‘Unicorn’ spotted at SLU

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Starbuck’s Frappuccino review

Every so often, large brands like Starbucks will capitalize on a social media trend. Colorful unicorn-themed products have been taking all the social media platforms by storm, with different companies showcasing everything from makeup to clothing to ice cream sundaes in the mythical animal’s swirled pink, purple and blue hues.

Starbucks is no different; during the week of April 19, 2017, the brand’s popular Frappuccino blended beverage got a temporary unicorn makeover. The premise was a pink drink with a blue drizzle that changed flavors from sweet to sour as the ingredients mixed together while drinking it. Magical, right?

The Unicorn Frappucino has been sweeping the nation through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. The new game is how long one can scroll through their newsfeed without seeing something about the concoction.

Largely promoted through social media, Starbucks definitely got a lot of buzz for hopping on the unicorn-food bandwagon with over 150,000 posts on Instagram and approximately 166,700 mentions on Twitter using the hashtag #unicornfrappuccino.

The novelty of a colorful, flavor-changing blended drink created excitement, and its trendy aesthetic was the perfect setup for countless styled Instagram photos.

Besides the promise of a flavor change and over 100 Instagram likes, the conversation around the drink revolved around the not-so-sweet health concerns associated with such a decadent beverage: a grande size of the drink has 410 calories, 16 grams of fat and 59 grams of sugar. Yes, 59 grams. That is the equivalent of three Snickers bars. By comparison, the World Health Organization recommends a maximum intake of 25 grams of sugar per day for adults.

Although that fact is enough to deter some people from ordering it, others—us among them—flock to the nearest Starbucks, curious to taste and experience the drink for themselves.

The full experience of the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino is an explosion of happiness and rainbows that makes you hate yourself right after consuming it.

When we walked into the coffee giant’s location on campus, the chalkboard that always features the current special had the frothy pink and blue concoction pictured with the words “Made from only the finest rainbows” below it. Our question was, would they deliver?

The drink itself is beautiful: pink with blue swirls, decorated with whipped cream and pink and blue powder on top. The ingredients include cream Frappuccino with pink powder mixed in and mango syrup layered with a sour blue drizzle. No one really knew what to expect for the taste; there was hearsay that it tasted like pure sugar, a creamsicle and practically every other sugar-infused food.

“The pink base is like cotton candy and vanilla and the blue parts of it are like sour Warheads or sour Skittles,” said junior Lilly Mehdirad after trying it for herself.  “At first I thought it was good, but then when I got to the sour parts of it, I didn’t like it as much.”

The drink was immensely popular with several others who ordered it before and after us. At first sip, it was hard to really notice the mango, but the taste came out more with subsequent gulps. It tasted somewhere between a Jolly Rancher and a Skittle.

After mixing the sour blue drizzle and the whipped cream with the pink base, the sour taste began to make its appearance as well. This was what we’ve been waiting for: the flavor change that Starbucks had promised us.

The reality was that it was pretty underwhelming as it only lasted a minute before returning back to the sickly-sweet flavor that it had had at the beginning.

As it turned out, our 410-calorie drink was only made with mediocre rainbows. Our opinions were split—just like those of everyone else talking about the drink.

Though now gone, the controversial Unicorn Frappuccino will always hold a special place on our Snapchat stories and Instagram feeds. Gone, but never forgotten.