Starbucks starts setting the seasons according to its own calendar.

As the cherry blossom petals begin to flutter down from the trees, creating carpets of pink to match the top of this year’s soon-to-be-gone sakura Frappuccino, it’s time to look towards the horizon, where a new Frappuccino will be appearing on the menu.

This year, it’s the Bananana Banana Frappuccino, which comes in two varieties, both designed around the theme of “Big Banana Smiles“.

As the marketing suggests, the new drinks are playfully named to be “like a tongue twister“, and the accompanying art shows the big banana smiles they aim to bring. In terms of flavour, the Bananana Banana Frappuccino is said to contain the “fully fledged” taste of banana, thanks to the use of soft pulp to express the sweetness of the ripe fruit, while the Chocolate Bananana Banana Frappuccino adds chocolate into the mix.

Making these beverages extra fun are their cute and crunchy banana-shaped and Smartie-esque chocolate toppings, designed to impart a “dessert feeling” in looks and flavour.

Even though spring has just begun here in Japan, this drink duo is said to be the first instalment in Starbucks’ summer lineup. Despite the super early delivery, using bananas to encapsulate the taste of summer is a sweet choice, seeing as hard chocolate-coated bananas on sticks are a mainstay at Japanese summer festivals.

According to Starbucks, the idea for big banana smiles was born out of the current state of the world, with many people unable to spend time with loved ones recently due to the ongoing pandemic. Starbucks says:

“This summer, let’s laugh together and share the moments that make us happy!”

To that end, a limited number of labels on each cup will be printed with one of nine different “banana gags”, which we’re guessing will weigh heavily on the punny side of the joke spectrum, given the chain’s love of wordplay.

Both Bananana drinks will be available in a tall size only, priced at 678 yen (US$5.48) for takeout and 690 yen for eat-in customers. They’ll be on the menu from 13 April to 31 May, after which time we’ll be gazing towards the horizon again, to see what drinks will be refreshing our palates for the actual summer season at Starbucks.

Source, images: Starbucks Japan 
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