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Everyone Loves Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccinos—Except Baristas

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Starbucks

Starbucks' limited-edition Unicorn Frappuccino wasn’t magical for everyone: As Reuters reports, the pink-and-blue drink elicited social media gripes from sticky—and exhausted—baristas around the country, following five days of overwhelming customer demand.

The on-trend Frappuccino was offered at participating stores from Wednesday, April 19 through Sunday, April 23, while supplies lasted. The crème-based drink’s main ingredient appeared to be food coloring: In addition to mango syrup, it contained a hearty dusting of pink powder and a sour blue drizzle, and was garnished with whipped cream and blue-and-pink powder topping. At first glance, the sweet treat looked purple, with blue swirls—but when the drink was stirred, it turned pink, and the flavor turned tart.

The drink's taste reportedly wasn’t anything to write home about. But thanks in part to its Instagrammable appearance, the Unicorn Frappuccino proceeded to sell out at multiple stores. The ensuing chaos prompted baristas to take to the internet to vent their frustrations: “Please don’t get it!” a Colorado-based barista named Braden Burson complained in a since-deleted Twitter video. “I have unicorn crap all in my hair and on my nose. I have never been so stressed out in my entire life.”

"It's a great drink,” Burson later added in a Facebook message, quoted by the AP. “But it is difficult to make when there are like 20 fraps all at once both front and drive thru.” (Starbucks promised to reach out to their disgruntled hire and “talk about his experience and how to make it better.”)

Meanwhile, Reddit was clogged with complaints from stressed food service workers (including one who was forced to whip up 56 Unicorn Frappuccinos for a single order), along with exultation from workers whose customers opted for simpler orders, or whose workplaces had run out of drink ingredients. One user even christened the infamous treat the “Frap from hell.”

To the relief of many baristas, Starbuck’s Unicorn Frappuccino promotion is over. That said, they are likely the only company employees clamoring for the mythical beverage to go extinct: Starbucks received “tremendous positive feedback" for the drink, according to a spokesperson, and company shares closed up 0.9 percent at $60.61 on Friday.

[h/t Reuters]

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Thanks to a Wet Winter, New Zealand Faces a Potential Potato Chip Shortage
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New Zealand has plenty of unique and tasty snacks, but kiwis also love potato chips. The universal comfort food is in danger Down Under, however, as an unusually wet winter has devastated the island country’s tuber crops, according to BBC News.

Twenty percent of New Zealand’s annual potato crop was wiped out from a series of major storms and floods that ravaged the nation’s North and South Islands, The Guardian reports. In some regions, up to 30 percent of potato crops were affected, with the varieties used to make chips bearing the brunt of the damage.

Potato prices spiked as farmers struggled, but the crisis—now dubbed “chipocalypse” by media outlets—didn't really make the mainstream news until supermarket chain Pak’nSave posted announcements in potato chip aisles that warned customers of a salty snack shortage until the New Year.

Pak’nSave has since rescinded this explanation, claiming instead that they made an ordering error. However, other supermarket chains say they’re working directly with potato chip suppliers to avoid any potential shortfalls, and are aware that supplies might be limited for the foreseeable future.

New Zealand’s potato farming crisis extends far beyond the snack bars at rugby matches and vending machines. Last year’s potato crops either rotted or remained un-harvested, and the ground is still too wet to plant new ones. This hurts New Zealand’s economy: The nation is the world’s ninth-largest exporter of potatoes.

Plus, potatoes “are a food staple, and this is becoming a food security issue as the effects of climate change take their toll on our potato crop,” says Chris Claridge, the chief executive of industry group Potatoes New Zealand, according to The Guardian.

In the meantime, New Zealanders are preparing to hunker down for a few long months of potential potato peril—and according to some social media users, kale chips are not a suitable alternative. “Chipocalypse” indeed.

[h/t BBC News]

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50 Sweet Facts About Your Favorite Halloween Candies
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It’s no surprise that candy delights kids and adults alike. We love sweets so much that the average American eats about 22 pounds of candy each year. Whether you’re looking to impress your friends or simply brush up on your candy trivia, check out these 50 sweet facts about your favorite candies.

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