Reactions to the Red Starbucks Coffee Cup Choice (This Season’s Controversy)

As the holiday season is approaching its final days, it gives us time to ponder this past 2015 season. Companies everywhere were looking for ways that they could help customers celebrate the festive season and enjoy it even more. To some, this is “old news,” but for those of us who have been wrapped up (pun intended) in all of the holiday festivities, parties, and planning, we may have missed some of these 2015 controversies. So, let’s get caught up, shall we?

In the last few years, mega-giant retailer coffee seller Starbucks has chosen to participate in the annual holiday celebration by offering customers cups that help convey the holiday mood. Company officials have chosen various kinds of colors and images in recent years.

The Red Cup

This year, officials at Starbucks revealed their latest effort: a red coffee cup with the Starbucks logo. Some groups have reacted negatively to the choice of the design. They think it suggests that no one should wish anyone a merry Christmas. Certain religious groups have chosen to argue that the cup is a symbol of attempts to remove the celebration of Christmas altogether and prohibit Christians from engaging in their religious celebrations in public. Officials at such groups have suggested that the new cup is too neutral and entirely too bland. They insist that the company has responded inappropriately to pressure groups seeking to force others to avoid Christmas celebrations of any kind.

More Recently…

Other groups have asserted that the cup is just a cup and not a political statement of any kind. To that end, and to show support for the company’s decision, they have begun a new campaign of support for the company. Using the hashtag #itsjustacup, they made posts on social media and other places asserting that some people are completely overreacting to the company’s decision in this matter. They point out that the cup is not meant to do anything but convey the change of seasons. Many customers have chosen to write this message on their coffee orders. Others have chosen to write “Merry Christmas” as their name on the cup to force company staffers to say the greeting out loud.

Politicians Weighed In On the Topic

The alleged controversy has attracted so much attention that at least one presidential candidate has decided to comment. Republican candidate Donald Trump stated his opinion on this topic and his support for those choosing to boycott Starbucks. Other elected officials have not said anything but the issue continues to attract attention as the race for president heads into the coming election year. Observers expect the Starbucks cup to continue to attract attention for what remains of the holiday season.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sunday William Jan 5, 2016 @ 13:14

    Its interesting that Starbucks is getting a lot of reaction for its simple decision to change its cups color for the festive season. I think the reactions to this decision have been excessive.

    What really is the connection with this company and politicians? I personally think the controversy is unnecessary. I strongly support those promoting the hashtag #itsjustacup

    • Deborah Anderson Jan 5, 2016 @ 14:15

      It does get a person wondering, and you brought up a great point, Sunday. I know, for me personally, there is no personal gain or kickback for writing this post. But, I do enjoy the discussion with all of you, so thank you all 😉 -Deborah

  • sonam kumari Jan 8, 2016 @ 4:30

    The alleged controversy has attracted so much attention that at least one presidential candidate has decided to comment . thanks to great advice..

    • Deborah Anderson Jan 8, 2016 @ 5:14

      Oh, it has garnered attention, hasn’t it? Even enough for me to write a blog post on it LOL -Deborah

  • Rama Krishna Jan 16, 2016 @ 2:04

    I really like Starbucks coffee and i love it.

    • Deborah Anderson Jan 16, 2016 @ 4:13

      I’m with you, Rama. I love Starbucks coffee and their other drinks, as well. I also like the experience of going to Starbucks, whether it is to have a cup there or to pick up a cup with a friend or two 🙂 It is a social experience 😉 -Deborah

  • Aashish Jan 17, 2016 @ 20:44

    Its just a cup and I think there would be no religious feelings involved into it.
    The earlier design of the cup was more interesting than the current one.

    • Deborah Anderson Jan 17, 2016 @ 21:12

      You are right, Aashish, it is just a cup. Thank you for sharing your opinion on which one you thought to be more interesting, as far as design. -Deborah

  • Hemant Kumar Arya Jan 22, 2016 @ 22:29

    Wooww great post..btw I love coffee and and I’m drinking coffee with reading this article….
    Thank you soo much for this one 🙂

    • Deborah Anderson Jan 22, 2016 @ 23:06

      Ah, love it, Hemant. 🙂 Yes, I’m drinking as I type the response here. (Dare I admit it is tea? Coffee up next! hehehe) -Deborah 🙂

  • Eva R. Jan 31, 2016 @ 7:24

    Hey Deborah, very interesting topic. Personally, I think this new red color is too aggressive. However, I have to say it really does reminiscent of the holidays and Christmas

    • Deborah Anderson Jan 31, 2016 @ 8:05

      Great observations and perspectives, Eva! Thank you for sharing them! I do see your point about how aggressive the red can be, as I hadn’t thought of it that way. Thank you. -Deborah

  • Luciano Feb 22, 2016 @ 17:48

    Congratulations for the post, many techniques are used by companies to increase their profits, including follow the culture !!!

    • Deborah Anderson Feb 22, 2016 @ 18:04

      Thank you, Luciano. And, interesting observation in the middle of all of this discussion, that this is a matter of following the culture. True 😉 -Deborah

  • Android Feb 27, 2016 @ 18:42

    Surely, it’s just a cup. They are changing it every year. There is no point giving any other agenda behind this. I love starbucks and red looks cool.

    • Deborah Anderson Feb 27, 2016 @ 19:03

      Yep, it is just a cup. And, I hear you on not giving it any other thought. This is what they want us to do as it is more publicity 😉 But, we are loyal anyway, for many of us 😉 Thank you for your vote.

  • Gautham Nekkanti Feb 28, 2016 @ 22:05

    These people find controversies in everything. But I really like the concept of the red cup.

    • Deborah Anderson Feb 28, 2016 @ 23:02

      Oh, I agree, Gautham! And, thanks for your vote for the red 🙂

  • rhhamma Mar 18, 2016 @ 3:41

    I really like the red one more then the other

  • Claire Mar 30, 2016 @ 3:11

    I’ve heard about this controversy and I believe it’s a bit overrated. Though Starbucks is a big, influential company, I don’t think our Christmas celebrations should revolve around what they did or did not do.

  • Dev Aryan Apr 5, 2016 @ 3:22

    I tried the red star buck coffee cup on Christmas and found it to be the best on that day. I don’t know why. But Thanks for the fun article. Now I have found a website where I can enjoy reading to some fun articles like this.

    Thank You Deborah.

    • Deborah Anderson Apr 5, 2016 @ 4:19

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the article, Dev. Thank you! That encouraged me! (And encouraged me to do more articles like this 😉 ) -Deborah

  • Testino Apr 7, 2016 @ 0:05

    Even Donald Trump weighed in on the Starbucks Christmas Cup controversy during a rally in Illinois on Monday.

    “No more ‘Merry Christmas’ at Starbucks. No more,” Trump said, noting that the coffee giant is among his tenants at Trump Tower in Manhattan. “Maybe we should boycott Starbucks. I don’t know. Seriously. I don’t care. By the way: That’s the end of that lease. But who cares? Who cares? Who cares?”

    • Deborah Anderson Apr 7, 2016 @ 1:18

      Wow – everyone has an opinion, eh?! Let Starbucks do their thing. I just want to pay them and have a nice cup of cappuccino 😉 -Deborah

  • Elin Karlsson Apr 14, 2016 @ 5:52

    You know I’ve never been to a starbucks in my whole life and that’s really baffling to me, haha. We don’t have those in Norway where I live but you read and see them everywhere in magazines and movies. I’ve heard that they always misspell your name on the cup, haha!

    • Deborah Anderson Apr 14, 2016 @ 6:17

      Oh, Elin, I hope they come to Norway someday so you can also enjoy them. I haven’t had them misspell my name on my cup, but then I give them the easy version of “Deb,” and they usually can handle that just fine 😉 (Spelling “Deborah” might be a different case and I like to manage my expectations LOL). -Deborah

  • Rama Krishna May 5, 2016 @ 4:09

    Red starbucks are really better coffee enjoyed to everyone some of guys will find mistakes in every material so don’t look back.

    • Deborah Anderson May 5, 2016 @ 5:09

      Good point. It is what is inside, right Rama? Great coffee! -Deborah

  • pooja nain Jun 10, 2016 @ 4:17

    Thanks for sharing. Red cup is good.

    • Deborah Anderson Jun 10, 2016 @ 5:08

      Thank you for your vote for the red cup, Pooja. -Deborah

  • Deepika Jun 15, 2016 @ 0:47

    Just one word for you. It’s an outstanding post. I have followed almost all of your posts and it’s really one of the most informative ones. Actually I have visited so many sites which are writing about coffee cup but never found anything like this.

    • Deborah Anderson Jun 15, 2016 @ 1:08

      Well, I’m glad you find us unique, Deepika 🙂 Hope we continue to please(?) LOL -Deborah

  • Nawab Jul 4, 2016 @ 2:05

    I don’t find anything wrong in red cups, i guess it looked more good then the previous once. people just need some reasons to speak themselves out, so that they can create a controversy.

    • Deborah Anderson Jul 4, 2016 @ 3:07

      Yeah, I like the color red. I see what you are saying, Nawab.

  • Taufeeq Umar Jul 20, 2016 @ 1:42

    Its great controversy about red coffee cup choosing, many perceptions are coming about it. Some are good….

    • Deborah Anderson Jul 20, 2016 @ 2:06

      Yeah, it is an interesting controversy, Taufeeq. Though, I think there are more time-worthy controversies out there LOL

  • Thomas Nov 21, 2016 @ 6:19

    This looks great, I really like the red cup:)

    • Deborah Anderson Nov 21, 2016 @ 7:26

      We have a lot of takers for that red cup, eh, Thomas? 😉 -Deborah

  • David Apr 13, 2017 @ 12:37

    Hey Deborah, great tips, and it is really helpful if you use the first one with the last one. the coffee shop really doesn’t like it when I show up in my boxers and fuzzy slippers 😀

    • Deborah Anderson Apr 14, 2017 @ 0:10

      You are too funny, David. I think that would be cute 🙂

  • Tim Oct 16, 2017 @ 7:03

    I will be interested in seeing what Starbucks designs this year and if they’re going to be all ‘PC’ this year too?

    • Deborah Anderson Oct 16, 2017 @ 8:05

      That will be interesting to see what they do, Tim. Good point.

  • shipgig Dec 22, 2017 @ 2:51

    love the red one… its fabulous

  • Mike Marko Jan 2, 2018 @ 22:00

    I think there’s nothing to worry about since its just a cup and we all know that the main color of Christmas is red. Right? so what intriguing about it? I vote for red!

    • Deborah Anderson Jan 2, 2018 @ 23:25

      Great insight, Mike. I hear you on the primary color of the holidays being red, at least for those who celebrate Christmas. -Deborah

  • Anna Hanson Jan 15, 2018 @ 16:44

    I always enjoy the red Starbucks coffee cups come Christmas time. They really light up my day. I also enjoy reading your articles.

    • Deborah Anderson Jan 15, 2018 @ 17:24

      Yes, they do have that way of lighting up our days, don’t they, Anna? Thank you for your kind words 🙂 -Deborah

  • Kim Stone Mar 1, 2018 @ 4:56

    I am a die hard fan of Starbucks. I always love when there is a Starbucks logo, be it my tea or just a coffee.

    • Deborah Anderson Mar 1, 2018 @ 5:23

      Oh, I hear ya there, Kim, on being a die-hard fan of Starbucks. And, I love my tea, as well. -Deborah

  • Will Hanran Mar 3, 2018 @ 2:53

    Hi to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting
    more from this web site, and your views are good in support of new users.

    • Deborah Anderson Mar 3, 2018 @ 3:21

      Thank you, Will, for your support of all other commentators 😉 -Deborah

  • Markos Fernandis Mar 4, 2018 @ 23:49

    Yes….i love coffee…and i drink Starbucks coffee i love it..and also red cup …thanks

    • Deborah Anderson Mar 5, 2018 @ 0:21

      Yep – that coffee and that cup – both are great 😉 -Deborah

  • Martin Mar 15, 2018 @ 6:04

    I think the first one looks ok, but all are great overall

  • Sue Mar 17, 2018 @ 7:39

    Well written content. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jade sara Mar 28, 2018 @ 9:49

    I think 2014 was the best.

    • Deborah Anderson Mar 28, 2018 @ 10:04

      Yes, they did do a nice job in 2014, didn’t they 🙂 -Deborah

  • john May 9, 2018 @ 3:33

    The Color of the cup doesn’t really matters, the thing which really matter is taste and quality.

    • Deborah Anderson May 9, 2018 @ 4:19

      Good point, John. Yes, just like with the person, it is what is on the inside that matters, the qualities of that person, so it is with the drink, the taste, and quality. Thank you for sharing your observations and insights. -Deborah

  • Esman May 22, 2018 @ 22:59

    I really like the first one (2013) wish they had that in here Sweden.

    • Deborah Anderson May 22, 2018 @ 23:07

      Yes, 2013 was a nice year. Maybe, someday, they will get that right in Sweden 🙂 -Deborah

  • GSM May 24, 2018 @ 6:35

    Red cup is elegant. Should not be a big issue. Starbucks looks good with a red cup.

    • Deborah Anderson May 24, 2018 @ 7:08

      Yes, a red cup does exude elegance. And, it shouldn’t be a big issue, should it? True. -Deborah

  • Haseeb Ahmad Jul 4, 2018 @ 4:41

    Hi Deborah
    thanks for awesome post i really like it.

  • Edna Oneal Jul 20, 2018 @ 10:03

    It looks awesome. I love coffee. And like your post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Deborah Anderson Jul 20, 2018 @ 11:58

      Thank you, Edna. And, I appreciate being listed in there with the coffee as a like 🙂 -Deborah

  • Alfred Benjamin Jul 30, 2018 @ 4:45

    thanks for information , i like starbucks coffe and i thinks the best coffe because it feels very unique and different from other coffee flavors

    • Deborah Anderson Jul 30, 2018 @ 5:59

      Yes, Alfred, and being unique, setting oneself apart from the others, and being good at it is what helps us in life and Starbucks seems to have figured out how to do it with their coffee. Not only can we enjoy their coffee but learn from their example 🙂 -Deborah

  • Bondan Jul 30, 2018 @ 19:11

    wow, thanks for sharing. i like starbucks coffe because it is tasty.

    • Deborah Anderson Jul 30, 2018 @ 20:57

      I agree, Bondan. Starbucks coffee is very tasty, and it is easy to like because of that. -Deborah

  • Aurélien Aug 2, 2018 @ 20:18

    I don’t understand all this controversy. Reactions to this decision have been totally excessive

    • Deborah Anderson Aug 2, 2018 @ 21:30

      True, Aurélien. There are definitely bigger (and more important) issues to make a big deal about than the color of a coffee cup, eh?

  • Shyam Aug 7, 2018 @ 3:54

    Starbucks- A name itself enough for everything 😛

  • Austin Printz Sep 27, 2018 @ 1:13

    Thanks for the content 🙂 coffee is wonderful isn’t it?

    • Deborah Anderson Sep 27, 2018 @ 2:28

      Oh, it is! I have to agree with you there, Austin! And, you are very welcome for the content and thank you for the kind words 😉 -Deborah

  • Sed Wright Sep 27, 2018 @ 3:22

    Informative article. Keep it up!

    • Deborah Anderson Sep 27, 2018 @ 4:27

      I hope so, Sed. We like to keep them informative and will be keeping them up, after a short hiatus for further university study and people interaction 🙂 -Deborah

  • austin Oct 1, 2018 @ 13:14

    I think they’re kinda cute haha

    • Deborah Anderson Oct 1, 2018 @ 14:27

      I hadn’t thought of it in terms of “cute,” but yeah(!), they are cute. Thank you for sharing that, Austin. -Deborah

  • Zoe Nov 20, 2018 @ 17:08

    Great post, thank you! When I read it I was thinking about how good a job Starbucks is doing. They just flow perfectly with the evolution of civilization. They changed their logo, they changed what they offer and how they serve it. I am personally a lover of Starbucks coffee and I love their elegant style. In every sense. Their shops, their products, and their employees! Thanks for writing about it, I enjoyed the reading!

    • Deborah Anderson Nov 20, 2018 @ 18:26

      Oh, I hear you, Zoe, and I am right there with you. I love Starbucks and what they do, as well. Thank you for your kind words about the article, as well! -Deborah

  • Silva Nov 24, 2018 @ 21:17

    Excellent topic, Basically I am a very pleased with reading this coffee Article. Thanks for this.

  • Jenny Dec 25, 2018 @ 19:28

    I personally like Starbucks coffee no doubt its taste is awesome as well as cups are too, I really like your reaction on it 🙂

    • Deborah Anderson Dec 25, 2018 @ 20:25

      You are so kind, Jenny. Thank you for your feedback – appreciated. And, even if I am enjoying my cup of tea as I write this, I am thrilled to also stop and visit my local Starbucks – highlight of my day with my triple-shot Cappuccino in a Starbucks cup 🙂 -Deborah

  • coffeeinblog Jan 14, 2019 @ 18:48

    Thanks Ms Anderson. wonderful sharing

    • Deborah Anderson Jan 14, 2019 @ 19:23

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Thank you for stopping by in between cups of coffee 🙂 -Deborah

  • Individual Daily Jan 24, 2019 @ 12:45

    Starsbucks is a symbol and there green cups as well, so suddenly having starsbucks in red makes me feel. I am not at all enjoying my favorite coffee. They should think about there brand although the red cup has brought them a very hyped anti marketing.

    • Deborah Anderson Feb 8, 2019 @ 18:07

      Good point. And, I agree that companies should evaluate their brand and in particular, how branding changes will affect their customers. Very good point and thanks for sharing it! 😉 -Deborah

  • Remax Feb 10, 2019 @ 23:24

    To be frank, I’m not the coffee type. But I see reasons now to have a taste of it.

    • Deborah Anderson Feb 11, 2019 @ 0:22

      Ah, you are kind and I’m sure Starbucks appreciates you having a taste, especially if it is their coffee (or one of their drinks from their cups LOL). Thank you for sharing 😉 -Deborah

  • deepthi Feb 11, 2019 @ 7:32

    Great post and yummy coffee.I love the coffee. and thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

  • Rahul Sep 18, 2020 @ 10:10

    Very informative article . Keep writing such nice post

    • Deborah Anderson Sep 18, 2020 @ 11:20

      Thank you, Rahul. I have received such positive feedback on this particular post, that I believe I will continue with these types sprinkled in here and there 😉 -Deborah

  • Jack Lee Dec 24, 2020 @ 4:01

    Yeah this is very good information to read

  • clothing Mar 3, 2021 @ 6:32

    Thanks for sharing such a nice Blog.I like it.

  • Coffee Shops Jan 14, 2022 @ 21:40

    Wonderful post! You’ve made some very astute observations and I am thankful for the effort you have put into your writing.

    It’s clear that you know what you are talking about.

    • Deborah Anderson Jan 14, 2022 @ 22:01

      Ah, thank you so very kindly! It was a fun project to write it for you all. 🙂 -Deborah

  • Website design with see5 Feb 7, 2022 @ 1:29

    It was an interesting post, thank you for sharing with us

    • Deborah Anderson Feb 7, 2022 @ 2:01

      Sure thing. I enjoyed writing it so I am glad you found it interesting -Deborah