The holiday season has arrived at Starbucks


Sometimes a Peppermint Mocha is more than just a beverage. It’s a moment of joy, a familiar ritual that connects holidays past and present. Starting Nov. 6, you can enjoy the comforts of the season at Starbucks stores in the United States and Canada with a flurry of seasonal favorites, including Peppermint Mocha, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Caramel Brulée Latte, Chestnut Praline Latte and Eggnog Latte, along with new holiday cups, food items and gifts.

The story behind this year’s cups  

This year’s theme, Carry the Merry, is an invitation to enjoy the little moments of brightness around you.

“Our thought behind the cups this year was about people carrying them out in the world as messengers of joy,” said Jeff Wilkson, creative director for Starbucks. “In a way that message deepened as we got further and further into this year. We want to be that beacon for people, a brief moment that they can look forward to.”  

To bring that sentiment to life on the cups, the team started with iconic brand elements and mixed in holiday themes and colors.

“Early in our exploration, one of our designers had started making these little ribbons that almost looked like washi tape (a decorative, adhesive tape),” Wilkson said. “We had this one session where we were so inspired by these different patterns that we cut them out with scissors and started wrapping them in different ways on cups.”

They continued to play with brand elements and toy with scale as the designs took shape. For the color palette, the designers brought in shades of brand greens and a shade of red that’s a little brighter than the shade Starbucks may be famous for to give it an extra pop.

The team landed on the following four different designs, the same number as the first holiday cup collection in 1997. They’ve also come to life in a series of holiday ads, each with a feeling all its own. (“Everyone has their favorite,” he says.)

Starbucks Red Holiday Cup Ribbon

Ribbon: This design brings forward joyful elements of the holiday season in ribbons of brand greens and a jolly red wrapped like a cozy holiday sweater. Look closely and you’ll see a familiar crown, tail, and scales. The design is repeated on this year’s collectible Starbucks red holiday cup.

Starbucks Red Holiday Cup Dot

Dot: Stripes swirl around a field of Starbucks house green punctuated by playful polka dots, sharing the sentiment to “carry the merry.” 

Starbucks Red Holiday Cup Sparkle

Sparkle: This red cup has vintage vibes, with cutout shapes in green like glittering holiday ornaments. The motif is repeated in a snowy white on Starbucks cold beverage cups.

Starbucks Red Holiday Cup Brand Wrap

Brand Wrap: This modern, scaled-up version of the ribbon design features bold bands of holiday color and the Starbucks wordmark, designer street style.

A collectible red holiday cup  

To mark the arrival of the season, Starbucks is gifting customers a free collectible red holiday cup on Nov. 6 to those who order a handcrafted holiday beverage at participating Starbucks stores in the United States. The cup offer is available for orders picked up in stores (including café, drive-thru and curbside) and through Starbucks Delivers, while supplies last, quantities are limited.

Holiday food & gifts 

Festive food items are also arriving, including the new Cranberry Orange Scone, Cranberry Bliss Bar ®, Sugar Plum Cheese Danish, Snowman Cookie, and Snowman Cake Pop. Starbucks® Christmas Blend whole bean coffee is also making its annual return to along with Starbucks® Christmas Blend Espresso Roast, Starbucks® Holiday Blend and Starbucks Reserve® Christmas 2020 (in select stores). Or fill your stockings with a colorful collection of gifts, including cold cups, tumblers and Starbucks Cards, with more merchandise added throughout the season. You can also find many of your favorite Starbucks seasonal flavors where groceries are sold, like Holiday Blend and Peppermint Mocha in Roast & Ground, K-Cup® pods* and as ready-to-drink beverages.

A welcoming visit

While the holidays may feel a bit different this year, there are moments of joy to be discovered with a holiday cup from Starbucks in your hand. Throughout COVID the company has taken a number of actions to protect the health and well-being of our customers and partners, and strives to meet or exceed the standards outlined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a safe experience, including continued emphasis on cleaning and sanitizing protocols in stores. Starbucks requires customers to wear facial coverings while visiting all café locations in accordance with the expert guidance of the CDC and local public health authorities. The Starbucks app makes it easy to find a Starbucks location, check store hours, order ahead and use contactless payment. (Here’s a guide to show you how.)


* Keurig, K-Cup, and the K logo are trademarks of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., used with permission. 

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