For Starbucks lovers, it just doesn't feel like the holiday season without the chain's iconic holiday cups. Over the past 21 years, many have come to look forward to the release of the cups nearly as much as they look forward to the holidays themselves, and with the cups' festive designs, we can understand why.
Though most Starbucks fans have come to associate red cups (both solid or with some sort of pattern) with the holiday season at the chain, the first few cups didn't have a single drop of that classic Christmas-y red. In 1997, there were blue, pink, green, and purple ones, and in 1999, Starbucks again used purple. Finally in 1999, red became the color of choice.
Creative design manager Jon Cannell was there when the switch was made. In a 2017 Starbucks press release, he recalled what happened. "I remember it all started when the creative director asked us, 'What is holiday red? Is it burgundy? Is it more of a ruby color?' We brought in all these holiday items in a range of reds, and we landed on a red that we all agreed on." 19 years after the creative team first came up with the ideal emblematic red, the same color is being featured on three of the four out of the five of this year's holiday cups, including the first-ever reusable holiday cup.
As all Starbucks fans know, that red and the designs it has been used in have evolved and changed every year since holiday cups were first created, and now, we can actually look back at all of the cups in one place. We can remember some of our favorites, and perhaps admire some we never had a chance to drink from. Take a look: