Real Talk about the Unicorn Frappucino 

Spoiler alert: it’s not coffee

Hey friends I’m back.  Back and full of sass.  (If you’re an Eminem fan please know his song “Without Me” is playing in my head as I type). 

It seems everyone feels some type of way about Starbucks right now, people are either: a) so in love with their unicorn frappucino or, b) people are pissed and want Starbucks to burn in a glittery unicorn flame.

Apparently people are legitimately yelling at baristas when stores have run out of the ingredients to make the drink.  So that’s cool.  

In case you’re unfamiliar, this Unicorn drink I am referring to is available for a limited time, and is a blended frappucino that includes milk, “creme frappucino syrup”, mango syrup, and has a really cool color!  Apparently it tastes sweet, and sour, and changes colors, and overall seems like a drink like equivalent of a unicorn.  

But you guys, it’s not coffee.  

I’m not Food Babe over here.  I’m not going to chastise you for drinking this, unless you’re my patient and asking my advice on it.  What I am going to point out some hypocrisy and maybe a general lack of education about what we drink.  

One prevalent issue I see across the board with most people is that generally people are unaware of how much they drink with regard to calories. Let’s be REALLY clear, this beverage has a meals worth of calories in it and soooooooo much sugar.  

That being said why not take a little gander at some items already on the menu at Starbucks, and for my Michiganders I’ve included some Biggby items as well.  

Ok, this is the Grande Unicorn Frappucino, with all of the “fixin’s” like whole milk and whipped cream



Please note that the carb and sugar content has changed very little, but the calories have decreased so significantly because of the substantial change in total fat from the switch from whole milk + whipped cream to skim milk + no whip.

Let’s shift gears, and look at some regular menu items:


So this is the original frappucino in a Grande size. Only 50 fewer calories than the modified Unicorn Frap, but very similar with regard to total carb grams and sugar.

And because I am feeling extra sassy, here is everyones’ beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte (Grande, with 2% milk and whip):


For my Michigan folks, this will hurt:

What you see before you is Biggby’s Grande Caramel Marvel. For those who don’t live in Michigan, this is a Michigan chain and this is one of their most popular beverages. This is with 2% milk and whipped cream. 

This actually has coffee in it…

Here is the non-fat, no whip version:


Ok, so personally I drink black coffee, sometimes I add whole/almond/coconut milk, but not always. That is my personal preference, and it took me many years to take my coffee this way. That being said, I know not everyone loves coffee as much as they love the caffeine that results from the coffee.

The whole point of this post is to encourage people to be more aware of what you’re drinking and also to quash this hypocrisy. A Unicorn Frapp is not going to give a child ADD, nor is a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Would I recommend having one of these daily? Or even weekly?

Nope.

But everyone needs to calm their shit down. Also, it’s not nice to be rude to baristas- they are the givers of caffeinated joy. 

Quantity and frequency make this drink, and drinks like it an issue. 

If you have had one everyday it’s been available- don’t be surprised if your scale reflects that as 250-500 kcals are enough to create a calorie deficit/surplus. Which is why in most cases when people are trying to lose weight reducing and eliminating beverages like these, sodas, and juices lead to relatively quick moss just making that change alone.

That being said if you have one Unicorn drink once a year, it’s really not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. 

And if you’re in the boat currently or after reading this where you’re trying to decrease your added sugar intake both Starbucks and Biggby have fantastic interactive websites that let you adjust different variables of your drink to see how that impacts calories & macronutrients. Also, being someone who doesn’t enjoy sweet drinks I have found both establishments are VERY good about making their signature drinks with half and less than half of the normal amount of sweeteners they use- if you’re looking for a way to slowly cut down (which can be helpful as opposed to trying to just to straight black coffee). 

One thought on “Real Talk about the Unicorn Frappucino 

  1. sarahdudek80 says:

    I LOVE this post. Reading those sugar contents is giving me the shakes! My husband walked out of Starbucks yesterday and asked me how many people I thought walked out with just a coffee (as we do) and I said 2….us. I think it is great to find what you enjoy, but I also know that so many people have NO idea just what they are consuming. I sat down with a client one day and went over her drink consumption and she was shocked to see that she often consumes over 500 calories most days in drinks alone. I’d much rather eat those calories. BTW check out some of the videos of people drinking the unicorn. Most of them gag!

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