Halloween is over, pumpkin spice season has peaked, and like it or not red cups have returned to Starbucks. The marketing push for festive peppermint mochas has begun, which begs the question, when did the Starbucks holiday cup become a thing? 17 years ago. A brief history lesson from S-bucks:
In 1997, when Starbucks had 1,400 stores and was just beginning to expand into Japan and Singapore, the first two countries outside the United States and Canada, the Starbucks Creative team tried a new design for its cups to generate excitement during the holiday season. The theme for holiday was "Give in to the Rhythm," and the red festive cups punctuated the jewel-toned palate of deep reds, greens, blues and yellows and a jazzy Santa with a profile that evoked the Starbucks siren.
2014 holiday cups, with "whimsical brushstrokes in bold colors" to "ignite the spirit of the season," are being filled with crème brûlée lattes this very second.