The red cup countdown

The long-awaited holiday cup is officially here


There’s nothing that better signifies the beginning of the holiday season than a red cup.

No, I’m not talking about red solo cups – I’m talking about Starbucks’ holiday cups. Each year, avid Starbucks drinkers patiently – or anxiously – await the “red cup return.” Whether you were keeping track via the “Countdown to #RedCups” ticker online or if you were following the @RedCupCountdown on Twitter, the wait is officially over and red cups are here.

When you walk into Starbucks, a bright red glow fills the store. Red cups are fully stocked, red holiday menus have replaced the fall-colored ones and miniature red cup ornaments are ready to be purchased.

Now that the snow has officially started trickling down, there’s nothing better to keep you warm during the brisk cold walks through campus than with a venti red cup in hand.

But some Starbucks customers aren’t readying themselves for a white Christmas. All across the United States people are preparing for the “holiday season” and while some of us have already started bundling up and digging out our cars from snow, others are relaxing on the beach and still in bathing suits. For those people on the other side of the world, enjoying their warm Christmas, it’s sometimes hard for them to get into the holiday spirit.

Starbucks closes the gap between the warm weathered customers and the holiday season approaching with the red cups. After 17 years of holiday seasons with red cups, they are a staple to customers as a way to get into the holiday spirit.

In an interview with the Dieline, Terry Davenport, senior vice president, Global Brand and Creative Studios at Starbucks said, “The red cups have taken on almost a cultural role, at least in the U.S., and now in a lot of other markets around the world as well,” he said. “When the cups turns red at Starbucks, that’s one of the first cues that the holidays are upon us.”

With the return of the holiday cups comes a return of our favorite holiday drinks. This year, Starbucks continued some of our old holiday favorites, such as the Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Brulée Latte. But unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to drinks like the Apple Crumble and the Pumpkin Spice Lattes for 2014.

This year, Starbucks is featuring their newest drink, the Chestnut Praline Latte. For those that find the Pumpkin Spice Latte a little overwhelming in flavor, try the Chestnut Praline for a lighter but still a holiday spirited drink.

“The emotional connection that our store partners (employees) have when they open that first box of the red cups and start using them that first day, and the emotional connection they see from their customers, that’s what we strive for,” Davenport said. “They see that surprise and excitement, ‘Oh, the red cups are at Starbucks!’ It’s really special and all of us in the studio feel privileged to do the work that can create such an emotional moment and connection in our stores between our partners and our customers.”

Whether you’re a red cup enthusiast like myself, or just enjoy the seasonal eggnog drink, many look forward to the Starbucks holiday season.