Starbucks launched a new, cheaper reusable plastic tumbler earlier this month to help customers save some cash and the reaction is overwhelmingly positive in Palo Alto. In fact, the cups are sold out and on back-order.
At the Starbucks on Alma Street, customers scooped up two cases of the cups in less than a week. "Everyone loves them," said barrista Nichole Wright. "And we can't get any more until next week. The manufacturer can't get them to us because they're sold out."
According to Wright, the CEO of one company wants to purchase the cups for her employees.The new tumblers are an effort to reduce coffee cup waste, which Starbucks has been criticized for. The coffee giant generates about 4 billion cups globally each year. The new reusable cups cost $1. Customers receive a 10 cent discount every time they use the cups, so the tumblers pay for themselves after 10 lattes.
Approximately 28 percent of Americans have either purchased one of the cups or plan to, according to a study by YouGov Omnibus conducted earlier this month.
The cups bear the green Starbucks logo and look much like the standard paper cups. They have fill lines inside denoting "tall," "grande" and "venti"-sized drinks.
There is some concern that the tumblers may just be a trend and, like reusable grocery bags, customers will forget to use them.
Challenges in changing customer behavior, as well as trouble tracking how many coffee drinkers opt for reusable cups, led Starbucks to reduce its goal of 25 percent reusable cups by 2015 to 5 percent.
Prior to the reusable tumbler, Starbucks already offered a 10-cent discount to customers who brought in a reusable mug.
Do you think the economical reusable cups will have a positive environmental impact? Have you purchased one, or do you plan to? Tell us in comments.
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