Anyone who has been either outside or on the internet in the last few months will surely have noticed an explosion of pink and glitter.
With the Mattel (MAT) – Get Free Report doll-inspired Barbie movie slated to come out on July 21, the promotional campaign has reached a fever point in which life-size posters with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling grace pedestrian-heavy parts of major cities, stores signed licensing agreements to sell everything from Barbie-themed t-shirts to toothbrushes while there is even a real-life Barbie Dreamhouse available for rent on Airbnb (ABNB) – Get Free Report.
While it’s not an official Barbie or Starbucks (SBUX) – Get Free Report product, a bright pink drink available at the popular coffee chain was popularized as a “Barbie Frappuccino” on TikTok thanks to its playful color.
The Barbie Drink at a Starbucks Near You
Multiple influencers have tried to lay claim to coming up with the customizations that create the “secret menu” item but, sometime in 2022, multiple videos of the bright pink Frappuccino started appearing on the social media platform.
The excitement around the drink has only grown stronger as the “Barbie” release looms nearer and, to test it out for myself, I decided to pop by a nearby Starbucks.
As explained by the Instagram account Snackolator, getting the “Barbie look” comes by ordering a Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino with half-and-half swapped for milk and mixed with dragonfruit, vanilla syrup and dragonfruit topping.
My biggest fear in ordering something laden with modifications was looking like *that* customer. But probably thanks to the Barbie movie’s prolific marketing campaign and the Frappuccino’s virality, the barista knew exactly what I was referring to and was extremely helpful in getting the order made.
The other thing to consider is that, with all the customizations, a tall size in NYC came up to just over $8.
Veronika Bondarenko for TheStreet
Barbie Frap’s Instagram Factor: My Thoughts
It took one taste for me to realize that the Barbie Drink’s “Instagram factor” is its main and possibly only point — it is, all things considered, a vanilla Frappuccino that is just bright pink. The addition of dragonfruit does very little in terms of taste but the psychedelic color was enough to bring a big smile to my face.
Even carrying the drink from the Starbucks closest to my apartment was a trip. During the four-minute walk, two people stopped me to ask what I had ordered.
Starbucks fans have, over the years, thought up endless ways to get off-the-menu ways to get a bright pink drink.
There was the flavor-changing Unicorn Drink of 2017 and the Sunset Drink that mimics what you would sip by the beach in Hawaii. While many TikTok “drink hacks” in past years recommended turning drinks pink with a pump or two of raspberry syrup, the flavor shot was discontinued last March to make room for other things.
As a result, the community around finding unusual customizations has been recommending the dragonfruit blend (this only works if the base drink is clear or white.)
Starbucks, in turn, had already recognized some fans’ obsession with pink beverages and eventually turned the strawberry açai, coconut milk and freeze-dried strawberry blend that was formerly a secret menu item to its permanent menu roster and eventually even a bottled form.