Starbucks began selling “unicorn Frappuccinos” on Wednesday, a colorful kaleidoscope of a drink, breathing new life into a food trend that had been willed into existence by a torrent of carefully composed pictures shared on Instagram and other social media sites.
For the unaware: “Unicorn food” is any food item jazzed up with dye or cute accessories like fruit cut into little shapes or mountains of pastel marshmallows. The highly committed may add a horn, ears and a mane made of sculpted sugar.
This might happen to a cupcake, a piece of toast or a cup of coffee. It has been going on for roughly a year on both social media and in a handful of hip cafes. No unicorns are believed to have been harmed, so far.
It is all kind of a lot. And it is unlikely to stop any time soon thanks to Starbucks, whose short-term journey on this particular bandwagon (their unicorn drink will only be sold for five days) was greeted with both excitement and confusion online. For many, it was their first encounter with unicorn-themed foodstuffs.