'As fleeting as a rainbow': Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino delights and disgusts
Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino is only available for a limited time in stores in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. (Starbucks)
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:39AM EDT
There were unicorn lattes, unicorn hot chocolates, unicorn cheesecakes, unicorn donuts and even unicorn toast (that’s right, toast). For more than a year, social media feeds have been overrun with images of bright, colourful and sparkly unicorn-themed food and drinks dedicated to the mythical beasts.
Now that Starbucks has jumped on the bandwagon and released a limited-time only “colour and flavour-changing” Unicorn Frappuccino this week, many weary social media users are starting to wonder if this trend will ever end.
Unicorns are supposed to be elusive, right?
On Monday, Starbucks introduced their take on the unicorn craze with a “sweet dusting of pink powder, blended into a crème Frappuccino with mango syrup and layered with a pleasantly sour blue drizzle.”
That’s according to a news release posted online by the coffee giant. The cold drink is also topped with vanilla whipped cream (obviously) and sprinkled with sweet pink and sour blue “powder topping.”
It all sounds so… um, delicious? The complicated-sounding beverage is only available for five days (April 19-23) at stores in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico because “this limited-time offering is as fleeting as a rainbow.”
The most intriguing aspect of the new sweet and sour beverage is, perhaps, the claim that it can change colours and flavours as the consumer drinks it.
“The Unicorn Frappuccino blended crème comes with a bit of magic, starting as a purple beverage with swirls of blue and a first taste that is sweet and fruity. But give it a stir and its color changes to pink, and the flavor evolves to tangy and tart,” Starbucks said.
The allure of a “magical” and oh-so-Instagram-worthy Unicorn Frappuccino convinced enough Starbucks customers to rush out and purchase the whimsical treat that many online users complained about locations selling out of the drinks on the first day they were made available.
@Starbucks Can you bring back the unicorn frap asap? Tried surprising my gf but they sold out. Help me out .— Zachary Bray (@Zachary_Bray) April 20, 2017
Went to Starbucks this morning for my matcha and they were already out of the unicorn drink.— Jen Humston (@JenHumston) April 20, 2017
One Starbucks barista already tired of making the popular beverages uploaded a short video to Twitter on Monday just to rant. “If you love us as baristas, don’t order it,” Braden Burson, in Monument, Colo. pleaded to his viewers.“For the love of God and everything that is good, don’t get the Unicorn Frappuccino.”
Even though customers have been eagerly storming the gates of their local Starbucks to get their hands on the buzzworthy drink, many subsequent reviews have appeared to be… less than magical.
So I tried the Unicorn Frappe from Starbucks and it's disgusting— Brittney (@itsbrittneeyyyy) April 20, 2017
if you got a unicorn frapp at Starbucks... we aren't friends anymore— jules (@juwiakennedy) April 20, 2017
@Starbucks played us with that unicorn drink... I had maybe 3 sips of it before I threw it away it because it was so gross and it cost $5— syd (@sydnaaygrace) April 20, 2017
Other users appeared to be taken with the Unicorn Frappuccino’s attractive appearance and likened the taste to various candies.
Decided to try that unicorn frappuccino from starbucks. Tastes like trix yogurt lol. ❤ pic.twitter.com/wbHBo4p3IB— Jamila Young (@JY26) April 19, 2017
The unicorn drink from Starbucks tastes like gummy worms— Diamond (@diamondkg22) April 20, 2017
It seemed like the majority of the online posts dedicated to Starbucks’ newest beverage were concerned about the drink’s ingredients, in particular the amount of sugar. One Facebook user, Abby Huot, said a Venti-sized Unicorn Frappuccino’s 76 grams of sugar amounted to the sugar in three Snickers candy bars, which have 27 grams of sugar each. So, not quite, but close.
“Or if you prefer, sitting down and eating 18 sugar cubes in one sitting,” Huot wrote on Monday. “That should hurt your teeth to think about.”
And she wasn’t the only one who took issue with the beverage’s sugar quantity.
The Starbucks Unicorn Frappucino... just, no. #diabetes— Sherise (@SheriseyPieces) April 20, 2017
I don't think people should be so surprised with the amount of sugar in the unicorn frappe. It's from Starbucks! pic.twitter.com/5hd0WwDW6w— WANDERING MALIA (@WanderingMalia) April 20, 2017
Even with all of the negative attention directed at the Unicorn Frappuccino’s flavour and sugar content, some online users just didn’t seem to care.
What’s next, unicorn lasagna?