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Want to try non-dairy coffee at Starbucks?

The coffee giant is testing dairy-free foams and steams that can be served hot and iced with no additional charge to customers

Starbucks continues trials of dairy-free milk. (Photo: Y Cai, Unsplash)
Starbucks continues trials of dairy-free milk. (Photo: Y Cai, Unsplash)

Starbucks Corp. is testing milk made by alt-dairy startup Perfect Day Inc. in the Seattle area. The trial is for a limited time at two locations, Starbucks said. The milk alternative foams and steams and can be served hot and iced. There is no additional charge for customers, according to the company.

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For the coffee chain, it’s another step toward its goal of reducing the use of animal products in a bid to be more environmentally friendly. And for Perfect Day, which recently raised $350 million, the test is another opportunity to work with the coffee giant, which has also featured its ice cream. 

Starbucks is increasingly experimenting with non-dairy menu items as consumers warm to them. It’s already offering oat milk from Oatly AB in the U.S. and another plant-based milk in Chile produced by NotCo SpA.

Like cow’s milk, Perfect Day’s offering will contain whey, an allergen for some people, but unlike dairy from cows, it will be free of lactose, cholesterol and casein -- another allergenic milk protein.

Perfect Day, which has a valuation of $1.6 billion according to researcher PitchBook, uses fungi which are genetically engineered with a copy of the bovine DNA sequence responsible for making whey protein. The fungi are fed sugars to produce the proteins, which are then purified and dried to form a powder. That powder can then be mixed with other ingredients to make milk, ice cream and other foods. 

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