Starbucks Receives Backlash Over Cups


Isabella (Isa) Searle and Audrey Snider

Starbucks always comes out with annual holiday cups, creating controversy in the public’s eye. This year, the public has something to say about it… again.
This years debate of the Starbucks cups spoke about Christ.
Some people have argued that the coffee company doesn’t display the true meaning of the holiday well enough. They say that the cups should represent more relations towards Christ and religious aspects of the holiday.
The other side of the argument includes feelings about how Starbucks does a good job already including aspects of Christmas and should stick with the minimalistic designs and decorations that the cups currently embody.
Starbucks’ Chief Operating Officer Roz Brewer said that they listened to their customers and they wanted and loved the tradition of Christmas.
According to “Eater”, people won’t be satisfied until Starbucks releases a cup design that features ‘Jesus sitting in Santa Claus’s lap’. The public wants to see ‘the origin and meaning of Christmas’ on the holiday cups.This year the four new holiday cup designs include a red and white stripe pattern resembling candy canes, a white cup with holly and mint green leaves, a red and white flame pattern, and a “stargyle” design that features green and white stars on a dark green background.
The four cups are meant to display the history of Starbucks holiday cups, which were first introduced in 1997. They include “snipped pieces from Starbucks’ holiday past” with “doses of vintage colors and patterns…and reinterpreted them with graphic flair, and a dash of glitter and shine.”
The company has gotten the critique that their holiday cups aren’t Christmas-y enough and they don’t embrace the origin and meaning of true Christmas.
A self-described evangelist Joshua Feuerstein uploaded a rant on Facebook claiming that the new holiday cups don’t represent Christ. Feuerstein said in the post, “Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand-new cups? That’s why they’re just plain red!”
Some opinions, like those of freshman Carter Trueblood, say that the holiday cups should not include more of Christ, and should just stick with more of the simplistic feelings of Christmas.
“I don’t think they should include a picture of Christ on the new holiday cups,” said Trueblood. “With the images of presents and snowflakes, the cup is trying to give off a neutral, more commercial idea of the holidays. They most likely are trying to give off this vibe because it may be more appealing to the common public or maybe because they don’t want to include anything on their products that could start a controversy such as an image of Christ.”
Along with the Starbucks cups being festive for their customers, they are also cute and fun.
“I think the Starbucks cups are super cute,” said freshman Ani Petrosyan. “I think that they should offer the regular cup for people who don’t want it.”
If Starbucks did add an image or representation of Christ on their cups, their backlash could be even more than it already is without it.
“I think that putting pictures of Christ on the cups would possibly hurt their sales because they would be marketing to only a certain demographic when the majority of all people already drink Starbucks,” said senior Alec Sumner. “Legally they can because they are a private corporation, but I think it would impact their sales. Regarding if their Christmas-y enough, honestly everyone has their own interpretation of what Christmas means to them, but with that being said, I think the gift wrapping-esque cups do the job.”
So far this is the best Christmas for Starbucks in terms of controversy over their holiday cups for the company.