Starbucks risks more ‘War on Christmas’ backlash with ‘Merry Coffee’ cups

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There seems to be something about the word “Christmas” that Starbucks doesn’t like.

This week the coffee chain unveils four new seasonal cups – and none of them uses the word “Christmas.”

The closest it gets are the words “Merry Coffee” on two of the four designs, plus “We wish you a merry coffee,” on a newly designed cup sleeve.

Starbucks’ new designs, from left, are “Merry Stripes,” “Merry Dance," "Polka Dots" and “Candy Cane Stripe.” (Starbucks)

“I’m gonna get a jump start on the Starbucks holiday cup drama by saying that 'Merry Coffee' is the silliest slogan I have ever heard,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Multi-billion dollar corporation and they came up with Merry Coffee. Wow,” another observed.

Starbucks previously faced backlash from Christmas traditionalists when it issued plain red cups in 2015 and the “Symbol of Unity” cup in 2016, just a week before the presidential election. Recent years have seen holiday-colored pattern designs.

Whether an aversion to using the word “Christmas” extends beyond Starbucks is difficult to measure. But in 2017, President Trump tweeted on Christmas Eve that Americans were “proud to be saying Merry Christmas again,” since he took office.

“I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase,” he wrote. “MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!”

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