Why did Starbucks stop selling cinnamon dolce syrup?

Starbucks made the difficult decision to stop selling its beloved Cinnamon Dolce flavored syrup in stores worldwide in June 2022. This decision shocked many loyal Starbucks customers who had come to rely on the sweet, cinnamon-sugar flavored syrup to customize their drinks. In this in-depth article, we will explore the reasons behind Starbucks’ choice to axe Cinnamon Dolce syrup, examine the public’s reaction and frustrations, and consider what the future may hold regarding the potential return of this popular syrup.

The History of Cinnamon Dolce at Starbucks

Cinnamon Dolce syrup first appeared on the Starbucks menu over a decade ago in 2008. The syrup quickly became a fan favorite additive to coffee, espresso drinks, and Frappuccinos. With its snickerdoodle-like flavor, Cinnamon Dolce offered a warm, comforting taste of cinnamon and brown sugar. Customers loved using it to customize lattes, mochas, and other beverages.

For years, Cinnamon Dolce remained a staple Starbucks syrup option. In many locations, it could be found proudly displayed alongside other flavored syrups like vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut. Baristas frequently recommended it to customers seeking a sweet, cinnamon-accented flavor. It developed an enthusiastic cult following amongst Starbucks aficionados.

Many customers never imagined Cinnamon Dolce would disappear from stores. But in June 2022, Starbucks shocked fans by announcing it would no longer carry the beloved syrup. Immediately, confusion and dismay spread throughout the Starbucks community. Why would they get rid of such a popular, long-standing menu item?

Why Did Starbucks Discontinue Cinnamon Dolce Syrup?

In June 2022, Starbucks stated they were officially removing Cinnamon Dolce from their list of syrup offerings in order to “simplify” their menu. With the supply chain struggling during COVID-19, Starbucks aimed to streamline offerings focusing on ingredients that were less susceptible to shortages. While disappointing to fans, this rationale did make some logical sense considering the pandemic’s impact on supply availability.

Starbucks also suggested the removal of Cinnamon Dolce would help stores focus on highlighted seasonal flavors and new innovations coming down the pipeline. With limited space to store syrups and manage inventory, nixing Cinnamon Dolce allowed room for these limited-time exclusives.

On employee Reddit forums, some Starbucks baristas proposed another reason for axing Cinnamon Dolce – low sales. According to these anonymous sources, Cinnamon Dolce was one of the least popular syrups ordered, trailing far behind Vanilla, Caramel, Mocha, and other everyday flavors. When faced with tight supplies and shortages, stores had to make tough choices on which syrups to prioritize based on consumer demand. The data showed Cinnamon Dolce lagged far behind other syrups in daily orders and had lower turnover. So from a pure sales perspective, it made financial sense to cut the underperforming Cinnamon Dolce.

While customers were unanimous in their love for Cinnamon Dolce, these insider reports seem to suggest it did not have mass consumer appeal on the wider menu. For a chain as large as Starbucks juggling thousands of stores worldwide, these supply-and-demand factors likely played a significant role in the ultimate decision to discontinue the drink flavoring.

Customer Reaction – Confusion, Sadness & Frustration

Regardless of the reasons behind it, Starbucks’ choice to stop selling Cinnamon Dolce syrup sparked immediate consumer outrage. Loyal fans vented their sadness, confusion, and frustration across social media channels and online forums. Many could not believe their “go-to” drink customization was gone for good.

On Twitter, shocked customers posted sentiments like:

“Why would @Starbucks get rid of the cinnamon dolce syrup?! My life is ruined.”

“Cinnamon Dolce was the only good Starbucks syrup. RIP to my fave.”

“I’m never going to emotionally recover from @Starbucks discontinuing cinnamon dolce.”

Hundreds of similar distressed tweets flowed in during mid-2022 as customers learned the news. Patrons who had ordered Cinnamon Dolce drinks multiple times per week for years felt blindsided by the abrupt removal of their favorite.

On Reddit forums like r/Starbucks, emotional discussions unfolded with hundreds of comments expressing disappointment. Long threads emerged with fans reminiscing about their go-to Cinnamon Dolce orders and swapping stories of the lengths they went to get their hands on the syrup.

The comments ranged from lighthearted sadness like “RIP to the best Starbucks syrup” to more dramatic proclamations like “Cinnamon Dolce discontinuation is my villain origin story.”

While some customers acknowledged the likely supply chain rationale, the overwhelming consensus was heartbreak that their special drink customization was gone. Starbucks baristas also sympathized with their devastated regulars. One shared: “I feel so bad. People come in every day and order their usual Cinnamon Dolce latte only to find out we don’t have it anymore.”

The shock and dismay emphasize just how beloved this syrup was among its biggest fans, even if broader customer data suggested lower overall demand. To a niche of Starbucks aficionados, the loss of Cinnamon Dolce left a huge void.

Attempting to Order Cinnamon Dolce – Denial, Bargaining & Acceptance

In the months after the discontinuation, many loyal customers went through various stages of grief over the loss of Cinnamon Dolce. At first, there was denial – customers would order at the register expecting the syrup to be there, only to be informed it no longer existed.

Next came bargaining – asking baristas if there was any way to get “just a little cup” of Cinnamon Dolce. Holdouts hopedStores might have a spare stash in the back they could access. One Reddit user described resorting to bringing their own unused Cinnamon Dolce bottle from home, begging baristas to pump it into their drinks.

But eventually, even diehard Cinnamon Dolce fans had to reach the stage of reluctant acceptance. As months passed without the syrup’s return, regulars had to modify their go-to orders and learn to enjoy replacement flavors.

The disappearance of the single menu item even spurred some online to call for boycotts of Starbucks until it brought Cinnamon Dolce back. But with no reversal by the coffee giant in sight, even the most distraught consumers adapted to the new normal of Starbucks sans Cinnamon Dolce. They eulogized the syrup online while gradually accepting its fate.

Petitions & Online Outcry

As devoted fans realized Cinnamon Dolce might truly be gone for good, many took action online to voice their frustration. Change.org petitions popped up urging Starbucks to reinstate the syrup, with thousands of supporters signing.

One popular petition accumulated over 37,000 signatures as users explained how “Cinnamon Dolce is the drink that makes Starbucks feel like home.” Its organizer implored Starbucks to “please bring back the Cinnamon Dolce syrup to stores immediately.”

Comments on the petition further showcased the syrup’s cult following. One signed wrote, “My mental health has plummeted without my Cinnamon Dolce latte to rely on.” Another declared, “My whole personality is Cinnamon Dolce lattes. This is an attack on my livelihood!”

While hyperbolic in tone, these petitions and comments symbolized real sadness amongst a group of Starbucks customers. For years, they had developed an emotional attachment to this drink customization. Taking it away without warning was a blow.

But despite viral attention and thousands of pleas, Starbucks did not cave to customer pressure to bring back Cinnamon Dolce in 2022. The company stood behind its supply chain simplification rationale. Without a reversal in corporate strategy, these online petitions failed to achieve their ultimate goal.

Yet they remain active online should Starbucks ever reevaluate its decision in the future. For now, the movement lives on digitally while in-person orders for Cinnamon Dolce drinks remain extinct.

Potential Future Comeback?

Given Starbucks’ reasoning behind removing Cinnamon Dolce from stores in 2022, could we ever see this syrup return? Is there hope for heartbroken Cinnamon Dolce latte lovers?

Potentially, if supply chain conditions improve post-pandemic and Starbucks decides to reexpand its range of flavor options. The company has indicated its removal of Cinnamon Dolce aimed to simplify offerings during COVID-related shortages and distribution issues. If those problems stabilize in the coming years, Starbucks could opt to bring back previously axed syrups.

Cinnamon Dolce already has name recognition and nostalgic appeal, perhaps even more so after its disappearance. Reinstating it could tap into customer excitement and goodwill. Devoted fans would undoubtedly rejoice at its comeback.

Realistically, Starbucks is unlikely to make such a reversal in the immediate future. Cinnamon Dolce’s axing was likely a carefully considered business move during a uniquely challenging time. But years down the road, it remains hypothetically possible if Starbucks decides consumer desire and company resources justify the revival of this cult favorite flavor.

Many petition organizers continue to update their messages urging Starbucks to “bring back Cinnamon Dolce when supply chains normalize.” This provides a glimmer of hope that under different conditions, Starbucks could someday answer these customer calls. For now, Cinnamon Dolce remains discontinued without an imminent return. But its superfans hold onto hope that through continued advocacy, they may taste its sweet cinnamon flavor poured into their Starbucks drinks again.

Cinnamon Dolce Alternatives

Since Cinnamon Dolce’s disappearance, committed coffee addicts have worked hard to find replacement flavor pairings that can mimic some essence of the original syrup’s taste profile. These include combining alternative Starbucks syrups, adding cinnamon power or garnish, and more. Here are some of the most popular “DIY” concoctions meant to evoke Cinnamon Dolce flavors:

Add cinnamon powder: Order any drink and ask for 1-2 shakes of ground cinnamon powder on top. The powder provides authentic cinnamon taste, though lacks the sweetness of Cinnamon Dolce syrup. Can complement sweeter syrups like vanilla.

Cinnamon and brown sugar: Order an Americano or brewed coffee with added vanilla and toffee nut syrups. Top with a dash of cinnamon powder and brown sugar for a cinnamon dolce-esque experience.

Cinnamon, caramel, and vanilla: Combine pumps of vanilla and caramel syrups with dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg powder. Creates a sweet, cinnamon-accented flavor profile in lattes, mochas and more.

Pumpkin spice customization: Substitute vanilla or mocha syrup with pumpkin spice sauce. Add toffee nut or hazelnut syrup along with cinnamon powder. Mimics Cinnamon Dolce in the fall months.

Nutmeg with vanilla: Add 3-4 pumps vanilla syrup and 1-2 shakes ground nutmeg powder. Nutmeg offers a slightly similar spiciness to cinnamon for a budget-friendly cinnamon dolce dupe.

As Starbucks baristas and long-time customers can attest, nothing perfectly replicates the original Cinnamon Dolce flavor. But these combinations do their best to honor its legacy until that fateful comeback day…if it ever arrives.

Impact on Starbucks’ Bottom Line

Realistically, discontinuing Cinnamon Dolce likely did not significantly harm Starbucks’ profits or bottom line. As discussed earlier, it was reportedly one of the chain’s lowest-selling syrup flavors in daily order frequency and volume. While immensely loved by a smaller group of loyal patrons, Cinnamon Dolce did not drive major sales on a wider scale.

Eliminating it allowed Starbucks to streamline its supply chain and inventory management while focusing on new product innovations. For a giant corporation like Starbucks, removing a lower-turnover menu item freed up valuable time, labor, and costs associated with stocking and managing that item across thousands of stores.

The Cinnamon Dolce discontinuation contributed to Starbucks’ plans to capture cost savings and efficiencies during a turbulent economy. It joined oat milk and other menu item removals in mid-2022 aimed at tightening Starbucks’ offerings.

While hardcore Cinnamon Dolce fans loudly expressed their despair online, average customers less attached to specific syrups likely adapted without issue. Starbucks kept its core lineup of milk, coffee and everyday syrup flavors available. So the Cinnamon Dolce loss did not translate to a dramatic drop in traffic or sales.

Passionate food and beverage enthusiasts sometimes mistakenly equate their cultish enthusiasm for an item with its broader consumer appeal and business impact. For Starbucks, Cinnamon Dolce had high loyalty but lower overall popularity and unit movement. Its disappearance, while devastating for superfans, was likely an astute financial decision to streamline its menu.


Starbucks’ choice to remove Cinnamon Dolce syrup from stores in 2022 left a vocal minority of enthusiasts heartbroken and stunned. These longtime loyal customers relied on Cinnamon Dolce as a special treat and comfort food. Taking away their ritual beverage felt like losing an old friend.

But from Starbucks’ perspective, it made strategic sense amidst supply chain woes. Cinnamon Dolce lagged in popularity behind more mass-market flavors. Eliminating it allowed Starbucks to simplify its operations while focusing on new product releases. Though unhappy superfans took to the internet to voice frustration, realistic alternatives eventually satisfied most former Cinnamon Dolce addicts.

It remains plausible Starbucks could opt to bring back Cinnamon Dolce in the future once conditions allow for menu re-expansion. But the company gave no indication of an imminent reversal. For now, Cinnamon Dolce remains relegated to memory and nostalgic odes from its diehard fans. Starbucks continues optimizing its core offerings to match updated consumer taste profiles and operational needs in a fast-changing retail landscape.

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