And it's going on the permanent menu.

By Mike Pomranz
May 21, 2020
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The COVID-19 pandemic has upended so many big things in our lives that it can be easy to overlook the smaller ones. For instance, though you may pine for a time when you can finally hang out at Starbucks again, here’s a smaller return to normalcy that may sound refreshing both physically and mentally: The coffee chain has announced several new and returning summer menu items—including a new strikingly pink Iced Guava Passionfruit Drink.

Starbucks has had plenty of success in the pink beverage department in the past, going all the way back to 2016 when Instagram turned the original “Pink Drink” into viral “secret menu” phenomenon before it was officially added to the menu the following later. Last year, the similarly hued if not similarly flavored Dragon Drink was the big summer menu launch. And now, the Iced Guava Passionfruit Drink adds to the tradition.

Starbucks

This latest addition to Starbucks line of Iced Coconutmilk Drinks is billed as combining “flavors of guava, passionfruit, pineapple and ginger, hand-shaken with coconutmilk and ice for a smooth and creamy beverage to uplift your day.” The non-dairy beverage will be part of the permanent menu.

This 2020 pink drink is one of four items Starbucks announced today for summer. Customers can also keep a lookout for the new Grilled Chicken & Hummus Protein Box featuring “a tender and juicy sous vide grilled chicken breast paired with roasted red pepper hummus and naan bread, baby carrots and snap peas,” the new limited time only Unicorn Cake Pop featuring “a creamy vanilla cake with confetti sprinkles shaped into a unicorn, dipped in a white chocolaty icing, and finished with a magical design,” and the limited time only return of the S’mores Frappuccino which “layers marshmallow-infused whipped cream, milk chocolate sauce, a creamy blend of vanilla, coffee, milk, and ice, even more marshmallow whipped cream and is finished off with a graham cracker crumble.”

But, needless to say, with the summer of 2020 shaping up to be much different than any summer we’ve ever known, Starbucks new menu announcement—which arrived three weeks later than last year’s announcement—was about more than just food. The brand had suspended marketing due to COVID, so this new launch and its corresponding advertising campaign are part of getting back to business as usual (as possible).

The coffee giant pointed out that it has “now responsibly reopened over 85 percent our company operated stores across the U.S., and we are expecting more than 90 percent of our stores to be open by early June, under modified operations and hours.” They also reinforced that, as the brand announced last month, it has new in-store protocols intended “to exceed the standards outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a safe experience, including heightened emphasis on cleaning and sanitizing protocols in our stores.”

Finally, Starbucks hammered home that, for those looking to go to physical locations, the Starbucks App is the best way to double check if/when a store is open, as well as to order ahead and make a contactless payment. (Starbucks is even offering bonus rewards for people who use this feature for the rest of the month.) And for those who are still quarantining (no shame in that game!), Starbucks is still offering contactless delivery.

It all serves as a reminder that—though pink drinks might be back—all is not yet 100 percent back to normal. But we’re getting there one Starbucks announcement at a time, apparently.