Starbucks Unveils a New Symbolic Cup Design for the Holidays

Starbucks / Starbucks

November has barely begun, but some companies are already using the month's arrival as an excuse to ring in the unofficial start of the holiday season. That includes Starbucks, the national drink chain that’s turned their seasonal drink offerings into an impressive customer draw. For the 2016 holidays, Starbucks is ditching their traditional red cup for a green one symbolizing unity, TIME reports.

The cups, which began appearing in stores on Tuesday, November 1, feature a “mosaic of more than a hundred people drawn in one continuous stroke,” according to a press release. It was designed by artist Shogo Ota, a Japan native who moved to the U.S. 14 years ago. The cup is meant to evoke feelings of community and togetherness, something Starbucks says our country needs to be reminded of now more than ever.

“During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other,” chairman and CEO Howard Schultz said in the statement.

Conflict around the holidays is something Starbucks is familiar with: Last holiday season the brand came under fire for their stripped-down red cups, an aesthetic choice some consumers characterized as an attack on Christmas. This year, the company is prepping for a different reaction, championing the new design as "a symbol for stitching people together as a united community."

[h/t TIME]