The Holiday Season at Starbucks Starts on Nov. 6

Starbucks Holiday Cups

Sometimes a Peppermint Mocha is more than just a beverage. It’s a moment of joy, a familiar ritual that connects holidays past and present. Starting tomorrow (Nov. 6), customers in Canada can enjoy the comforts of the season at Starbucks stores with a flurry of returning seasonal favourites, including Peppermint Mocha, Eggnog Latte, Caramel Brûlé Latte, Gingerbread Latte and Chestnut Praline Latte, along with Irish Cream Cold Brew, Canadian exclusive Irish Cream Americano and new holiday cups, food items and gifts.

While the holidays may feel a bit different this year, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the season with Starbucks. The company is focused on the health and well-being of its customers and partners (employees), and strives to meet or exceed the standards outlined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, including continued emphasis on cleaning and sanitizing protocols in stores and enhanced store signage to support social distancing. 

The story behind this year’s cups

This year’s theme, Carry the Merry, is an invitation to enjoy the little moments of brightness around you.

“When we started designing the cups over a year ago, we didn’t know anything about what 2020 would bring. Our mindset was about people carrying them out in the world as messengers of joy,” said Jeff Wilkson, Creative director for Starbucks. “In a way that message deepened as we got further and further into the year. We want to be that beacon for people, a brief moment that they can look forward to.”

To bring that sentiment to life on the cups, the team started with brand elements like the Siren and the wordmark and mixed in holiday themes and colours, drawing inspiration from the Starbucks creative expression guide.

“Early in our exploration, one of our designers had started making these little ribbons that almost looked like washi tape (a decorative, adhesive tape),” Wilkson said. “We had this one session where we were just so inspired by these different patterns that we cut them out with scissors and started wrapping them in different ways on cups.”

They continued to play with brand elements and toy with scale as the designs took shape. For the colour palette, the designers brought in shades of brand greens and a shade of red that’s a little brighter than the shade Starbucks may be famous for to give it an extra pop.

The team landed on the following four different cup designs, the same number as the first holiday cup collection in 1997. They come to life in a series of holiday ads, each with a feeling all its own. (“Everyone has their favourite,” he says.)

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.

Dot: Stripes swirl around a field of Starbucks house green punctuated by playful polka dots.

Brand Wrap: This modern, scaled-up version of the ribbon design features bold bands of holiday colour and the Starbucks wordmark, designer street style.

Ribbon: This design brings forward all the joyful elements of the holiday season in ribbons of brand greens and a jolly red like a cozy holiday sweater. Look closely and you’ll see the Siren’s crown, tail, and scales.

Holiday food & gifts

Festive holiday food items are also returning this holiday including the Cranberry Bliss® Bar and Snowman Cookie. Starbucks® Christmas Blend whole bean coffee is also making its annual return along with Starbucks® Christmas Blend Espresso Roast, Starbucks® Holiday Blend and Starbucks Reserve™® Christmas 2020 (in select stores). Or fill your stockings with a colourful collection of gifts, including cold cups, tumblers and Starbucks Cards, with more merchandise added throughout the season.

Safely enjoying the holidays

The Starbucks® App is the best way for customers to find a Starbucks location, check store hours, order ahead and use contactless payment. At select locations where social distancing can be accommodated, customers can place an order in the café and take it to-go, or they can use the order ahead and pay feature in the Starbucks App and pick it up at the counter. There will be a limited number of customers inside at one time, floor markers and signage will promote social distancing, and plexi-shields will be at the POS and handoff areas as an added barrier of protection. And, in select locations, the seating area will not be open. 

Customers can also order at the drive thru, use curbside pickup through the Starbucks App (at participating stores) or enjoy their favourites without leaving home through Starbucks® Delivers powered by Uber Eats (check the Uber Eats app for availability and restrictions). For a more in-depth guide on how to safely enjoy Starbucks® holiday menu, click here. 


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Starbucks journey to sustainable dairy