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Why Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX)’s Red Cups Have Become Controversial This Year

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) is taking the heat from some customers because of its strategy to serve hot beverages in plain red cups during this year’s festive season, a move that is a break from the past. Previously, Starbucks took the opportunity during the holiday season to serve coffee in decorated red cups, which to some Christians, perfectly captured the Christmas theme. Without the same holiday cup design this festive season, Starbucks is accused of trying to be politically correct by dismissing Christmas.

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) has been forced to explain its holiday store strategy for this year after its plain red cups seemed to generate more heat than light. After being accused of trying to belittle Christmas and an online movement started to force it to behave ‘well’, the company has sought to clarify the change in red cup design for the 2015 festive season.

Custom holiday stories

According to Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX)’s VP of design and content, Jeffrey Fields, the plain red cup for 2015 was a deliberate move by the coffee chain to allow people to create their own holiday stories. In the past, Starbucks aptly designed its cups during the holiday season, which is why the plain red cup has been greeted with shock among some customers. However, Starbucks insists that no offense is intended with the plain red cups although some Christians and Christmas followers might feel slighted.

Moreover, the plain red cups still allow customers to customize their holiday stories, which include Christmas-themed messages.

No tradition broken

Although some customers have been irked by the plain red cup strategy adopted by Starbucks for this year’s festive season, the coffee store never in the past clearly rendered Christmas symbolism in its holiday cups. Consequently, the company doesn’t feel like it has ditched its tradition or slighted Christians.

Anti-plain red cup movement

A customer in Arizona who felt that Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) was shifting its holiday tradition for political correctness took to Facebook to air his grievances. He has started a movement and shared a video about his experience with a plain red cup at a Starbucks store. The video had already attracted more than 12 million views and shared nearly half a million times by the time posting this story.

Neha Gupta

Neha Gupta has been in the financial space for over six years now. Gupta earned her MBA degree from Symbiosis Centre of Distance Learning in 2009 and her passion for finance led her to pursue Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course. She has successfully completed Level II of her CFA. She is a veteran in article writing, which is depicted in her numerous pieces published on SeekingAlpha, Nextiphonenews, InsiderMonkey, MarketWatch, and Techinsider. Her crisp and eloquent writing finds its best place in Researchcows, where emphasis is given on developing rich content for various websites, products, business plans, trainings, and book writing.

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