Starbucks Red Cups celebrate 25 years of holiday cheer

Starbucks Red Cups over 25 years, photo provided by Starbucks
Starbucks Red Cups over 25 years, photo provided by Starbucks /

While the return of the PSL marks a seasonal change, the Starbucks Red Cups are the visual reminder that the holiday season is here. As the iconic company marks 25 years of holiday cheer, those coffee cups are more than just a vessel to hold a favorite holiday beverage. It is a symbol to start celebrating the holidays.

Over the years, the Starbucks Red Cups have brought vibrancy to the winter season. Even though many people like those quiet, cozy moments, the various designs capture a sentiment of the season. From bringing people together to sharing a positive vibe, it is more than just a color splashed on a cup. It is meant to evoke a response.

While the red cup has become symbolic, the original design was not red. According to Starbucks, the first one, created by Starbucks designer, Sandy Nelson, featured magenta, sapphire, and emerald and purple colors. The block-style design had holly leaves with coffee beans and swirls that invited the eye to explore the design.

The bold, candy apple red color came in 1999. Now, the classic red has been woven into all the subsequent designs.

Even though the history of the red cup is colorful, it is the holiday season connection that makes it special. No one could have imagined that one cup could be so meaningful 25 years ago. Just like the holiday season is not complete without some holiday cookies, it is not complete without at least one beverage enjoyed in those Starbucks Red Cups.

What designs are featured in Starbucks Red Cups 2022?

For the Starbucks Red Cups 2022, the four designs harken back to the original concept. Each one is meant to feel like a gift waiting to be unwrapped. Just like that holiday beverage can be a respite in a chaotic moment, many people will want to get their hands on the holiday tradition.

Starbucks Red Cups for holiday 2022
Coffee Quality Technician Kekoa Farleigh roasting coffee beans in the back room of the cupping room at the Starbucks Support Center in Seattle, WA. /

According to Gary Jacobson, Starbucks creative director for this year’s holiday campaign, “Looking back at all the years of holiday cups, you can see the commitment to design and artistry and all things handcrafted. I think that’s why they have become part of a lot of people’s holiday traditions. They invite people in because each new design captures a moment in time with its own unique take on the holidays.”

One of the 2022 designs is a nod to the Peppermint Mocha, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The vibrant green mimics the bright mint in the beverage. The classic red and green colors bring that nostalgic touch that seems to be everywhere this holiday season.

The Starbucks Red Cups return to stores on November 3 and will be available throughout the holiday season. In addition, holiday beverages, including the new Chocolate Pistachio Swirl will be available starting on that day.

Related Story. Cracker Barrel seasonal breakfast items bring spice and sparkle to the holidays. light