Limited-edition drink and sweets will save three million bananas from the reject bin. 

Fruity Frappuccinos are the toast of the season right now at Starbucks in Japan, with strawberries being the current star ingredient on the menu. However, they’ll soon be joined by the humble banana, in the form of a new Frappuccino and duo of sweets, and while they’re said to taste delicious, they’re also good for the planet too.

The Banana Brulee Frappuccino is said to taste like a ripe banana, with the bitter sweetness of burnt sugar thrown in as a nod to the famous caramelised dessert. The drink contains a pulp-filled sauce made with ripe bananas at the very bottom, with almond milk and caramel sauce in the body adding the perfect amount of bittersweetness. The whipped cream topping is finished with a drizzle of burnt caramel sauce, while brulee chips within the drink provide a fun textural contrast.

Starbucks says the first sip will deliver the thick texture of sweet banana to the taste buds, followed by bitter caramel with the second sip and the crispy, pleasant texture of brulee chips in the third. Depending on how you mix the drink after that, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of flavours and textures, with banana being the star ingredient.

▼ The Banana Brulee Frappuccino will be sold in a Tall size only, priced at 678 yen (US$4.33) for takeout or 690 yen for dine-in.

Joining the drink will be a couple of new sweet treats, namely the Banana Rice Flour Roll Cake (priced at 437 yen for takeout or 445 yen for dine-in), and the Banana Rice Flour Muffin (priced at 285 yen for takeout or 290 yen for dine-in).

▼ The sweets will be available for a limited time from 29 May while stocks last.

Making the new range even more special is the fact that all the items, including the Frappuccino, are made with “Mottainai Bananas”. “Mottainai” means “wasteful” in Japanese, meaning that these bananas would normally go to waste, because despite being good to eat, they have bumps and bruises on them, leading them to be rejected by customers and retailers who prioritise looks over taste.

▼ This type of bruised produce is marketed in some countries as “Ugly Bananas”.

Starbucks estimates that the three new menu items will help to save around three million “Mottainai Bananas”, which is great news for both the planet and banana farmers and distributors, who would otherwise lose money on the wasted produce.

We’re happy to do our part in helping to prevent waste by purchasing the banana-filled Frappuccino and sweets when they go on sale on 29 May. While the sweets will only be around while stocks last, the beverage will be on the menu until 9 July, giving us plenty of time to go back for seconds, again and again!

Source, images: Press release 
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