What’s Up with Starbucks’ Red Cup?


Abby Fortin, Staff Writer

Disclaimer: This article was originally meant to be simply informative, but as a religious Starbucks drinker and someone who waited in line for 25 minutes just to get a holiday cup, some biased opinions may be snuck in here and there…because who doesn’t love a festive cup for their favorite winter drink?! (I’ll tell you who: definitely not me)

For some, the Holiday season begins at 12:00 am on November 1st. For others, it begins the day Starbucks releases their signature holiday cups. In a time of such divisiveness and for some, stress and fear, I choose to enjoy the simpler things in life–one of these simpler things being this year’s spread of intricately designed red coffee cups by Starbucks. These cups are so popular that, according to Starbucks, “within the first 48 hours of red [Starbucks] cups launching in 2014, a photo of a Starbucks holiday cup was shared on Instagram every 14 seconds.” These cups seem beloved by all who sip warm beverages out of them, but in November 2015, controversy was stirred up almost immediately after the world-known coffee company released their red cup. In years past, Starbucks had decorated their cups with designs and images but in 2015, the company opted for an all red cup with the original green logo, which some people took the wrong way. Some believed that Starbucks “Christian-ized” the cups by making them red and green. Starbucks in no way intended the design of the cup to represent Christmas or any holiday in particular, but faced a lot of backlash because of a seemingly insignificant color-scheme mistake. To lighten the mood a little, Starbucks drinkers all around the world began doodling on their plain red ups, making each one unique, and prompting Starbucks to follow their lead in 2016. Flash forward to November 10th, 2016. Starbucks released 12 “hot beverage” holiday cups and one cup for cold beverages. This year Starbucks has gone back to their pre-2015 ways in an effort to avoid conflict and have decorated every cup with words, designs, images and more that capture the true holiday spirit, regardless of religion. Something extra special about the 2016 cups is that each one was designed by a customer! Whether you’re a coffee drinker, a chai drinker, or a fan of the strawberry acai refresher, Starbucks brings a little zing into your holiday beverage consumption every year. Do yourself a little favor this winter and treat yourself to your drink of choice at one of the six Starbucks locations around town!