The Importance of Starbucks Red Cups

It’s November 1st and the Halloween craze is officially over – which means only one thing: Christmas Christmas Christmas. All of the sudden all of the world’s attention is on the holiday spirit, skipping over the fact that we still have Thanksgiving to think about first. I immediately noticed on Friday morning that everything had switched over right on cue. Just about every commercial on TV is officially about holiday shopping, limited edition holiday treats, or positioning products to be valuable during the season. The sound of the christmas bells in the background and the red and green themes are just some of the things that marketers hope will get us in the spirit.

Whether they celebrate or not, the reminder of the upcoming holiday season brings people warmth, happiness, and comfort. What better way to appeal to the consumer’s mind than to position themselves as one of the brands who are getting into the holiday spirit too. It’s a great opportunity for brands to offer special products or services that are different than their regular offers. Making limited time offers makes things more desirable if they are not available the rest of the year. A perfect example is the oh-so-famous Starbucks Red Cups.

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Starbucks Red Cups have been signaling the arrival of the holiday season for coffee lovers since Starbucks first came to the UK in 1998! When you see the red cups, you know it’s officially Christmas. Girls are instagramming their red cups like it’s a sign of status. There was even a website dedicated to counting down the days until the red cup release. Starbucks also has four special holiday drinks to go inside the cups, which gain major popularity too: The Gingerbread Latte, Peppermint Mocha, Eggnog Latte, and the Caramel Brulé Latte. By making people wait all year long for these flavors and cups, it makes the experience of going to Starbucks in the winter time that much more special and enjoyable.

I am not a coffee person, so here are my favorite treats that are only around during this time of the year!


1. Stacy’s Pita Chips – Simply Cocoa & Simply Gingerbread

There’s nothing simple about these delicious pita chips! I usually buy the original version every week, but now I will buy these two varieties until they are no longer available. I need to take advantage until they’re gone! And that’s exactly what they want us to do. Notice the “Limited Time Only” in the top left corner.


2. Peppermint Bark Ghiradelli Squares

I LOVE the mix of chocolate and peppermint, so I always buy these the minute I see them on the shelves. I would never buy Ghiradelli chocolate normally, but these are special. I think of it as a treat for myself that I can’t get often!


3. Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s

Again with the peppermint and chocolate! I don’t usually eat Oreo’s (these are basically them) nor do I shop at Trader Joe’s on a regular basis, but I’ll make the trip just to stock up on these (which are usually gone quickly). And that’s what they’re going for.

What are your favorite holiday special treats?