Here’s how you can get the coffee chain’s latest viral sensation.
Starbucks has two paths to create viral new beverage crazes.
The first is the traditional one, where the company launches a product, usually as a limited-time offer, and people really like it.
Once that happens the company has a number of choices. It can make it an annual recurring drink, add it to the permanent menu, or bring it back as a surprise every now and again.
The coffee-bar giant’s other path to finding new beverages is its fan-created secret menu.
In most cases these are drinks people order by modifying current menu items into something new. Once people create a recipe, they share it on social media, give it a name, and if its spreads virally, people start ordering it.
This presents a challenge for the chain as Starbucks baristas don’t always know the recipe for the latest fan-created beverage sweeping social media. For example, before Pink Drink became a regular menu item, its fans could order the beverage and not know exactly what they were going to get. (Alternatively, they could input the drink as they knew it into the app.)
Starbucks changed this uncertain dynamic when it embraced Pink Drink and added it first as an limited-time offer and later to the full-time menu.
Now, Starbucks has another viral sensation: a company-created one available only in one market. And it’s likely going to have to bring it to the U.S. — or deal with customers’ clumsy attempts to order it without all the ingredients being on the menu.
Image source: Starbucks
Starbucks Adds Its First Blue Drink
Globally, Starbucks has done really well with colorful drinks. Pink Drink has been a hit in multiple countries, and vibrant yellow drinks have popped up on some of its menus worldwide. The Unicorn Frappuccino, of course, is purple with streaks of light blue, but it was not truly a blue drink.
Now, Starbucks customers in the United Kingdom have embraced the chain’s first take on an official blue beverage, the Blue Raspberry Cloud Frappuccino. Offered for only 10 days in the U.K., the drink has become a social-media sensation and it’s selling out at some locations.
Starbucks describes the Blue Raspberry Cloud Frappuccino on its website:
“Creamy dreamy Frappuccino: a delicious blue raspberry candy flavour topped with whipped cream and pale blue crunchy sugar sprinkles. Dream your way to Spring skies,” the company said.
Esoteric marketing phrases aside, the new drink uses a vanilla Frappuccino base and whole milk topped with whipped cream, blue sugar crunch topping and blue raspberry powder. You can substitute the milk type, although that might alter the look of the drink.
The drink, which really does look like a cloudy sky, does not include coffee. You could add an espresso shot or two, but again, that would mess up the aesthetics of the beverage.
Starbucks has not commented on whether it might bring the Blue Raspberry Cloud Frappuccino to the U.S.
Starbucks U.S. Has a Secret-Menu Blue Drink
While you can’t order the Blue Raspberry Cloud Frappuccino in the U.S. because the toppings simply aren’t on the menu, you can get a secret-menu blue drink. It’s actually a pretty simple order that consists of three items:
Iced Passion Tango TeaSub soy milk for water Add vanilla syrup
“The cream coloring of the soy milk blended with the vibrant reddish-pink coloring of the herbal tea makes for a periwinkle blue drink that’s hand-shaken, icy, and refreshing,” according to the Coconut Mama website.
“What does it taste like? It’s sweet, fruity, and floral. The Passion Tango Tea is made with a tarty, fruity blend of hibiscus, apple, and lemongrass, and the addition of Starbucks soy milk (which is sweetened) along with vanilla simple syrup kicks the sweetness up a couple of notches,” the website added.