The Unicorn Frappuccino infuriated baristas — but it was one of Starbucks' best decisions in a long time

Kate Taylor
Unicorn Frappuccino

Kate Taylor

Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino is officially off the menu — but in just five days, the beverage showed just how powerful a pretty drink can be. 

The Frappuccino generated roughly 180,000 Instagram posts in just one week, according to UBS research. The color-changing beverage was perfectly crafted to catch Instagram-lovers' fancy, resulting in thousands of viral photos. 

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The beverage was used as inspiration for everything from nail polish tutorials, to hair styles, to cakes.

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One Starbucks customer even apparently used the drink to tell her husband that he was going to become a father.  

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A customer ordered this to tell her husband that she's pregnant😭😱❤️ #unicornfrappuccino pic.twitter.com/jzN79O7ZdO

The Instagram shots seem to have paid off in actual sales.

UBS said that it expected the Unicorn Frappuccino and other limited-time cold drink offerings to boost Starbucks' same store sales for the quarter. In channel checks, UBS found that the average Starbucks saw more than 20 people coming in to buy the Unicorn Frappuccino each day it was available. 

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"Many of our channel checks indicated that drinks were sold out in stores before the promotion ended (with customers visiting multiple locations to find the drink)," Dennis Geiger wrote in a note to investors on Monday. 

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However, while customers might have loved the beverage, most baristas were happy that the drink was only on the menu for five days.

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Many Starbucks employees took to social media to celebrate when their locations ran out of ingredients for the hard-to-make and messy drink.

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I LOVE telling people we are out of the Unicorn Frappuccino

While autumn at Starbucks is defined by the Pumpkin Spice Latte and winter is synonymous with red cups, the coffee giant has previously lacked a definitive "spring" beverage. With the Unicorn Frappuccino, Starbucks may have finally found a suitable candidate.

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Despite the short-lived nature of the Frappuccino, Starbucks has reportedly reached out to baristas who hated the drink to discuss how to make the beverage better.

Don't be surprised if this wacky Instagram sensation becomes a new annual tradition at the coffee giant. 

NOW WATCH: We tried Starbucks' new color-changing Unicorn Frappuccino that's taking over Instagram

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