With the recent addition of unicorns to children’s breakfast cereal Lucky Charms, the quirky charm of this once-trendy magical creature seems to be coming to an end.

The number of cushions, shirts, bags and cakes decorated by this fabulous creature is in decline, now that the unicorn has officially gone mainstream. So what animal will now inspire creative new designs, food and beverages?

At the Ambiente consumer goods fair in Frankfurt, Germany, seen as a leader in the design sector, the flamingo is all the rage. Furnishings, decorations and fashion accessories in this year’s catalogues tend to show what will soon be piled high in the shops.

This year it could well be the pink flamingo, which has for some months been seen as the successor to the unicorn, even though some companies are sticking with the ancient symbol of purity.

But others are making the switch. The pink flamingo is in abstract form on postcards, as comic character on cushions and handbags and even sculpted to life-size for a corner in the living room.

llama and flamingo

The flamingo is everywhere, even on Champagne flutes.

Champagne flutes, rubber ducks for the bath and party decorations are all showing the resplendent bird, often standing on one leg. “The flamingo is exotic,” says Ambiente guide Nicolette Naumann, who sees the bird as reflecting the desire for faraway places and warmth.

flamingo and llama

Pink and exotic.

But there are also other motifs being used. The llama and alpaca are also to be seen at Ambiente. “These new favourites among the animals look out calmly on the world with their irresistible button eyes, entrancing viewers with their friendliness,” interior designers Kare say.

Staedter, a company making utensils for baking has llama cake forms, and they are also to be found looking out of prints and cushions. “The llama in particular has such a cute face with big eyes. This is the child theme that attracts people,” Naumann says.

It is noticeable that the llamas and alpacas tend to decorate products aimed at children, often complete with comments like “No Probllama” or “Wonder llama”.

And yet it’s not yet certain that the unicorn’s days are numbered. “What is clear is that companies are already looking for the new trend animal,” Naumann says. – dpa/Simone Andrea Mayer