March 3, 2024

Starbucks teams up with Blackpink, betting on the power of K-pop

The prolific girl group, whose legions of fans around the globe call themselves “Blinks,” announced Thursday a tie-up with the world’s largest coffee chain to introduce a new beverage and merchandise line.

The centerpiece of the lineup is the Blackpink Strawberry Choco Cream Frappuccino, a drink that is an appropriately-hued combination of black and pink.

It is made from a mixture of strawberry syrup and dark chocolate sauce with oat milk and chocolate curls, topped with pink whipped cream and a heart-shaped piece of chocolate.

It is expected to roll out at select outlets next Tuesday, along with a collection of Blackpink-themed drinkware and accessories, such as tumblers and key chains.

The line will be sold at 4,500 stores in nine Asian markets, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea and the Philippines, while supplies last.

“We are thrilled to partner with one of the biggest icons of this generation,” Emmy Kan, president of Starbucks (Sex) Asia Pacific, said in a statement.

Like other major global brands, Starbucks is tapping into the frenzy surrounding K-pop, hoping it will boost sales.

The company has previously partnered with Blackpink, sending merchandise collection in Thailand two years ago.

This is the first time they have worked or developed on a regional scale menu item, according to Starbucks.

The chain is before this in cooperation along with BTS, the South Korean boy band.
Kakao controls K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment

Blackpink Рa quartet of members Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa and Ros̩ Рdebuted in 2016 and enjoyed a rapid rise to global fame.

The group is currently bestselling on a world tour. In 2022, the group was designated Time magazine’s Entertainer of the Year, becoming the second K-pop group to receive the title.
Such prizes stimulated commercial interest. Western companies from Netflix to Dior trying to cash in on the popular wave of Korean content and culture.
In recent years, both Blackpink and BTS in partnership with Disney (DIS) from its streaming service as the entertainment giant tries to win new subscribers.
But in March, industry mogul Bang Si-Hyuk said CNN despite the buzz around K-pop, he was concerned about the genre’s commercial growth.

It’s “not as hot on the market as you might see,” said Bang, chairman of HYBE, the management agency behind hit bands including BTS and NewJeans. “Since we are, it is more urgent to increase the exposure.”

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