For coffee lovers, the arrival of the Starbucks holiday cups marks the beginning of the holiday season. Just as a pumpkin spice latte is an homage to Fall, a Starbucks holiday cup is a symbol of holiday spirit and season greetings. This year, Starbucks officially kicked off the holidays as early as the day after Halloween. On November 1st, the 2017 Starbucks holiday cups were revealed and available in stores worldwide.
As this year marked the 20th anniversary of the Starbucks holiday cups, they came with a twist – customers can put on their designer hats and color them in. The white cups feature a tree, presents, ribbons, scarves, and other winter imagery that customers can customize to their hearts’ desire.
Starbucks consumers seem to be pleased with the redesign, which is a huge sigh of relief for the coffee chain. In past years, their holiday cups stirred some unwelcomed controversy. As hard as it may be to imagine a cup being the source of an Internet debate, its design symbolized a deeper meaning to consumers in 2015. When Starbucks revealed a simple red cup with no trees, snowman, or decorative ornaments included, the Internet furiously claimed the cups were a “war on Christmas.” Many consumers even boycotted Starbucks as they believed the company was taking important Christmas traditions out of the holiday season.
While the red cup brewed controversy in 2015, it was the iconic green cup that took the heat in 2016. The Starbucks “Symbol of Unity” cup, which featured a mosaic of more than a hundred faces, was meant to celebrate community. The Internet, however, was once again upset that Christmas was not represented in the design.
Although the annual holiday cups may not always be politically correct, the Starbucks brand remains a champion in the marketing realm. Millions of consumers around the world look forward to the big reveal of a new holiday design every year and proceed to take selfies with their favorite holiday drinks in their hands. Starbucks continues to dominate social media threads not only with their holiday cups, but also with their limited holiday coffee flavors such as Chestnut Praline Latte, Gingerbread Latte, Peppermint Mocha, and the Eggnog Latte.