The social media-savvy coffee giant Tuesday announced the return of three fan-favorite seasonal Frappuccinos and an eye-catching collection of permanent menu items—including a bright pink Dragon Drink, which a Starbucks blog post promises will “add a pop of color to your cup (and social media feed).”
The Dragon Drink debuts days after 12.02 million people tuned into HBO’s Game of Thrones “Battle of Winterfell’, the second most-watched episode of the dragon-friendly series.
However, a Starbucks spokesperson tells Fortune via email, there’s no connection. “The beverage is not tied to Game of Thrones,” the Starbucks official demurs. (Unlike other Game of Thrones-inspired products, including beer, wine, and even Monopoly.)
Rather, the spokesperson said the new Dragon Drink “combines Starbucks’ Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers launched last summer [now on the permanent menu] with creamy coconut milk.”
The recipe actually comes from Starbucks’ customers, who last summer touted the combination, suggesting on social media for others to order the “secret menu” item by adding coconut milk to the Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers.
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How are y’all staying cool? I mostly stayed home all weekend in my AC’ed house. 😜 I did venture out just to pick up this little gem from Starbucks 😍 I wasn’t kidding when I said I’m obsessed with dragonfruit lately. Pro tip: add coconut milk and do without the water for this beautiful 🤫 menu drink! So good you won’t regret 😏 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🐲: Dragon Drink – Mango Dragonfruit Refresher with Coconut Milk 📍: Alhambra, CA _____________________________________________ . . . . . #eatoutla #socaleats #lafoodie #laeats #eaterla #yelpla #dinela #infatuationla #foodiesLA #losangeleseats #foodielife #viafood #foodislove #foodintheair #instaeat #cuisinesworld #foodaffair #yougottaeatthis #nomnoms #eeeeeats #starbucks #mangodragonfruitrefresher #dragonfruit #refresher #melting #coconutmilk #dragon #mango #dragondrink
This isn’t the first time Starbucks has taken a cue from customers. In 2017, the Pink Drink, mixing coconut milk and fresh strawberries with the chain’s Strawberry Acai Refresher, was added after the “beverage customization took social media by storm,” the company explains on its website.
“We are always listening to our customers and baristas to ensure we have a relevant menu of food and drinks,” the spokesperson tells Fortune.
This is the case for this year’s return of the summer S’mores Frappuccino, first introduced in 2015 and continuing as a seasonal specialty until being discontinued in 2018—much to fans’ dismay. Last week, Starbucks began retweeting old requests to bring back the S’mores Frappuccino, before announcing Tuesday its return to the U.S. and Canada for a limited time.
Starbucks also has brought back the Mocha Cookie Crumble and Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccinos, adding them to its permanent menu, as well as some food items. A Crispy Grilled Cheese sandwich joins the permanent menu, while Frosted Doughnut Cake Pops and a Baja Black Bean Veggie Wrap are now available for a limited run.
Such creative additions have been instrumental to Starbucks’ global growth—particularly when it comes to cold drinks.
“We have seen when we introduce more of our cold beverage innovation…our nonmembers [of Starbucks Rewards] tend to shop with us in the afternoons,” Starbucks COO Roz Brewer said last week during the company’s quarterly conference call with analysts, according to CNBC.
The coffee giant had strong second quarter earnings, reporting 3% sales global growth at stores that have been open for at least a year, and 4% comparable growth within the U.S.