Starbucks, Panera Update Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe  

(Photo: iStock)

It’s as synonymous with the fall season as football; crisp, chilly evenings; and leaves changing colors. Just hearing the words “pumpkin spice latte” puts us in an autumn state of mind.

As authentic as the warm and rich cup of caffeine may seem, though, surprisingly the two companies most known for the drink – Starbucks and Panera – don’t actually use natural ingredients… Until now.

Starbucks Corp. said Monday with a clever posting on Twitter that it’s reformulating the latte to include real pumpkin, while abandoning the caramel coloring. According to the Associated Press, the coffee concoction change comes after a blogger known as the Food Babe, blamed Starbucks last year for not having transparency around the artificial ingredients. The Twitter account, which is devoted entirely to the PSL, as the company calls it, has more than 82,000 followers.

Meanwhile, Panera Bread Company will release its pumpkin spice latte 2.0 on September 9, citing it will be made “entirely without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or high fructose corn syrup” as well as with real pumpkin.


Panera has upped the ante in the battle of the brands by offering free samples of the drink on Tuesday in Seattle…the birthplace of Starbucks…right across the street from the original Pike Place market location.

It seems to us that a major competition is brewing (pun intended) between these two companies, and we say bring it on! With two yummy and now healthy pumpkin spice lattes to choose from, that just means we get to enjoy the taste of autumn twice as often!