Starbucks Is At The Center Of A Strange Lawsuit Thanks To Their Unicorn Frappuccino

Shutterstock / Starbucks

If you were lucky enough to indulge in a Unicorn Frappuccino from Starbucks back in April, congratulations. You consumed the world’s most well-known (and sweetest) unicorn drink on the market. But it’s apparently not the only one according to a new lawsuit by The End Brooklyn, a coffee bar in New York that has sold its own “unicorn” latte since December. The similarities stop at the name apparently and that’s part of the issue for the owners of The End according to Eater:

In a statement, The End co-owner Bret Caretsky said that their shop’s unicorn latte is the shop’s most popular product to date. His lawyer Josh Schiller pointed to Starbucks’ size as an unfair advantage in the competition, saying in a statement that the coffee giant’s actions are “severely damaging our client’s mark.”

Starbucks’ response, via a spokesperson, responded that The End’s claims “are without merit,” noting that the chain’s own unicorn beverage is “inspired by the fun, spirited, and colorful unicorn-themed food and drinks that have been trending in social media.” The drink is also no longer available.

The End wants an undisclosed amount of money for damages and a public apology, according to the lawsuit. The Brooklyn coffee shop applied for a trademark for its latte in January, but the application is still pending.

You can read the full complaint over at Eater if you please, but it would seem that The End is claiming that Starbucks has ruined the market with their drink. According to a New York Times profile of the bar, their unicorn beverage is a “restorative” drink that is far from the sugary monstrosity that Starbucks dropped on customers:

1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours
3 ½ cups filtered water
1 vanilla bean, insides scraped out
2 ounces cold pressed ginger
2 ounces lemon juice
1 tablespoon Blue Majik spirulina extract
1 tablespoon maca root
3 Medjool dates
Spirulina powder, to garnish (optional)

Starbucks drink features ingredients like “mango syrup, sour blue powder, whipped cream” according to Eater, but also isn’t marketed as a restorative drink that is healthy. It also isn’t the first item to ever carry the title “unicorn.” Eater points to these recipes from way back in October 2016 to support their claim, but even Starbucks points to these originals as their inspiration.

I can see wanting to tap into the Unicorn craze from all sides in this issue, but I’d still be more apt to buy a revitalizing drink referred to as a “phoenix” over “unicorn.” Not only do you get the Final Fantasy connection, but you might feel like you’ve risen from ashes after drinking it. Don’t try to make one now, though. It’s all mine and it’s probably going to be nothing by Redbull.

(Via Eater / The New York Times)