Starbucks, Panera tout improved pumpkin spice lattes

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks and Panera are each hyping reformulated versions of their pumpkin spice lattes to win over fans of the fall drink.

Starbucks said Monday its version will be made with real pumpkin and without caramel coloring this year. The change comes after blogger Vani Hari, known as the Food Babe, criticized Starbucks for its lack of transparency around the drink’s ingredients.

Panera meanwhile, said its new pumpkin spice latte will be made “entirely without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or high fructose corn syrup.”

Panera had planned to offer samples Tuesday in Seattle, where Starbucks is headquartered.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has called the pumpkin spice latte the company’s “most popular seasonal beverage ever.” In 2013, he said sales were as strong “despite the proliferation of knockoffs and copycats.”

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