colorful Starbucks cup pink purple drink with whipped cream on top

Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino

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Updated Sep 01, 2020 at 05:07AM EDT by andcallmeshirley.

Added Apr 21, 2017 at 03:08PM EDT by Matt.

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Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino refers to a popular, limited time-only beverage item sold at Starbucks Coffee. Online, the Unicorn Frappuccino has generated a range of reactions, from praise to outrage, particularly from Starbucks baristas.


The earliest mentions of the Unicorn Frappuccino began about a week before its release, when baristas began posting about it on various websites. On April 11th, 2017, Instagram user @super_hiro_pope[4] posted a picture of the Unicorn Frappaccuino with the caption, "If you don't believe in Unicorns, it's ok, cause the #unicornfrappuccino is coming to a #Starbucks near you. Launching 4/19-4/23!!!"

On April 12th, Reddit user outside_the_madness[2] posted a bag of "Pink Powder" (shown below, left) to the /r/starbucks subreddit. The next day, Reddit user Hellabummed[1] posted a photo (shown below, right) of a blue powered labeled "Unicorn Dust" to the thread "Unicorn frapp topping." Cosmopolitan reported that Starbucks would be releasing the Unicorn Frappuccino.[3]

Starbucks . 3545 Pink Powder/ Poudre Rosc NOT FOR RETAIL SALE /NE PAS VENDRE A LUN SKU # 1 1076040 vesea es Proout po Starbucks Cofee Company 00762111234100 FORE /MELLER ET:591 1 (17.840:) NET mer、 Pink Powder Do Not Open Until 17 UNICORN DUST

On April 19th, Starbuck released the Unicorn Frappuccino, a caffeine-free, bright pink and blue beverage that would only be available until April 23rd. Easter[5] describes it as:

"A crème Frappuccino blended with pink powder and mango syrup. It’s got a sour blue topping and pink powder dusted whipped cream on top. The inside of the drink has a purple hue at first, but as you mix all the stuff together it turns pink."


Online Reaction

Early reviews on Twitter focused heavily on the colorful design and sweet flavor of the drink.

Nichelle @nichellemybell @Starbucks If this tastes as good as it looks I'lI be in heaven. #unicornfrappuccino #unicorn #frappuccino #inlove #fancy #rainbow @lvyysue @Starbucks it's so pretty!! I almost don't wanna drink it! #unicornfrappuccino Jamila Young @JY26 Decided to try that unicorn frappuccino from Starbucks. Tastes like trix yogurt lol.

However, by April 20th, baristas began posting on the /r/subreddit their problems with making the drink. One Redditor, zeph_yr[6] their problems in the thread "Day 1 of Unicorn Frappuccino and I wanna die." They write:

We're almost out of the blue mucus. Our cold bar counter is bright purple. One of our blenders shattered while making a unicorn with extra unicorn shit. One of my partners is screaming.

Edit 5:30 pm: Out of blue unicorn mucus. Putting in extra blue unicorn dandruff instead. As one customer said, "as long as it looks the same!"

Edit 7:35pm: The unicorn is dead. RIP unicorn. People are rioting outside.

On April 20th, Kotaku[7] posted an article "Starbucks Workers Unprepared For Unicorn Frappuccino Armageddon." The article outlined the complaints baristas waged on Reddit, collecting the following complaints.

In Houston - We had another store call us if we had extra pink powder since they were running low and apparently they had 42 UNICORN FRAP ORDER! I do not know what size they were... but FORTY F------ TWO!! We made 417 unicorn frappuccinos today. For f---- sake. I've been working a never ending line up since 12. And it's already 5:30. AND THERES ONLY F------ TWO OF US WORKING. By the time I'd left (at 6.30), we'd sold 40o for the day. The prep wasn't done. The floors weren't done. We hadn't even started on pre- closing tasks. I couldn't even say the name of the f------ drink without feeling so embarrassed? We just had a college class of 20 people come into cafe and each order one, most of them with modifications so we couldn't even use the same blender. PLUS every single car in DT ordering at LEAST 2 unicorn frapps. All this with a whole 4 people working and breaks to run I was off at 7, we sold 400 and it just kept going. And we had a dept count. And a delivery. ...I never though I'd have a near break down while covered in pink dust.

Due to the popularity of the drink, many Starbucks began running out of the materials early, causing customers to voice their disappointment online.

Mariam Zarret @mariammmz PSA: most Starbucks' are out of the unicorn frappuccino @hokujay when you want to try the #unicornfrappuccino rly bad but all the starbucks u go to says they ran out

On April 21st, singer Katy Perry[1] posted a series of pictures (shown below) to her Instagram story and immediately spit it out.

katyperry 11h I couldn't handle drinking my own blood katyperry 11h I couldn't handle drinking my own blood

Media Coverage

Many news media outlets covered the Unicorn Frappuccino and the backlash towards it, including Buzzfeed,[8] NPR,[9] The Washington Post,[11] Mashable,[12] Business Insider,[13] and more. Twitter published a Moment[14] about the Unicorn Frappuccino on April 19th.

Stephen Colbert tasted the drink on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, calling. He said, "Oh, I wish I was dead. It tastes like I French-kissed Tinker Bell.”

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 2 total

Recent Images 16 total

Top Comments


My first reaction was "Awesome, you should be happy that you're selling so much!" Then I realized that they're paid exactly the same whether they pour ten cups of drip coffee or make 400 complicated frilly things.


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