Beginning today, Starbucks will begin selling $1 reusable plastic cups in its stores in Canada, and U.S. Consumers who purchase the tumblers will receive a 10 cent discount with every order, helping to pay for the cup in 10 uses.
Starbucks has been selling reusable cups for years and set a goal back in 2008 to serve 25 percent of all beverages in reusable cups by 2015. Since then, the company has adjusted its goal lower to five percent in 2015. In 2011, 1.9 percent of all beverages sold in Starbucks worldwide were in reusable cups.
The company is hoping the new, cheaper, reusable cups will substantially increase consumer adoption. Starbucks' spokesperson Jim Hanna told USA Today, "It's not a burden for people to buy two or three."
The company tested the cups in 600 stores in the Pacific Northwest and saw a 26 percent year-over-year increase in reusable cup purchases in those locations during November. The cups, manufactured in China for less than a dollar, have lines inside that denote a "grande" or "tall" drink.
How effective will Starbucks be in getting consumers to pay $1 for reusable, coffee cups?