but until then we have some healthy snacks to munch on.


  1. That has not been my experience. I could not get ANY allergen in the store or online and then I sent three emails to Starbucks about whether they have gluten products in their regular fraps or are they still without that....cause I know the Lite Fraps have gluten now, and all I got from that was their disclaimer that they can't guarantee gluten free in anything except some items on the shelves. Then, I called the number you speak of and the guy on the other line told me "I don't know what gluten is"...and asked..."Are you a vegetarian." I am ready to boycott the store and encourage friends and family to do it of the biggest things you need as a person with dietary needs is information. Knowledge is power. Apparently Starbucks wants to deprive me of my power to make a decision in their store. I'll take me and mine with me...thank you very much!!!!

  2. I'm sorry to hear about your poor experience with Starbucks. I do know that they never give out their allergen information via email but, in my own experience, I've never had a problem obtaining it from them via their number.

    From what the people I have spoken to have told me, they have a list with all of the items in front of them and the allergens they contain. This list does include gluten.

    If you do decide to call Starbucks again and encounter someone who is not aware of what gluten is or does not have access to this list, perhaps, ask them if you can speak with their management so you can voice your concerns.

    And you're right information is power, and there is no excuse for them not to be able to provide you with this information.

  3. Well....maybe I'll try that. I love the Chai Tea Frap but it is really frustrating to have to work so hard to re-verify something. I personally believe they should have ALL allergen information posted (with their disclaimer - due to cross contamination) on their website or in the store. I LOVE going to places that care enough to want me to have the information....such as Panera the other day...three people in the store got out the nutritional book - huge 3-ring binder and they helped me look up a soup. I love these guys and they are not certified gluten free either but they give all the info. they can about their product and easily. I am a loyal customer as is my family and friends. I think companies do not realize how many customers they lose because of one person with celiac. I used to go out with friends to Applebee's - 20 people every Friday night before I found out I couldn't have gluten....and now my group never goes there anymore. They have lost 20 people every Friday night. That's a lot of business.

  4. Currently, Starbucks doesn't seem to offer many gluten-free choices. I assume that the Marshmallow Dream Bar is gluten free, as well as their packages of fruit twists and popcorn. But it's really dissapointing to me that they haven't made the effort to label their products as containing wheat or not. It would be nice to know what treats in the store's case have been made with wheat ingredients. They lose a lot of business from their lack of support towards people that struggle with allergies, etc. I hope that they make the change soon!

    1. Unfortunately, the Marshmallow Dream Bar contains Barley Malt. I also assumed it was gluten-free until I experiences the second reaction, then I bothered to go online and check - barley malt. That explains it! There is nothing edible in their baked goods section, so I just opt for the fruit cup or a banana :-)

  5. I just checked their website and you can use their nutrition page to find the gluten free drinks/food. Look to the lower left side. Happy eating/drinking! :]

  6. Megh - I was so excited, but then I saw they only filter by "wheat". Don't forget about the Barley. Malt, which is used in TONS of flavorings is made with barley. Also gives caramel coloring and flavor. I wouldn't trust just their "wheat" search to exclude any GF foods... :(

  7. go at a time when there is no line, and ask your barrista to read the label for you (or to you ... most of my co-workers have no idea what I'm talking about when I tell them that I can't eat something). It may take several visits to check things, as we do not keep the wrapping for anything that is soled to you unwrapped (the entire pastry case). DO NOT DO THIS WHEN THERE IS A LINE. Your barrista wants to help you, but not at the expense of everyone behind you :)

    the Marshmallow Dream Bar contains Barley. (I checked this one today while at work)

    GF and a new Starbucks employee