Every year, for the last 24 years, Starbucks has come out with brand new red holiday cups, and even though Christmas is still 46 days away, it's apparently time to start celebrating. Yes, holiday-loving Starbucks fans can rejoice because the Starbucks red holiday cups return on November 10. But this year, there's a bit of a twist with the design. In a break from tradition, the Seattle-based coffee company will not be releasing a single red cup. Instead, Starbucks is unveiling 13 different customer-designed red holiday cups. They'll have festive designs like birch trees and glass Christmas ornaments "painted" onto the classic red cups in white ink.
These designs follow the controversy over the minimalist design of Starbucks red holiday cups in 2015, which were somehow deemed to be part of a war on Christmas. (Even now-president-elect Donald Trump weighed in on the whole mess, suggesting that the coffee brand should be boycotted. "If I become president," he said, "we're all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you.")
In response, angry—and creative—customers started to draw their own holiday designs on the simple two-tone red cups, with some people even calling it a perfect canvas. Starbucks decided to embrace their customers' creativity by putting out a call for submissions of holiday art on Instagram, using the hashtag #RedCupArt. Within eight days, Starbucks had received more than 1,200 submissions from 13 countries around the word.
Eventually this number was whittled down to just 13 designs, representing customers from six countries. According to Dena Blevins, creative director of Starbucks Global Creative Studio, "We loved how the red cups with white designs naturally created a collection. They hang together as one idea but each expression is unique.”
It should be noted that these newest red holiday cups are, in fact, the official red holiday cups, since there was some confusion about the design of the holiday cups earlier this month. On November 1, Starbucks released a limited edition green cup with a design featuring "a mosaic of more than a hundred people drawn in one continuous stroke" that was meant to serve as a "reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other." But many folks assumed this green cup was the official holiday cup and low-key flipped out about it because there were no classically seasonal images.
The Starbucks red holiday cups will be hitting over 20,000 stores in 75 countries—including the United States—on November 10. This newest collection of red holiday cups from Starbucks should please even the most hardcore holiday enthusiast. But, as Starbucks president and CEO Howard Schultz wisely reminded the audience the unveiling of the holiday cups at a Starbucks store in lower Manhattan, "It's just a cup!"