Word that the Seattle-based coffee giant no longer will use crushed red bugs to color its flavored offerings–and even that it used them in the first place–has inspired the world’s news media.
“Beetle mania gets results: Starbucks de-bugs Frapps,” USA Today declared. “Starbucks wants to stop bugging you,” read the headline on the website of the York (Pa.) Daily Record over a brief item that referred to “Starbugs, er Starbucks.” Down South, a headline at the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer proclaimed, “The Starbucks ‘secret’ menu.”
North of the the border, the Montreal Gazette ran with this headline: “Starbucks exterminates its bugs.” The Calgary Herald reported, “Starbucks de-bugs drink dye.” Just up Puget Sound, the Victoria Times Colonist went with, “No more bugs for frap fans.”
Down Under readers saw “Starbucks works bugs out of its system” in the Sydney Morning Herald.
From the standpoint of Starbucks, even the pun-free headlines weren’t much better. “Starbucks getting rid of bug extract” or “Starbucks to stop used ‘crushed bug’ dye” were pretty common–and disgusting. Perhaps hoping to gross out readers a little bit less, a few media outlets used “beetles” instead of bugs, like “Starbucks Puts Dead Beetles in Frappucinos” over a Miami New Times blog post and, in a suburban Chicago paper, “Meet the beetles–in your frappuccino.” The Washington Post came up with this: “Starbucks to stop using dried insects to color Frappuccinos.”
I imagine that at the Starbucks world headquarters along 1st Avenue S in Seattle, there is still a lot of red–on faces.