Remember July? Those were simpler times, when everyone wandered around like zombies, eyes glued to their phones as they captured virtual monsters via a cool new app called Pokémon Go. Enthusiasm for the mobile game may have waned since then, but Starbucks is now attempting to recapture the Pokémania that helped drive sales for many restaurants last summer.
This morning the coffee giant unveiled a partnership with Pokémon Go that transforms nearly 8,000 Starbucks locations across the U.S. into PokéStops or Gyms, meaning players can restock on Pokéballs or battle their digital creatures there. They can also sip on an official Pokémon Go Frappuccino, which is “a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino® blended beverage and raspberry syrup blended with freeze dried whole blackberries and topped with whipped cream” that’s available for an unspecified “limited time.”
Pokémon Go fever has already inspired numerous food items, including an unofficial “PokéBall” Frappuccino (that one was vanilla and strawberry-flavored) and some amazingly elaborate Pikachu and Squirtle burgers.
While this is the first big partnership for the U.S. version of the game, it’s not the first time Pokémon Go has collaborated with a big chain: During the app’s launch in Japan, more than 3,000 McDonald’s locations across the country were transformed into gyms.