Ariana Grande is a vegan—but her Starbucks Cloud Macchiato isn't. What gives?

By Christopher Luu
March 12, 2019
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Fans of Ariana Grande may want to break up with her collab with Starbucks. Not because they're bored, but because the drink's not vegan. Grande, who is a professed vegan, is promoting a drink that contains dairy and egg whites, which isn't sitting well with fans or baristas. The Starbucks crew is taking issue with the fact that customers are coming in and requesting a vegan version of the Cloud Macchiatos—which simply can't be done.

The fluffy, "cloud"-like texture of the drink is created by whipping up powdered egg whites, and USA Today reports it cannot be replicated without the ingredient. If customers are opting for the caramel option, that one includes "butter, heavy cream, and dry milk." During the announcement of the drink's release, Grande suggested that fans #trythesoyversion, but that doesn't remove the egg whites.

Starbucks was clear about the ingredient from the beginning.

"To create the Cloud Macchiato, Starbucks's in-house product development team created a special recipe for Cloud powder, using egg whites a key ingredient that is added to the Cold Foam to create a fluffy texture that tastes luxurious," the company said in an announcement.

The news didn't deter customers from requesting the drink be made vegan, however. Baristas have mentioned that they've gotten customers coming in expecting the drink to have been vegan from the beginning. They're also getting tired of explaining that the drink just can't be made the way it was intended without the egg whites, because it would just be a standard caramel macchiato.

Grande hasn't commented about the drink since the controversy, though Teen Vogue mentions that during her promotion of the beverage, she's not actually seen consuming it. So, either she's not vegan anymore or she's just letting this one go. If anything, there's plenty of material for another smash song in this whole ordeal.

Advertisement