Starbucks Releases Their 2018 Holiday Cups

For Starbucks' lovers and fans, it's the most wonderful time of the year as their iconic holiday cups and beverages land in stores on November 2nd.

Yes, you can scream while simultaneously jumping up and down as you try not to spill your beloved, scalding hot Peppermint Mocha. The only difference is, in addition to four new holiday-themed designs,  you can now sip from the iconic Red cup, available only in the reusable variety for a limited time.

“We really wanted to look at our past for this year's designs,” says Kristy Cameron, Associate Creative Director of Starbucks’ Creative Studio. “We’ve always had Christmas blends, and we looked at all the iconography on the bag as well as met with some of our longtime Starbucks partners – that’s what we call our employees here – and heard some really lovely stories from back in the day.”

When it came to narrowing down the designs, each cup took a piece of brand heritage, a dash of historic iconography with a modern twist and a splash of holiday color palette to generate the final four designs.

The classic holiday red is featured alongside a rich maroon after the color of the coffee cherry when it starts to ripen along with varying shades of the brand’s green from a beautiful rich emerald to a light mint. Accents of gold, rose gold and silver add a pop of metallic shine to each of the designs.

As far as patterns, each has their own unique set of inspirations. The stripes derived from the fin where the package comes together and is sealed, have been adding a pop of color to the bags for years. Now, they've been reinvented and modified for the cup. The floral pattern shows the history of their brews by displaying coffee cherries, similar in appearance to holly berries.  The espresso houndstooth originates from the historic flame that has been used for years to represent the espresso roast on Starbucks' old stamps.

“The Stargyle takes inspiration from the Siren's crown in our logo, as well as the 1999 Christmas blend bags where we had this lovely illustration of the star done by one of our long-time illustrators. We thought there was something special about using a beautiful brand star and giving it a nautical vibe with the argyle pattern.”


If that’s not enough to get you in line, Starbucks is also giving customers the iconic red reusable cup for free with the purchase of a holiday beverage on November 2nd. From there, customers who return with their reusable cup after 2 p.m. will receive $0.50 off their drink through January 7th.

“I love that we’re doing this cup,” says Cameron. “It’s something that came up early on in our design iterations and concepts. This idea of encouraging customers to bring back their reusable cup all season long is such a lovely idea.”


The motivation to keep the cup a solid red stemmed from two things.  For starters, they're using an iconic holiday color, but by keeping the design simple, it has the longevity to be used year-round, promoting a year of sustainability and reuse.

“Each cup sort of feels like a wrapped up present,” Cameron says. “Now, we’ve got little gifts of joy for each of our customers to unwrap throughout the holiday season."