Woman holding starbucks drink caption 'Starbucks basically rebranding whipped cream by simply calling it 'cold foam' is absolutely genius. Whipped cream sounds like a gluttonous treat I rarely deserve and a weird choice for 9am while cold foam sounds like sophisticated choice for my daily coffee and great way to start my day. And this is coming from an almond milk girl!!' (l) Starbucks cold foam iced espresso on counter (r)

PUMM AMORNRAT/Shutterstock @corbettforyou/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Marketing is so powerful’: Starbucks accused of repurposing product in viral TikTok

But there's a key difference.


Melina Khan


Posted on May 31, 2022

A TikToker has sparked a debate about whether Starbucks’ cold foam drink topping is unique to the coffee chain after calling it “rebranded whipped cream.”

In a May 10 video, user Corbett (@corbettforyou) suggests in a text overlay that Starbucks created the cold foam product by giving whipped cream a new name, effectively repurposing an existing product. She calls it “absolutely genius” and says that “marketing is so powerful.”

“Whipped cream seems like a gluttonous treat I rarely deserve and a weird treat for 9am while cold foam sounds like a sophisticated choice for my daily coffee and a great way to start my day,” Corbett wrote.


Starting my day with ELEGANCE and CLASS

♬ Boogie woogie poo – 🍃scoobie🍃

With more than 857,000 views by May 31, the video prompted debate from commenters about the distinction between whipped cream and cold foam.

One user, who identified themselves as a Starbucks barista, said the two drink toppings are “literally the same thing.”

Another user disagreed, saying that “the textures are completely different it’s not the same lol.”

However, despite similar uses of both as coffee toppings, cold foam and whipped cream are different in their ingredients.

Cold foam, which was introduced in Starbucks stores nationwide in 2018, is made with nonfat milk, according to a Starbucks press release. The product is made by “blending nonfat milk until it is smooth, creating layers of creamy texture and flavor without the cream,” the release states.

Whipped cream, on the other hand, is made with heavy whipping cream.

Some commenters compared the alleged reinvention to other glamorized foods like products called “avocado spread” rather than guacamole. One user called it “the mayonnaise to aioli method.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Corbett via TikTok comment and Instagram direct message and to Starbucks via email for comment.

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*First Published: May 31, 2022, 4:08 pm CDT