Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino creates a sugary frenzy at ASU

The Frappuccino ​colored ASU's campuses from April 19 to April 23

A multi-colored, internet-sensational Frappuccino hit Starbucks counters last week much to the dismay of some baristas.

The Unicorn Frappuccino Blended Crème went viral with messages of approval on one end and Katy Perry spitting it out in disgust on the other end.

The drink was available at ASU’s Starbucks location from April 19 until April 23.

The recipe includes crème-based Frappuccino, mango syrup, unicorn pink powder, blue drizzle and whipped cream. According to Starbucks' website, all of these ingredients adds up to about 410 calories and 59 grams of sugar in each Grande 16-ounce drink.

Anna Hartmann, a junior studying accounting, is a shift lead supervisor at the Starbucks in the W.P. Carey building.

“I think that it has brought great business to the store,” she said. “Our sales almost doubled the day it started. So it’s made the store hugely popular. But, I also feel as though it’s just a fad that we’ll get over.”

Hartmann said Frappuccinos were already time-consuming to make but because of the popularity of the unicorn drink more Frappuccinos had to be made. She also said there was less space for everything because they had to make room for the specialized ingredients.

“So as a barista, one of our least favorite drinks typically is Frappuccinos just because there’s a lot of different steps and then you have to blend it, and it just takes time,” she said. “So yes, it is not something very popular amongst the baristas.”

But the drink was less popular with baristas than it was with consumers. Hartmann said that during the first day of selling the Unicorn Frappuccino, the W.P. Carey Starbucks ran out of the specialized ingredients.

“We had a rush from about 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., which normally we have breaks in between those rushes, but we didn’t that day,” she said.

Hartmann also said she thought the reason for the frenzy was because of how limited the drink was.

“We were making one of those basically every other drink or more,” she said. “So a majority of the drinks made that day were Frappuccinos, and that’s not what it would typically be. It kind of drove us a little insane.”

Hartmann said another reason for the excitement was the drink’s appearance.

“A lot of customers were just really excited to see the color,” she said. “It’s nice, bright colors you don’t necessarily see every day in a drink. It looks attractive.”

Sara McFarland, a freshman studying human nutrition, said she was not even curious to try the Unicorn Frappuccino.

“I do not want to order the Starbucks Unicorn because it’s not in my health range,” she said. “It has a lot of sugar. I’ve heard bad reviews of it anyway, so it’s not something I’m interested in.”

McFarland said she has heard people say they are disappointed in the drink, and that it wasn’t quite what they were expecting.

“It just doesn’t look that appealing,” she said. “It looks like a lot of chemicals in my opinion.”

McFarland said she used to love Frappuccinos, until she found out how many calories were in the drink.

“Now, I drink Chai Lattes, which are really bad for you too, and I get my highest source of carbohydrates in my diet from drinking a Chai Latte, not like bread or a sweet potato,” she said. “So, it’s interesting.”

Ingredients from Starbucks website


Nabor Benitez, a freshman studying construction management, works as a barista at the Starbucks in the W.P. Carey building. He said he considers himself lucky for not working the day the drink special started.

“All of my coworkers told me it was an insane day because everybody is ordering the same exact drink,” he said.

Benitez said he heard all of his coworkers complaining about how some people would buy three or four in one order.

“It’s honestly a pain to make, Frappuccinos, especially that one because it has more ingredients than it should,” he said. “It was unnecessary.”

Benitez said the Unicorn Frappuccino would back up their other orders as well.

“I got to taste it, and honestly I didn’t really like the taste of it because it’s kind of like sour,” he said. “It just looks cool.”


Reach the reporter at anbuechl@asu.edu or follow @alexa_buechler on Twitter.

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