The Real Reason Why Starbucks Drinks Have ‘Chocolaty,’ Not Chocolate Chips

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FDA standards dictate what can and can’t be called ‘chocolate’

Turns out ‘chocolaty’ is more than just a cutesy name.

If you’ve ever wondered why Starbucks uses ‘chocolaty’ instead of chocolate to describe its drinks (e.g. Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino), the choice is more intentional than you may think. According to Brand Eating, the Food and Drug Administration has certain standards for what can and can’t be called “chocolate,” and the chips that Starbucks uses in its beverages doesn’t quite make the cut. Such products can also be called “chocolatey,” “chocolate-flavored,” or “chocoriffic.”

“Sweet chocolate,” the category Starbucks chips would fall under, is defined as “[containing] not less than 15 percent by weight of chocolate liquor… The finished sweet chocolate contains less than 12 percent by weight of total milk solids.” In short, for something to be called “chocolate,” it has to contain a certain percentage of actual cocoa bean.

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A Starbucks representative says, “This is the best recipe for ease of melting in our Molten Chocolate handcrafted beverages and blending into Frappuccino Blended Beverages.”