Idaho’s Surprising Place in the History of Starbucks’ Famous Holiday Cups
Call us, naive but we didn’t realize just how long Starbucks has been famous for its holiday cups!
To quote Taylor Swift, “Hi. It’s me, I’m the problem. It’s me.” It wasn’t our choice, but we were born and raised in a different part of the country where Dunkin’ Donuts reigns supreme over Starbucks. After graduating college, leaving the cruddy town we grew up in and starting our adult lives in Boise, our Starbucks intake increased greatly.
Even still, we weren’t familiar with the history of Starbucks holiday cups until people hit the roof when Starbucks introduced the design for the 2015 cup. It was a plain red cup with the green Starbucks logo on it. Other than being red and green, there wasn’t anything exceptionally Christmas-y about it and people were outraged. An internet theory surfaced that the coffee chain was declaring “War on Christmas” and was taking Christ, the reason for the season, out of the holiday.
People started telling baristas that their names were “Merry Christmas” when ordering their peppermint mochas so that they were forced to say Christmas aloud when announcing an order was ready. It was a wild time.
The red cups were never supposed to become a news story, but the internet likes to be outraged by the weirdest things. The cups were supposed to represent the simplicity and quietness of the Christmas season.
So the next year? In a totally unnecessary, but unique move, Starbucks decided to hold a contest and asked customers to enter their designs for the 2016 holiday cups. In the end, they chose 13 different designs for the cups that year.
And this is where your Idaho connection comes in! The “Evergreen Forest” design was the vision of Bronwyn Schumaker, who was going to school at the University of Idaho at the time. She told Starbucks that it was inspired by hiking her favorite Idaho trail on a snow-covered, December day.
Can’t remember if you drank out of Shumaker’s design? Check out the evolution of the first 20 years of Starbucks red cups. When you get to 2016, hers was included in the visual!