The Unicorn Frappuccino from Starbucks was a hit in April. People shared images of the bright, colorful drink with enormous amounts of sugar throughout social media.
However, the Unicorn is now a thing of the past. Starbucks has now unleashed the Mermaid.
The Unicorn was a combination of cake flavors, sugar, and sour tastes. The Mermaid will be like the Unicorn — at least in terms of brightness. However, this version includes blended blackberries, vanilla bean, and matcha powder. Some say it tastes like the Pokémon Go Frappuccino released last year by the mega coffee store.
The Mermaid is a drink that won’t officially show on the menu, and only select locations will make it. However, if it remains a hit, more Mermaids could be seen throughout chains in the United States. The Mermaid is sweet, but those who have never tried matcha might want to try it elsewhere first.
Don’t Forget the Midnight Mint Mocha
For those who want to avoid a sickly sweet drink, Starbucks also plans to roll out the jet-black drink known as the Midnight Mint Mocha. It is a dark chocolate brown color with cocoa, whipped cream, mint sugar crystals, and a dusting of dark chocolate cocoa.
Starbucks says it was developed from the inspirations of the dark, starry nights of summer.
The Smores drink is expected to return as well, and it will be offered for the Frappuccino Happy Hour promotions countrywide.
This year’s Happy Hour will have more than just one drink offered as a “bonus,” and Starbucks sees it as a chance to attract further attention to their locations throughout the United States.
The sugar content of the Midnight Mocha works like the Unicorn. In fact, a grande comes with the equivalent of seven Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and the same amount of fat as a Big Mac. Anyone watching their waistline — beware.
Attracting the Younger Crowd
Starbucks was initially marketed as the refined coffee choice for adults. While they had a few tween and teen-friendly drinks, they recognized the need to attract more Millennials.
And what do Millennials like? They like to share pictures of their food and drinks.
The Unicorn made headlines for Starbucks, reports MarketWatch. Nearly 161,000 Instagram photos were found with the hashtag #unicornfrappuccino, and Starbucks used it as a springboard toward the launch of their Happy Hour program for May.
Food designed specifically for social media sharing is becoming popular among food chains. In fact, 34% of diners like taking photos of their food, and 63% of Millennials like to photograph and share their food on social media.
Starbucks is not the only store to take advantage of social media. In fact, IHOP tried a campaign on Snapchat in February 2016. They released art that customers could share on the app.
While it is a genius move for the companies, these beautiful food and drink options do not fare well for the consumer’s budget. After all, a Starbucks drink costs anywhere from $3 to $5, and the calorie count of most of the drinks is atrocious. The Unicorn had 39 grams of sugar in a 12-ounce cup, which is equivalent to a can of Coca-Cola. However, the 16-ounce version increased to 54 grams of sugar.
So, not only are these Starbucks drinks hard on the wallet, but they’re hard on the bodies of those who consume them, too.
Most consumers engaging in food trends and sharing are not necessarily worried about their wallets or their waistline, however.