Starbucks Red Cup Day Sparks Holiday Joy With Free Limited-Edition Cups

Starbucks Red Cup Day Sparks Holiday Joy With Free Limited-Edition Cups

News by Anja Paspalj
Published: November 17, 2022

Thursday is a special day that marks the beginning of the festive season – Red Cup Day! With luck on your side, Starbucks may surprise you with that first infectious feeling of holiday joy.

The Beginning of the Starbucks Holiday Cup Tradition

Starbucks customers worldwide are familiar with what the specially designed red cup symbolizes, and this year the holiday tradition marks its 25th anniversary.

Red Cup Day went viral thanks to perfectly executed social media advertising (these are very instagrammable-looking cups, after all). But back when the first Starbucks holiday cup was launched in 1997, it was all about old-fashioned word-of-mouth.

Designer Sandy Nelson was the artist behind the first set of Starbucks holiday cups which were, surprisingly, not red at all. Nevertheless, the purple-toned cups were set apart from the regular Starbucks offer and quickly sparked a city-wide buzz.

(Source: Starbucks)
The first Starbucks holiday cup in 1997

“What’s happened now in popular culture is that the appearance of the red cup signals to people that it’s time to celebrate the holidays,” recalled Nelson. “Who would have thought 25 years ago that would happen?”

Many designers have since left their creative mark on the annual Starbucks holiday cup, as customers have flocked to the coffeehouse’s counters year after year to check out the joyous product design. This year is no exception.

25 Years of Starbucks Red Cup Day

After releasing their holiday menu on November 3, which includes an assortment of drinks such as Peppermint Mocha, Chestnut Praline Latte and Irish Cream Cold Brew, four newly designed Starbucks holiday cups were announced as a giveaway on Red Cup Day.

In familiar holiday hues, every reusable cup is reimagined with a design reminiscent of a little to-go gift, from Starbucks to their loyal customers.

(Source: Starbucks)
Limited-edition cups for Starbucks Red Cup Day in 2022

“We are really focused on creating a joyful experience throughout the entire Starbucks experience – whether a customer is visiting at our drive-thru or in our café,” said Gary Jacobson, Starbucks creative director behind this year’s holiday campaign.

These limited-edition cups will be given away to customers this Thursday with any order from the Starbucks holiday or fall menu, as long as supplies last.

Notably, Starbucks’ Red Cup Day has a bigger mission in mind. The reusable cups are made of 50% recycled material and tie into Starbucks’ sustainability goal to reduce waste by 50% by 2023.

This is certainly, something to look forward to this Thursday!

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