Lets Talk About: Starbucks Unicorn Frappucino

It’s not often I weigh in on fads like the unicorn frappucino trend. I mean, I get it, the world is shit at the moment and if we can add a little colour and joy to our food and drink then why not.

There’s nothing WHATSOEVER magical about the amount sugar and other toxic ingredients in these drinks.

As someone who champions balance (I love my cake and wine too much not too) and who tries to avoid being holier than thou on this blog (there are way too many blogs telling you to eat more kale and have no fun already) I just cannot get on board with these beverages.

But whilst the unicorn frappucino may be an instagrammers dream, the reality is far from it. Starbucks describe this “drink” as being…

Magical flavors start off sweet and fruity transforming to pleasantly sour. Swirl it to reveal a color-changing spectacle of purple and pink. It’s finished with whipped cream-sprinkled pink and blue fairy powders.

Sounds great right? And then you come to the ingredient list…

Ice, Milk, Crème Frappuccino Syrup [Water, Sugar, Salt, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid], Whipped Cream [Cream (Cream, Mono And Diglycerides, Carageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)], Mango Syrup [Sugar, Water, Mango Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Passion Fruit Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Turmeric, Gum Arabic], Blue Drizzle [White Chocolate Mocha Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Monoglycerides), Classic Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid), Sour Blue Powder (Citric Acid, Color [Spirulina, Water, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid])], Pink Powder [Dextrose, Fruit And Vegetable Color (Apple, Cherry, Radish, Sweet Potato)], Sour Blue Powder [Citric Acid, Color (Spirulina, Water, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid)].

^ All this, in one drink.

But you know the most shocking part? It’s not the ingredients, it’s the SUGAR.

ONE Venti Unicorn Frappucino made with whole milk and whipped cream has a whopping 76 GRAMS of sugar. Yes, you read that right! 76g!

That’s the equivalent of 19 teaspoons of sugar or 2 + 1/2 standard Mars Bars. According to Refinery29 the unicorn frappucino has more sugar content  than SIX Krispy Kreme doughnuts (and that’s in the small drink). 

As a woman, one of these drinks would take you 3 times over your daily recommended sugar intake. So imagine how many times over the limit a child would be by drinking this? And it’s children who are going to flock to this drink!

That level of sugar will never be pretty! And one of these drinks isn’t going to kill you but its not going to make you feel very well either. And I suppose what really gets my back up with drinks like this is the appeal it has to children, I mean, what kid wouldn’t want a multi-colour drink that was topped off with magical dust?

It’s a timely reminder that it’s time to start giving a shit about what we’re taking in and being aware that if you order one of these type of drinks (because don’t get me wrong, the unicorn frappe isn’t the worst offender on menus across the world – it’s not even the worst offender in Starbucks) then you’re going to be overdosing on sugar that you don’t need and that your body is going to pay for.

So tell me, does knowing how much sugar is in this drink put you off purchasing one?


Author: Rachael

I'm a journalist and creative consultant. I write about how busy women (just like you) can live, work and eat - better.

26 thoughts on “Lets Talk About: Starbucks Unicorn Frappucino”

  1. I think this unicorn drink trend is appalling. Most people are buying it just for the photo opp’s and not because they want it, and most people are saying it tastes horrible, probably due to the amount of sugar in it x

    1. I know, I was reading some of the reviews and there’s no one who says it’s nice. I’ve heard people describe it as tasting anything from hot dog water (gross) to the stuff they use in the dentist.

  2. I was appalled by the amount of sugar in this drink. I try to eat healthily but I believe everything in moderation and don’t deny myself sweets now and then. However, this drink is just so over the top and there is also the amount of artificial dyes contained to consider as well. Not something I will be trying x

    1. Me too, I eat WAY too much cake to be preaching about people not eating sugar but it’s just obscene. And yep when you look closey at some of the ingredients, they’re toxic!

  3. ok that is a ridiculous amount of sugar! since my dad found out his blood pressure was through the roof we have had a massive wakeup call about just eating food and drinking sugary drinks without thinking, it’s meant we have really tried to change our daily eating habits and make healthy choices, I wanted to try this for the pure gimmick factor but now after seeing this I wouldn’t go near it!

  4. Oh my good Lord! I always stay away from stuff like that because I know it will be awful without even looking at the nutrition. I’d really like to go with someone who orders it so I can just try one sip though

  5. I must buy this before the date runs out. i so want to try this out. I will however be drinking it slowly. xx

  6. I would class myself as a “health” blogger and I am not put off this at all. Sure, it has a lot of sugar, but as long as you aren’t ordering a venti and as long as it isn’t every day, then I don’t see a problem with it. Health is about balance and enjoying a little bit of what you fancy every now and then.

    1. It’s pretty high in the smaller version at 56g and to be honest, it’s not just about the Unicorn drink, this level of sugar is in a LOT of starbucks drinks. And people DO drink them every day. As I actually stated in my post, I’m all about balance, as a health journalist and certified nutritional therapist, I find it astounding the amount of people in my profession who are extremely OTT on their sugar intake and avoid it at all costs (personally, I couldn’t do without my chocolate, cake or wine so that’s not for me). I think my main point was it’s time to wake up and start looking at what we’re consuming.

  7. Oh my goodness, the staggering amount of sugar in this is shocking. And to think people are going on about this Unicorn drink is simply mind boggling! People need to educate themselves really with information like thsi before jumping onto the ‘trendy’ train.

  8. I for one will NOT be trying this revolting looking drink. I love a frappuccino as much as the next person on a hot day, but I don’t want to go into sugar overdose. This should be banned due to the levels in it. Absolutely ridiculous!

  9. It really is so bad for you! With all the artificial coloring and the loads of sugar – I don’t think I will be trying it. It does look really pretty though!

  10. There’s no way in hell I’d buy one to begin with, but I read a counter argument stating that other Starbucks drinks are quite similar to this one in the amount of sugar. I suppose these coffee drinks are more sugar than coffee.

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