Starbucks Isn't The Only Chain With Holiday Cups

Starbucks' holiday cups are always talked about, but other fast food chains get festive, too.

Disposable cups are easily one of Starbucks' largest marketing engines. They're instantly identifiable, and the world is so aware of them that the yearly announcement of the new holiday cup designs unofficially heralds the coming of winter. But those limited-time seasonal cups aren't the only ones getting festive.

A few other brands debut holiday packaging that celebrates the season—they just don't make headlines for doing so. Here are some other items getting a winter makeover in 2023. Don't be a Scrooge about it.

KFC holiday buckets and Dunkin’ holiday cups

KFC has come out with its own limited-time bucket design, and it even has a name: "Secret Recipe of Joy." It shows a snowy winter wonderland with chicken drumsticks teased in (as ornaments on a tree, accents on a wreath, etc.), along with anthropomorphized depictions of KFC sides enjoying some cold weather activities (translation: a bowl of mac and cheese sledding down a mountain).

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Last year's bucket theme was "Sharing is Caring," and a representative for KFC confirmed that these limited-time bucket designs have been around in some form since the 1960's. KFC is also releasing a whole shop of holiday-themed wearables such as hoodies, sweaters, and gloves in its online shop.

Dunkin' also has some festive new packaging for winter 2023. One design features doughnuts strung up like Christmas lights, and the others are full of colorful sprinkles.

These cups will hold seasonal drinks like Cookie Butter Cold Brew, a Peppermint Mocha Latte, and a Toasted White Chocolate Latte, along with the rest of the drinks menu. None of the aforementioned coffees are new, but there are some new limited-time Loaded Hash Browns drizzled in cheese sauce and bacon bits.

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Even Shake Shack has debuted new cups for its limited-time shakes promoting both the holiday season and the movie Trolls Band Together (which comes out on November 17). While the cups are themed to the movie, with colorful troll sillhouettes, the shakes themselves are decidedly holiday-flavored, and are named after characters from the new movie. There are also small snowflakes on the cups. It's kind of a confusing mashup, but the cups look cool.

Poppy's Sugar Cookie Cake is sugar cookie frozen custard mixed with cookie dough popping candy and topped with whipped cream and cotton candy. Branchy's Chocolate Peppermint Shake is vanilla and chocolate frozen custard mixed with mint fudge and topped with whipped cream and mint candy crunch. Finally, Viva's Cinnamon Roll Shake has cinnamon roll frozen custard swirled with gold-colored frosting and topped with whipped cream and gold confetti.

Every brand is quick to transition into holiday mode as soon as Halloween is over. Maybe they're thinking that extra dose of cheer will bring you in the door for fried chicken, coffee, and milkshakes.

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