Iconic Starbucks Drink Will Soon Be Sold in a Bottle

A Starbucks’ viral drink will soon hit grocery stores as a ready-to-drink beverage.

Starbucks  (SBUX) – Get Starbucks Corporation Report fans can recall the pink-and-blue Unicorn Drink of 2017 and the motley Tie-Dye Frappuccino of 2019. While these Starbucks drinks are loaded with sugar, they often become viral hits simply because of how pretty they look on social media.

One drink that has withstood its viral moment is the Pink Drink. The combination of strawberry açai blend, coconut milk and freeze-dried strawberries has remained a popular order since the coffee giant moved it over to its permanent menu in 2017. 

Prior to that, it was a “secret menu” item popularized by some of Starbucks’ biggest fans. Entire groups calling themselves the “Pink Drink Squad” posting images of the drink on Instagram and leading anyone else who saw it to ask “what’s that?”

Pink Drink’s Very Long Viral Moment

At the start of the week, food site The Takeout reported that the next step in the evolution of the Pink Drink is the grocery store shelf.

A Starbucks representative told the news outlet that the popular drink will come “soon to grocery stores nationwide” as a “ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage.”

The cryptic announcement is very sparse on details — nothing about what the bottled version of the drink will look like, when it will be available, how much it will cost and which grocery stores will carry it has yet been revealed.

But the demand is definitely there as many social media users regularly track every update about the Pink Drink — an early example of how designing drinks for social media can directly help a company.

“Starbucks needs to start selling the pink drink in bottles at the grocery store like they do for the frappucinnos,” a Twitter  (TWTR) – Get Twitter Inc. Report user going under the name @homicidalhailey wrote back in 2018.


While ready-to-drink coffee beverages exploded on the market in the last two years, the first bottled Starbucks drink dates all the way back to 1996.

One year after the chain created the Frappuccino by blending together iced coffee and mocha, bottled versions of the chilled drink was already sold in grocery stores.

“Pepsi  (PEP) – Get PepsiCo Inc. Report ramped up production as quickly as possible, but even then we could supply only West Coast supermarkets for the summer of 1996,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wrote in his book “Pour Your Heart Into It.” “We couldn’t make it fast enough.”

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Just as with its in-store offering, Starbucks has experimented with many flavors and other ready-to-drink options over the years. Many versions of its canned Refreshers drinks were brought to stores only to be discontinued while, in the last year, Starbucks launched canned drinks like the Starbucks Baya Energy and some Nitro cold brews

Ready-To-Drink Is Where It’s At

Whether they’re alcoholic or not, ready-to-drink beverages in a can have been having a major moment lately. 

Ready-to-drink beverages, which include everything from energy and yogurt drinks to iced tea and canned coffee, are currently a $23 billion market that is expected to grow at a CAGR rate of over 7% in the coming decade.

Alcoholic canned cocktails, meanwhile, are slated to grow into a $8 billion industry in the next three years. Names like Coca-Cola  (KO) – Get Coca-Cola Company (The) Report and Pepsi have been falling over each other to offer new takes on the canned cocktail.

In the last year, the latter launched alcoholic Topo Chico, hard Fresca and alcoholic seltzers in partnership with its Simply juice brand.

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