Starbucks Continues to Leverage the Photogenic Food Trend with Tie Dye Frappuccino Launch
When it comes to social media marketing, Starbucks has mastered post-worthy products. From color-changing cups to the secret Mermaid Frappuccino, the company knows how to keep its audience engaged and clamoring for its next great innovation.
These timely offerings often leverage bright colors and unique flavors to attract interest, and they’re typically promoted heavily on social media. The latest offering, the Tie Dye Frappuccino, launched in July 2019 as a limited-time seasonal drink.
“We wanted to create something that celebrates summer and really conveys it both visually and through flavor within the beverage,” said Paloma Carrington-Bataller, the Tie Dye Frappuccino designer, on the company’s official blog. “We knew it had to make you smile at first sight and our Tie-Dye Frappuccino does all this! It’s summer in a cup and something everyone can relate to; it takes you back to sunny warm days of summer spent at camp or with friends and family.”
Its vibrant, colorful appearance makes the frozen beverage extremely Instagrammable, playing into the trend of social sharing. The bright yellow is obtained using turmeric, while the red comes from red beet. Spirulina produces the natural blue shades that make the treat so whimsical.
At its base, the Tie Dye Frappuccino begins life as a blended, tropical Crème Frappuccino which is a yellow-orange color. The beverage is then sprinkled throughout with dashes of powder in yellow, red and blue colors, which give the Frappuccino its unique tie-dyed appearance. The Tie Dye Frappuccino is then topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream and sprinkled with the colored powders. While the drink is extremely colorful, the ingredients used to make the vibrant tones are all natural. Since colored powder application will vary, each Tie Dye Frappuccino will have its own unique color patterns — much in the way that tie-dyed shirts vary in pattern and color variation.
The flavor is described somewhat mysteriously as “deliciously fruity”, relying on bright colors to draw attention. The prominent yellow lends itself well to what Starbucks calls a “tropical fruit” flavor. The use of color is a great way to bring forward flavor profiles in food and drinks.