Waiter? There’s an insect in my Frappuccino
The alternative to using cochineal is mostly Red 40, which is made from coal tar. No, seriously. It’s made from coal tar. Or it used to be; looks like it’s mostly made from petroleum these days. So, you can see why Starbucks might be looking for an alternative to an artificial dye.
Also see Cochineal: it’s a bug AND a feature!