Is Starbucks Losing Money By Charging Extra For Vegan Milk? The shareholder seeks accounting


For immediate release:
September 19, 2022

Robin Goist 202-483-7382

Seattle – In its first-ever Starbucks shareholder resolution, PETA asks the board to commission a report examining whether the company is actually losing sales — while damaging its image and brand image as a company environmentally conscious – by charging a higher price for vegan milk agree, it’s better for the planet.

“The vegan milk supplement supports the dairy industry, which produces greenhouse gases while ripping calves from their mothers’ udders so the company can sell the milk produced to feed them,” said the vice-president. PETA Executive Chairman Tracy Reiman. “PETA is asking Starbucks to account for the true cost to its business of alienating customers who cannot digest cow’s milk for ethical, religious, environmental, or dietary reasons.”

PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to be eaten or otherwise abused” and which opposes speciesism, a human supremacist worldview — submitted its resolution to the name of a member who is a shareholder of Starbucks. For more information on PETA’s information gathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, FacebookWhere instagram.

The full text of PETA’s resolution is below.


In light of growing public concern about the environmental impact of the dairy industry, the growing prevalence of cow’s milk allergies and the growing demand for alternatives to cow’s milk, the council is urged to commission a report examining any costs to Starbucks reputation and any impact on its sales forecast due to its continued push on plant-based milk. The report should address the risks and opportunities presented by changing public opinion regarding dairy versus non-dairy options, including, but not limited to, the issues noted above. Given the urgency of the matter, the board is expected to summarize and present its findings to shareholders by the end of the third quarter of the current fiscal year. The report should be written at a reasonable cost and omit confidential information.


While Starbucks prides itself on innovation, inspiration, and a purpose that “goes beyond profit,” our company has failed to achieve its own environmental and “people-positive” aspirations by continuing to imposing a surtax on non-dairy milk.

Per capita fluid milk consumption in the United States has declined every decade since the 1970s, and this downward trend is expected to continue. In contrast, the market for non-dairy milk, including oat, coconut, soy and almond milks, is expected to grow from over $25 billion in 2022 to over $61 billion in by 2029. Three major factors are driving the demand for non-dairy milk: taste, lactose intolerance and environmental concerns.

Research shows that 82% of people who consume plant milk do so because they prefer the taste.

While many people prefer non-dairy milk to cow’s milk, other people do not tolerate cow’s milk at all: 95% of Asians, 80-100% of Native Americans, 60-80% of Blacks and 50- 80% of Latinx populations suffer from lactose intolerance. Non-whites currently make up nearly 40% of the U.S. population, and this segment is growing, meaning that increasing numbers of Americans may be hesitant to visit Starbucks or order beverages containing milk because of our current supplement on non-dairy milk.

About 56% of respondents who choose non-dairy milk do so because of environmental concerns. Starbucks has publicly disclosed that dairy milk is the largest contributor to our company’s carbon footprint and the second largest contributor to water consumption. Cattle, including dairy cows, account for around 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture; vegetable milks emit less than a third of CO2 emissions. It takes 144 gallons of water to produce just 1 gallon of cow’s milk; non-dairy milks require up to 90% less water.

Starbucks is committed to increasing plant-based options to invest in an eco-friendly menu. It is reasonable for shareholders to request an analysis of the potential costs to our society of the current non-dairy milk surcharge with respect to public relations and lost sales. Accordingly, we urge all shareholders to support this resolution.


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