Four festive designs and the chain's seasonal winter menu hit stores this week.

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt
November 05, 2020

We may still be polishing off the remnants of the Halloween candy we overbought (intentionally or not) this year, but the holidays are officially here. That’s according to Starbucks, at least, the same company that heralds the return of autumn in August by putting its Pumpkin Spice Latte on the menu. But it’s 2020, and if there’s any year we should accept and appreciate as much holiday cheer as we can pack in until January 1, it’s this one. With that, it’s time to welcome this year’s crop of Starbucks' much-anticipated holiday cups which hit stores Friday, November 6.

Credit: Starbucks

This year’s theme is “Carry the Merry,” not only to spread good gives but, ostensibly, because a pandemic has limited so many locations to carryout and delivery service only.

Credit: Starbucks

Here’s a description of this year’s four designs as provided by Starbucks:

  • 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.
  • Dot: Stripes swirl around a field of Starbucks house green punctuated by playful polka dots, sharing the sentiment to “carry the merry.”
  • 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.
  • Brand Wrap: This modern, scaled-up version of the ribbon design features bold bands of holiday color and the Starbucks wordmark, designer street style.

As has been the case in recent years, Starbucks is also giving away a plastic reusable holiday cup, which will be handed out free to anyone who orders a handcrafted beverage for pick-up, curbside, or drive-thru at participating stores on November 6. The red cup has a similar design to the Ribbon cup mentioned above. However, the aforementioned pandemic has put the kibosh on allowing potentially contaminated cups behind the counter, so showing up with your reusable cup will get you 10 cents off your drink in a disposable cup. Just consider carrying the plastic one around as a slightly bulky club card.

Credit: Starbucks

The cups are also the harbinger of seasonal changes to the Starbucks menu with the return of the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Chestnut Praline Latte, Caramel Brûlée Latte, Eggnog Latte, and the classic Peppermint Mocha, which is coming back for its 18th year. A new Cranberry Orange Scone is also joining the usual slate of winter treats. Any potential new limited-time beverages have yet to be announced.