Why Your Starbucks Cold Cups Are About To Look Different

Starbucks new cold cups
Starbucks new cold cups - Starbucks

Starbucks fans are always being treated to new flavors and creations from the coffee company, and starting soon they will see a permanent change to another part of the experience: the appearance of its cold cups. While Starbucks' most popular drinks always cover a wide range of hot and cold styles, chances are if you see someone walking out of a store, they are holding a cold cup. In fact, 75% of all Starbucks' beverage sales in the United States are cold drinks, and most of the brand's recent products, like the new spicy Refreshers, are made to be carried in a cold cup. So, when Starbucks tells us they are changing the look of those cold cups, the question is: What could prompt such a big change?

Well, the answer might actually be bigger than you expect, because it's not just functionality, but sustainability that is at the top of Starbucks' concerns. The company says the change is part of its commitment to drastically reduce its carbon, water, and waste footprints by 2030. The redesign is expected to cut down on the plastic use of each cold cup by up to 20%, depending on the size, which the coffee chain says will lower the amount of plastic going to landfills each year by 13.5 million pounds. But that's far from the only benefit. Starbucks says the new cups are also designed for better accessibility, and will help conserve other resources as well.

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Starbucks' Cold Cups Are Getting More Sustainable And Easier To Use

Starbucks cold cup fill lines
Starbucks cold cup fill lines - Starbucks

In addition to saving plastic, Starbucks says the production process will conserve about 2,800 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water each year, and reduce its carbon emissions by the equivalent of 5,200 cars. The shape of the cups has been reworked so that one lid can fit all Starbucks cup sizes of tall, grande, and venti. This will cut down on the need to make multiple size lids, except for the trenta, and make life easier for baristas who will no longer need to worry about juggling multiple options.

Improved accessibility has been considered for both baristas and customers based on feedback from store partners. There are raised dots for different sizes that can be felt by fingers for those with low visibility, and the bottoms of the cups have the size embossed on them so baristas can feel which size they are grabbing from stacks without looking. Clearer black and white fill lines will also make measuring ingredients for baristas easier. Starbucks even tested the ratios of lid size to the cups to see how much the cups crumple when you snap on the lid.

So when will you see the new Starbucks cold cups in your local store? The company says the rollout will start in some locations this month, with the full release in the U.S. and Canada expected to be complete by the end of the year.

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