Today is a massive day in the vegan world. It is the first day that Starbucks is serving coconut milk in their shops all across the United States!
The People Have Spoken!
In recent years, Starbucks was inundated with requests to offer non-dairy options beyond soy. Starbucks has a website called MyStarbucksIdea.com where customers can submit suggestions. And according to Starbucks, “providing a non-dairy alternative to dairy and soy is the second most requested customer idea of all time,” with more than 84,000 submissions. After much research and development to find the perfect creamy option and a very successful trial in 2014, Starbucks has committed to bringing coconut milk to the menu.
Amidst the celebrations of animal lovers and health enthusiasts alike, we are taking some time to study the progress that Starbucks has made over the years in incorporating more vegan options. We want to see how and why these changes happened! As a result, we know we can help replicate similar progress in other companies. Let’s first look back to the Starbucks of yesterday.
Your Voice Can Be The Change!
Not too many years ago, Starbucks didn’t offer any non-dairy milk options and had no intentions to bring them to the menu. In the book The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, author Thomas L. Friedman discussed a meeting he had with Howard Schultz. The founder and CEO of Starbucks shared some interesting findings of the introduction of non-dairy milk into Starbucks stores:
Starbucks never thought of offering soy milk, Schultz told me, until store managers started getting bombarded with demands for it from customers, to the point where they were going to the grocery store across the street in the middle of the day to buy cartons of soy milk. Starbucks learned from its customers, and today  some 8 percent of all drinks that Starbucks sells include soy milk.
We need to learn from this valuable lesson—that your voice matters. Companies that may not make changes on their own are much more likely to do so if they hear from their customers and they know the demand is strong.
Here at World of Vegan™, we urge you to not only celebrate this exciting news but also let it inspire you to write to your favorite (and not-so-favorite) companies asking for more vegan options. Your letter might change the course of the world.