Starbucks customer speaking with caption 'Not asking for much and she said Oh I'm sorry we're out of almond milk' (l) Starbucks inside Target with sign and Target shopping cart (c) Starbucks customer speaking with caption :there's almond milk right there' (r)

QualityHD/Shutterstock @loganconover_/TikTok (Licensed) by Caterina Cox

‘There’s almond milk right there’: Customer slams Target Starbucks for running out of almond milk

'I've had this exact thought before but with oat milk.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Apr 19, 2023

Supply chain issues in recent years have had a negative impact on the consumer experience. Many folks have hopped onto social media applications like TikTok to express their shock that their favorite menu item from a beloved fast food franchise was temporarily unavailable because the store they visited didn’t have all of the necessary ingredients on hand to make it.

It’s understandable when this occurs. Sometimes shipments are delayed, or businesses go through more of their inventory at a faster rate than they thought possible. Food is an especially tricky balancing act when it comes to ordering stock because it does expire: buy too much and you may just be throwing your money away.

But what if your business was situated right next to a massive retailer that has all of the ingredients you needed, on hand, in the event that you were running low on a product?

TikTok user Logan Conover (@loganconover_) discussed a recent trip he took to a Starbucks that was located inside of a Target. He says that he requested to purchase an iced latte with almond milk, but was informed by the barista that they didn’t have any almond milk at the moment.

Initially, Conover didn’t find a problem with this, nor did he express his disappointment to the employee. However, after receiving his drink, it dawned on him. They were in a store that was packed with a wide variety of almond milk brands. How were they “out” of almond milk? Why couldn’t they just use another kind in a pinch?

@loganconover_ This is the 2nd time this has happened @target @starbucks explain yourselves #latte #starbucks #target #almondmilk ♬ original sound – Logan Conover

“I just went to a Starbucks that was inside of a Target. The classic, OK. Asked for a good old, little iced latte with some almond milk. Not asking for much and she said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. We’re out of almond milk.'”

Conover explains that he didn’t “make a fuss” in the moment and simply took his drink with whole milk.

“But I look to my left, we’re in a Target,” he says. “There’s almond milk right there. What the fuck do you mean you don’t have almond milk?”

It isn’t like baristas haven’t purchased a ton of milk from Target stores in the past when running low on inventory. But according to some commenters on Conover’s video, the franchise apparently only wants its stores using pre-approved products, down to the type of almond milk they put in their beverages, which is apparently Califia Farms Unsweetened Barista Blend Almond milk. While Target does carry Califia Farms almond milk, it doesn’t appear that the Barista Blend is offered through the retailer, per Califia Farms’ website.

Part of the allure of fast food locations is that pretty much wherever one travels around the world, customers will be treated to more or less a uniform experience, and brand familiarity is something that matters to many people.

“At my tarbucks we’re only allowed to use certain brands but i get what u mean,” one commenter who replied to Conover’s video said.

Another wrote, “Licensed stores have to follow specific regulations that starbucks sets, and unfortunately the almond milk they use isn’t sold in stores.”

Someone else penned, “Because they have to use the starbucks almond milk to keep beverage consistency”

But it appears that it depends on who is making your beverage, as one TikToker said that there was someone who looked like they were willing to bend the rules a bit. “Once the barista told me I could pay for one from the shelves and they’d use it in my drink,” they said.

Another barista wrote, “As someone who used to work at Starbucks, I’ve literally gone to a grocery store and bought milk on the company’s time because we ran out…”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Conover via TikTok comment and Starbucks via email for further information.

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*First Published: Apr 19, 2023, 3:39 pm CDT