Starbucks have launched a new limited edition drink called the Unicorn Frappuccino.
Hitting on the unicorn food craze, it is currently only available in the US, Mexico, and Canada.
Unicorn food dyes
The colourful concoction has been created with a range of differently coloured food dyes. It is made up of ice, mango syrup, crème, and a sour blue drizzle. The colours change as it is mixed together, ending up with tones of pink, purple, and blue throughout the drink.
Starbucks official wording describes the drink as "a sweet dusting of pink powder, blended into a creme Frappuccino with mango syrup and layered with a pleasantly sour blue drizzle. It is finished with vanilla whipped cream and a sprinkle of sweet pink and sour blue powder topping."
A report by CNN Money suggests that a tall unicorn Frappuccino, made with whole milk, will contain around 280 calories. It will also contain 11 grams of fat and 39 grams of sugar. This makes it a reasonably healthy option, although it has not yet been made clear what colouring is used to produce the bright hues. Customers that are wary of E-numbers may want to stay away until we can see some food packaging or other reference material with the ingredients listed in full.
The drink will only be available between the 19th and 23rd April to begin with, and only in the US, Canada, and Mexico. If the run is successful, it’s hard not to imagine the coffee giant extending the offer to different dates and additional retail markets. There has already been plenty of buzz on social media in particular, with lots of customers outside of those areas wishing they could give the drink a try themselves.
The colourful drink hits on a popular internet craze known as unicorn food. The food is usually brightly-coloured using pastel or rainbow hues, as well as a fair dose of sparkles and glitter. These colours are supposed to represent the mythical creatures, which are widely represented in similar shades in artwork.
Another example of the trend is ‘unicorn toast’, in which the bread is spread with brightly coloured preserves and scattered with rainbow-hued sprinkles. Cookies and cupcakes tend to be other favourites: it’s easy to create the right shape and to add on eyes or horns made out of sugar and icing. Wannabe bakers will love trying this trend, and it definitely adds something special to a homemade birthday cake or other celebration.
Some creators like to use natural colouring with ingredients such as beetroot and blueberries, while others rely on artificial food colouring to create the tones required. Any existing development chefs who are looking for ways to bring new customers in for their brand might want to consider getting in on this trend themselves!
If you are looking to get inspired for this unicorn trend, there are a number of places to look.
As with any food and drink inspiration, Pinterest is a good starting point. Simply search terms such as “unicorn food” and you will be met with a barrage of images as well as guides on making your own.
As for Instagram, this is also a great place to find unicorn inspiration. The hashtags that you want to look out for are #unicornfood, as well as #unicornlife and other variations of the same.
It looks like this trend is not going anywhere any time soon. Already one of the biggest food trends of 2016, it has been highly anticipated as coming right to the mainstream this year – and has already made big inroads with this launch.
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