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11 years of Starbucks holiday cups reveal how the coffee giant's iconic red cup has transformed

Published by Business Insider on Sun, 08 Dec 2019


Starbucks' holiday cups have returned, wishing customers "Merry Coffee."The coffee giant's holiday cups have evolved over the years, from a simple red cup to one that has a plethora of festive designs.We rounded up 11 years of Starbucks holiday cups to see how the iconic red cup has transformed over the years.Sign up for Business Insider's retail newsletter, The Drive-Thru.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.If you've been to Starbucks recently, you have probably noticed the plethora of cheery holiday cupsincluding some wishing customers "Merry Coffee."Gone are the days of the simple red cup. Instead, Starbucks is determined to infuse November and December with seasonal cheer via a variety of festive and colorful designs. This year, Starbucks is serving drinks in a variety of different holiday cup designs."Our customers tell us they love the holidays and Starbucks holiday cups are a cue that the season is upon us," Chief Operating Officer Roz Brewersaid on a call with investors in 2018."Last year our stores didn't sufficiently reflect the festive environment our customers know and love and have come to expect from us," Brewer continued, referencing 2017's weak holiday sales.Business Insider rounded up Starbucks' cup designs since 2009, revealing how much Starbucks' "red cup" season has changed over the years.Here is how this year's cups compare to others throughout Starbucks' history:Starbucks' holiday cups have faced a number of controversies.In 2017,#BoycottStarbucks began trendingafter a conspiracy theory emergedthat the chain's holiday cups featured the hands of a lesbian couple.In 2015, the chain's minimalist red cups faced backlash after a video claiming that Starbucks "removed Christmas from their cups" went viral. The cups quickly became a topic of discussion for major publications, late-night talk show hosts, and even Donald Trump, then a presidential candidate."No more 'Merry Christmas' at Starbucks,"Trump said at a a pre-debate rally in Springfield, Illinois, at the time."Maybe we should boycott Starbucks. I don't know. Seriously. I don't care."Read more about Starbucks:Starbucks is changing its dress code, and it is sparking celebration among baristas with facial piercingsFrom Cheez-It pizza to doughnut chicken sandwiches, these were the 16 most outrageous fast-food releases of 2019Inside the world's biggest Starbucks, a magical 'coffee theme park' with five floorsI went to Starbucks' futuristic new pickup-only store and saw how it could transform the way people buy their coffeeSEE ALSO:Starbucks baristas are celebrating as the coffee giant updates its dress codeJoin the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: Applebee's made the best comeback of 2018. Here's how the restaurant chain turned around.
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