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What is the starbucks red cup this year?

It’s that time of year again when Starbucks unveils their highly anticipated holiday cup designs. Coffee lovers eagerly await this annual tradition to get a peek at the creative new ways Starbucks decides to celebrate the season. The red cup has become an iconic symbol of the holidays, with many customers collecting their cups each year or at least snapping that perfect Instagram photo showcasing their festive drink.

So what does the Starbucks red cup look like this holiday season? Keep reading to find out all the details on the 2022 design and see how it compares to cups from past years.

The Meaning Behind Starbucks’ Holiday Cups

Starbucks first rolled out their signature holiday cups back in 1997. The original design featured a simple print of snowflakes and evergreen branches. Since then, they have redesigned the cup annually to unveil a new creative theme or concept.

The cups actually have deeper meaning than just spreading holiday cheer. They are intended to signify the arrival of the holidays and the importance of connection and celebration during this special time of year. The designs often incorporate inspiration from the past while looking to the future, as well as unity and shared traditions.

Additionally, Starbucks looks to their own company history and heritage when coming up with each year’s cup. Designers take inspiration from previous years but aim to evolve the concept into something new. This allows the cup to feel both familiar and innovative each holiday season.

A Look Back at Previous Red Cup Designs

To understand this year’s red cup design, let’s first take a walk down memory lane and revisit some notable cups from past holiday seasons:

  • 1997 – The original cup featured a simple print of snowflakes and evergreen branches.
  • 1999 – This cup had a color gradients design with aborlescent green and cranberry fading into one another.
  • 2004 – Horizontal lines in mint, strawberry, and tangerine with holiday phrases like “hope” and “love” made up this design.
  • 2008 – A more modern take featured a graphic print of snowflakes in shades of blue, green, purple and red.
  • 2011 – Starbucks’s 40th anniversary was celebrated with a nostalgic design of coffee cups from the past.
  • 2015 – The “red cups” went minimalist for the first time, with a plain ombre red and maroon background.
  • 2019 – Intricate holiday illustrations covered the entirety of the cup, showcasing friendly faces wearing red scarves and hats while holding gifts.

As you can see, Starbucks has come up with vastly different looks and themes over the years. Some focus on traditional holiday imagery like snowflakes while others opt for simplicity. This variety from season to season makes the new reveal even more exciting for customers.

The 2022 Starbucks Holiday Cup

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Here is a look at the brand new 2022 Starbucks holiday cup:

This year’s cup design is titled “Gift-Wrapped Magic” and features fun holiday motifs in festive colors. The base is Starbucks signature red, and the illustrations are done in shades of pink, purple, green and white.

The key design elements include:

  • Playful gift packages and boxes with bows and ribbons
  • Festive confetti scattered throughout
  • Fanciful swirls and bursts reminiscent of fireworks or snowdrifts
  • Stars and circles interspersed to symbolize magic and wonder

Overall, the 2022 red cup evokes a sense of childlike joy and nostalgia around holiday gifting and traditions. The mix of patterns makes for a lively, celebratory vibe.

Behind the Scenes: How the 2022 Cup Was Designed

Starbucks cup designer James Detlef shares that the inspiration for this year’s cup theme came from gathering memories of childhood holidays. He wanted to recreate that magical feeling of looking with wonder at wrapped gifts and the unlimited possibilities inside.

The design process started back in January 2022 when initial concepts were explored. Detlef drafted the first sketches in the spring and finalized the details with fellow artists and designers during the summer months. Thousands of iterations were considered until they landed on just the right aesthetic.

Custom illustrations were hand-drawn to create the intricate details on the cup. The elements were all strategically placed to evoke that sense of childlike anticipation. Detlef describes the 2022 cup as “a thoughtful, tactile, andfestive wonderland.”

Red Cup Holiday Beververage Launches

Along with unveiling this year’s red cup design, Starbucks has also released its lineup of holiday beverages for 2022. Here are the drink options you can enjoy in your new festive cup:

Beverage Description
Peppermint Mocha Espresso, steamed milk and mocha sauce with peppermint-flavored syrup, topped with whipped cream and dark chocolate curls
Toasted White Chocolate Mocha Espresso, steamed milk and white chocolate mocha sauce, topped with whipped cream and caramel drizzle
Caramel Brulée Latte Espresso, steamed milk and caramel brulée sauce, topped with whipped cream and caramel brulée topping
Chestnut Praline Latte Espresso, steamed milk and flavors of caramelized chestnuts and spices, topped with whipped cream and spiced praline crumbs
Irish Cream Cold Brew Starbucks cold brew coffee and Irish cream syrup, topped with vanilla sweet cream foam and cocoa powder
Hot Chocolate Steamed milk with mocha and milk chocolate sauces, topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls

Along with these holiday beverage classics, the Starbucks menu this season will also feature some new creations like a Chocolate Pistachio Swirl and Pistachio Latte.

How Long Will the Holiday Cups Be Available?

Starbucks holiday cup designs and seasonal drinks launch November 3, 2022 at locations across the United States and Canada. Quantities are limited and locations may sell out of certain cup designs as the season progresses.

The holiday cups and drinks will be available through the entire 2022 holiday season while supplies last. Based on previous years, Starbucks will likely stop serving the seasonal beverages in early January 2023.

Customer Reaction to the 2022 Red Cup

The reviews are rolling in from Starbucks devotees on this year’s holiday cup design. Here are some of the early reactions on social media:

  • “Obsessed with the new red cup design! So much detail and the colors are gorgeous.”
  • “Not super exciting or groundbreaking but still cute for the season.”
  • “I love the retro, nostalgic vibe of the gift box and bow patterns.”
  • “It feels too busy for my taste but would look festive in holiday photos.”
  • “The confetti and sparkle elements give me that childlike joy I look for during the holidays!”

It seems the 2022 red cup has received a mostly positive response so far. Some customers find it vivid and whimsical while others think it could have been more creative. But overall, the traditional holiday motifs seem to spark nostalgia and excitement for many Starbucks fans.

Ways to Reuse Your Holiday Cup

Part of the appeal of the Starbucks holiday cups is finding fun and creative ways to reuse them once you’ve enjoyed the seasonal beverage inside. Here are some popular ways customers repurpose these iconic cups:

  • Crafts – Turn your empty cups into DIY holiday decor like Christmas trees, wreaths, or mini sleighs using basic craft supplies.
  • Plant pots – The cups can be turned into adorable planters for small plants or succulents. Just rinse well before use.
  • Office supplies – Use a red cup to hold pens, pencils or other desk essentials year-round.
  • Gift holders – Place smaller holiday gifts like gift cards or jewelry inside an empty Starbucks cup.
  • Candle holders – Turn your cup into a candle holder by neatly cutting a hole in the center of the bottom to nestle a votive or tealight inside.

With a little creativity, you can find ways to incorporate these iconic cups into your holiday decorating and gift giving. Share your red cup creations using the hashtag #StarbucksHoliday and maybe you’ll inspire others!

Fun Facts About Starbucks Holiday Cups

To close out our deep dive into this beloved holiday tradition, here are some fun facts about the Starbucks red cup phenomenon:

  • Over 400 million holiday cups are distributed globally each season.
  • The color red was chosen because of its vibrant, festive look.
  • The original 1997 cup design was created by an artist who was only given 12 hours to complete the artwork.
  • cups have become collectible items, with rare designs fetching high prices on eBay.
  • Customers have been known to request the sleeves and cups without any branding to create their own versions.
  • The 2015 plain red cup sparked some controversy and debate online about political correctness.
  • There is often a “leak” that provides a sneak preview of each year’s cup before its reveal.
  • A few celebrity artists have designed special limited edition cups, including musician Lizzo in 2019.

The Bottom Line

Starbucks holiday cup season is always an exciting time for coffee enthusiasts. The colors and picturesque designs help spark that festive feeling. While reactions are mixed on whether it’s their best cup yet, the 2022 red cup continues Starbucks’s tradition of ushering in the holiday spirit.

So head to your local Starbucks and check out this year’s cheerful “Gift-Wrapped Magic” theme cup. Get into the holiday mood by enjoying it with your favorite seasonal beverage. And if you’re feeling crafty, find creative ways to reuse the cup for holiday decor or DIY projects once you’re done with your daily dose of peppermint mocha or caramel brulée.