Although in April, Starbucks announced that it would reduce the launch of new specialty drinks by 30% in the US, this apparently does not apply to our neighbors south of the border.
Last week, Starbucks Mexico debuted two new limited edition Frappuccinos as part of its "Back to the Flavor" campaign. The latest sugary concoctions from the coffee chain are the Bubblegum and Cotton Candy Frappuccinos.
"Back to the Flavor," a campaign geared towards those nostalgic for the neon-colored early nineties, has kicked off with a series of colorful posts and videos on the Starbucks Mexico Instagram.
In an attempt to lure millennials yearning for their childhood faves, the Seattle chain says, "These new drinks will take you back to the best moments of your childhood or adolescence with every single sip."
Despite the youth market up for grabs in the US, these drinks won’t be seeing the light of day anytime soon in North America. In the company's Q3 earnings report in July, Starbucks US stated that Frappuccinos have lost popularity in the States.
According to Starbucks COO Rosalind G. Brewer,"While not yet enough to offset declines in Frappuccino sales, we see substantial accretive growth from Draft, Refreshers, Tea, and Cold Brew platforms. In general, consumer demand for cold beverages has grown from 37% of sales five years ago to more than 50% of sales today. There's also strong demand for customization, including Blonde Espresso as an alternative to our bolder signature roasts and plant-based milk and cold foam for our cold coffee and tea beverages."
In Mexico, Starbucks is managed by Alsea, a Mexico City company that also operates chains like Burger King, Domino’s, Chili’s, and the Cheesecake Factory in Latin American markets. The first Starbucks opened in Mexico in 2002, and there are now almost 700 stores in the country.
The Frappuccino made its first appearance in the US in 1993 and was rolled out nationally in 1995. Though at first, they were limited to coffee and mocha variations, they have grown increasingly experimental with limited edition novelties, such as Unicorn Frappuccinos. Mexico even introduced a Mermaid Frappuccino last summer.
The motivation behind these colorful coffee drinks seems to be generational. Geared towards twenty-somethings who may temporarily appreciate the Instagram-worthy qualities of a pastel coffee drink, Starbucks seems aware that these fads will fade quickly. After all, how many mature adults would head into the office for a hard day’s work holding a Unicorn Frapp?