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Starbucks releases a color-it-in-yourself holiday cup

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By JOSEPH PISANI
AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - It'll be a (mostly) white Christmas cup for Starbucks this year. The coffee chain's latest holiday design lets customers color it in themselves.

The company says the cups - which are typically red-themed - will be in stores Wednesday. A cup sleeve to go with the cup will be red.

A plainer red cup from 2015 spurred an outcry from critics upset that it lacked snowflakes, reindeer or specific symbols of Christmas. Even President Donald Trump, who was a candidate at the time, suggested boycotting the chain.

This year the cups feature splashes of red and green amid illustrations of presents, snowflakes and a Christmas tree with a star on top. But the black-and-white illustration is mainly blank for customers to personalize.

"We hope they'll color it in to represent what the holidays mean to them," said Leanne Fremar, a creative director at the company.

Starbucks said it started working on the design in January and decided to go with a color-in version because it said many customers liked to draw on them. The Seattle-based chain said most of its nearly 5,000 U.S. locations will have colored pencils available for customers to borrow.

Last year, it released about a dozen holiday cups that were designed by its customers. The holiday cups have been released since 1997.

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