How a campfire treat sparked one of summer’s big trends

Once upon a time, s’mores were a humble dessert. The original recipe was from a scouting magazine in the 1920s, calling for a toasted marshmallow sandwiched between pieces of chocolate and two graham crackers.

But now s’mores aren’t just for campfires anymore.

You can roast your own tableside in high-end restaurants, sidle up to a s’mores bar at a wedding reception, or order them to-go at a neighborhood food truck. They have inspired such culinary creations as s’mores grilled cheese sandwiches, muffins and pizza – even a s’mores burrito. There’s something nostalgic in that combination of melted chocolate, roasted marshmallow and crunchy graham crackers that makes it one of the top beverage trends for 2019.

Now Starbucks S’mores Frappuccino® blended coffee is back in Starbucks stores in Canada and the U.S. starting today (April 30) for a limited time, while supplies last (along with Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino and Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino).

Starbucks Summer Frappuccinos

It was those memories of summertime that first sparked the idea for the beverage, which was first introduced in 2015. Paloma Carrington-Bataller, manager of product development for Starbucks, wasn’t yet on the R&D team, but knows its origin story well.

“When we start creating a new beverage, we always try to think about our customer. What they are doing? How do they want to be feeling? What is their mindset? All those things go into every beverage we make,” she said.

The R&D partners started with the idea of summers in the outdoors and spending time with friends and family. That led to the concept of roasting s’mores around a campfire. They came up with a Frappuccino recipe that’s a deconstructed version of the fireside classic with milk chocolate sauce, a creamy blend of vanilla, coffee, milk and ice that’s finished off with marshmallowy whipped cream and a graham cracker crumble.

“Customers loved it,” Carrington-Bataller said. “There’s something about that first sip of marshmallow whip and the rich texture of our amazing milk chocolate sauce. It takes you right back to memories of summer camp or gathering around a bonfire with friends.”

The Frappuccino was a customer-favourite for three summers before taking a hiatus in 2018 and had a passionate fan base like Pumpkin Spice Latte. Customers didn’t take it well.

“My friends know I work at Starbucks and I got phone calls from them, asking why it wasn’t in stores,” she said. “People were upset!”

Now that S’mores Frappuccino is back on the menu at Starbucks this summer by popular demand, she gets to enjoy hearing from friends about their favourite drink again.

“I think one of the reasons people love s’mores so much is that they aren’t something you make for only yourself,” she said. “It’s something that’s shared with others.”

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Starbucks names first North American Barista Champion: Darcy Todd of Texas