Starbucks Launches Holiday Drinks — How They Compare to Dunkin’ Seasonal Menu

Starbucks Logo, Boston, United States - 14 Oct 2022
Michael Dwyer / AP / Shutterstock.com

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays at Starbucks! The coffee chain started spreading seasonal cheer on Nov. 3 with the launch of the 2022 holiday drink menu. 

This year’s lineup includes perennial favorites like the Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulee Latte and Toasted White Mocha. There’s also the return of the Chestnut Praline Latte, Irish Cream Cold Brew and Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte.

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For holiday-themed food, Starbucks has also brought back the Cranberry Bliss Bar and Snowman Cookie, but they have a new addition with the Chocolate Pistachio Swirl, described by the company as having a “creamy chocolate filling with notes of cinnamon and coffee swirled into buttery brioche-inspired dough with mint chocolate chips and topped with chopped pistachios.”

As many other food companies have done this year, citing inflation and supply chain issues, Starbucks has raised prices on their holiday drinks. As one example, a Grande Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte last year cost $5.65 on average; this year that price jumps to $5.75. A Grande size Peppermint Mocha and a Grande Caramel Brulee Latte are also $5.75 in 2022.

Each will be poured into one of Starbucks’ new 25th anniversary holiday cups, with the chain unveiling four festive designs, including “gift-wrapped magic,” “frosted sparkle,” “ornament wonder” and “cozy evergreen.” Today’s unveiling also marks the 20th anniversary of the Peppermint Mocha.

“We have always talked about the cups as little gifts, and we hope they feel like a festive present to our customers and store partners,” Starbucks Creative Director Gary Jacobson said about this year’s holiday cup lineup.

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Over the years, festive cups have been a lucrative move by the coffee giant. Per Fox Business, the Seattle-based company increased holiday sales 23% year-over-year last season, including more than $3 billion in gift card activations and reloads and a 21% jump in its mobile rewards program, now estimated at 26 million people. 

In particular, Fox Business noted that Starbucks has found a surge in popularity of cold coffee drinks, even this time of year, seen in their popular Irish Cream Cold Brew and the dairy-free Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte. The company has stated that iced beverages make up two-thirds of total sales.

But Starbucks isn’t the only major player getting in on seasonal fun — Dunkin’ has also launched their holiday lineup and cups. New this year is the Cookie Butter Cold Brew (topped with cold foam and real cookie crumbles), which joins annual favorites like the Peppermint Mocha Signature Latte and Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte. For food, in addition to the return of the Cranberry Orange Muffin, Dunkin’ is unveiling the new Cookie Butter Donut. 

Dunkin’ holiday cups are a bit more streamlined, both hot and iced cups decorated with donuts making up the shape of snowmen or mistletoe, respectively. 

Both coffee giants are also offering perks to draw in customers, in particular focusing on rewards members. Dunkin’ members can get a free coffee on Mondays from Nov. 7-28 with any purchase.

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Starbucks customers can take part in Red Cup Day, offering a limited-edition reusable red cup for one day only with the order of a holiday beverage. Last year’s date fell on Nov. 18, per USA Today, though no date has been announced yet for 2022.

The chain is also likely to bring back its holiday-themed Starbucks For Life game, giving customers the chance to win prizes with every purchase, including the ultimate reward of coffee for life.

As GOBankingRates reported in October, Starbucks recently partnered with Delta Airlines to do a combo rewards program by linking the two mobile accounts. Purchases from either company will add up to free drinks and miles. And the holiday season is the perfect time to do so as enrolling and linking by December 31 will net an extra 150 Starbucks points and 500 Delta Miles with a qualifying purchase.

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About the Author

Selena Fragassi joined GOBankingRates.com in 2022, adding to her 15 years in journalism with bylines in Spin, Paste, Nylon, Popmatters, The A.V. Club, Loudwire, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and others. She currently resides in Chicago with her rescue pets and is working on a debut historical fiction novel about WWII. She holds a degree in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago.
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