Five years ago today, Starbucks offered their very first Frappuccino Happy Hour. The all-new promotion coincided exactly with then-all new However-You-Want-It Frappuccino. Starbucks wanted to encourage customers to try new things. Before the However-You-Want-It Frappuccino, a customer couldn't modify their Frappuccino in terms of milk choices and more.
So May 7, 2010, was the very first Frappuccino Happy Hour and the beginning of the However-You-Want-It Frappuccino. Baristas wore fun blue aprons for the event, and Starbucks offered half price Frappuccinos from 3 PM to 5 PM, May 7th - 16th.
About two weeks before that big May 7th launch of the new Frappuccino, Starbucks offered up a blog post explaining why and what they were doing. Interestingly, the new version of the Frappuccino (which is indeed the current version) was tested for two years before the switch! Here's an excerpt from that official April 21, 2010, Starbucks blog post:
Changing a product as beloved as the Frappuccino is not something we’d do lightly. So we tested the new customizable Frappuccino® Blended Beverages for two years in Austin, Tampa, and Dallas. We gathered feedback and listened to reactions from customers until we had it just right. And the results have been impressive: customers in these test markets consistently rated the NEW however-you-want-it Frappuccino excellent on “taste of beverage”, probably the single most important measure we evaluated. One customer told us, “My customizable Frappuccino was honestly the best Frappuccino I have ever had. It made me crave it!”
The other element customers have been raving about is choice. The new however-you-want-it Frappuccino allows fine-tuning of every element of your drink, such as sweetness, amount of coffee, and flavor. Want non-fat milk but sugar syrup? Go for it! It also allows entirely new choices. There are many requests on My Starbucks Idea from customers who wanted soy, vegan or decaf Frappuccinos and now those requests are a reality. Both our customers and store partners are starting to experiment with fun new taste combinations. One combination I swear tastes like a famous breakfast cereal. Have you heard about that one yet? Have fun with this new platform!
Of course we realize that taste is subjective and may vary from customer to customer. We encourage everybody to consider their barista a resource in creating their perfect however-you-want-it Frappuccino® Blended Beverage. If your drink isn’t perfect, just let your barista know and they’ll remake it – that’s the Starbucks Promise! Please let us know here if there are customizations that you think make YOUR drink just right. We will compile them and share some of the top customizations.
I look forward to hearing how you customize your Frappuccino! You can also follow Twitter conversations on the NEW however-you-want-it Frappuccino at @Frappuccino.
We've had five years of Frappuccino Happy Hour! Obviously it must've been such a success that Starbucks wanted to repeat it year after year. What do you think? Should there be a year six and more? :)