Social

Here's What's In The Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

| by Sarah Zimmerman
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Starbucks' limited edition Unicorn Frappuccino is the newest social media trend but sources report it has more sugar than is recommended for an entire day.

The purple-and-pink drink is "sweet and fruity transforming to pleasantly sour," according to the Starbucks website. By swirling the drink, yu can "reveal a color-changing spectacle of purple and pink." 

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It's topped with whipped cream and colored dust that Starbucks refers to as "fairy powders." The drink is available for purchase from April 19-23.

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The drink is intended to change in both flavor and color as you drink it, and the experience is meant to be a magical one, like the mythical unicorn.

While pretty to look at, the Unicorn Frappuccino isn't exactly healthy. A 16-ounce drink has 410 calories, according to BuzzFeed, and is made with whole milk and whipped cream.

Noticeably, the drink also has 59 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to about 15 teaspoons. For comparison, a can of Coca-Cola has 39 grams sugar and a Hershey's milk chocolate bar has 24 grams.

Sugar is the core ingredient of the syrups and sauces that give the drink its taste and distinctive color. The drink uses six different syrups: Starbucks' Creme Frappuccino Syrup, vanilla syrup, mango syrup, classic syrup and white chocolate mocha sauce. The dusting powder on the top is a mix of sugar and food coloring.

The frappuccino has one-and-a-half times the daily recommended amount of sugar, which is between 24-36 grams. Even a smaller size is 39 grams, which is above the recommended daily limit.

Sugar is linked to a number of health problems, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The drink also has quite a lot of cholesterol and 50 percent of a person's daily saturated fat intake. A high level of cholesterol is linked to heart disease and stroke.

Starbucks employees also complain that the drink itself is complicated and adds to workers' stress levels, according to The Washington Post.

One worker called it "the drink from hell," on Reddit. 

Another person made a YouTube video ranting about how difficult it is to actually make the drink and that it can be messy.

"Please don’t get it!" the barista from Colorado pleaded in a YouTube video that's since been deleted. "I have unicorn crap all in my hair and on my nose. I have never been so stressed out in my entire life."

Starbucks will be reaching out to the employee "to talk about his experience and how to make it better."

Several branches have reportedly sold out of the special drink.

Sources: BuzzFeed, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Cristian Ungureanu/Flickr, Scottafters/Instagram via BuzzFeed

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