New limited-edition beverage helps to kickstart a new campaign to reduce waste in Japan. 

With summer fast approaching, Starbucks is looking to keep us cool with a new icy Frappuccino called the Setouchi Lemon Cake.

As the name suggests, this beverage uses fruit from Setouchi, Japan’s premier lemon-producing region. Setouchi lemons are known for their high sugar content and mellow acidity, making them a perfect partner for sweets, and now they’re being used to conjure up the flavour of lemon cake, with the help of a milky Frappuccino base.

The drink’s whipped cream topping is sprinkled with pearl sugar and lemon-flavoured sauce to recreate “the mouthfeel and flavour of cake icing“, while freeze-dried lemon peel pieces help to add a crunchy texture and bitter accent to the mix.

Lemon peel sauce is blended throughout the milk base, promising to deliver mouthfuls of refreshing citrus flavour, but Starbucks says the icing-like topping will be one of the main highlights as it expresses “the charm point of a lemon cake“.

The release of the new limited-time Frappuccino coincides with a new “My Tumbler” promotion set to begin at Starbucks on 31 May. To mark the start of the promotion, Starbucks will be selling a new 473-millilitre (16-ounce) green reusable “Cold Cup” in limited numbers for 440 yen (US$3.17).

The chain hopes the new cup will encourage customers to start a “tumbler habit”, where they bring in their own tumblers to cut down on waste produced from single-use takeaway cups. To drum up interest in the initiative, Starbucks will be starting a project called the “Tumbler Club“, which borrows the look and feel of a school club — a timely idea, as young people spend a lot of their summer holidays participating in club activities at school — for its promotional posters and digital spaces.

▼ “タンブラー部” (“Tumbler Club”)

As a welcome event for joining the club, customers will be able to track the number of tumblers being used at stores nationwide on a special website until 30 June. If milestones of 300,000, 500,000, and 700,000 cups are recorded, up to three special gift campaigns will be offered from 1 July for tumbler users.

What’s more, when you bring your own tumbler or mug to Starbucks you’ll enjoy a discount of 55 yen, instead of the normal 22 yen discount, until 30 June.

That’s a serious drive to boost tumbler users and help curb waste, and you’ll be able to enjoy the discount as many times as you like from 31 May, when the Setouchi Lemon Cake Frappuccino will become available, priced at 678 yen for takeout or 690 yen for dine-in customers.

Source, images: Starbucks Japan press release
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