Starbucks coffee may taste like burning, but its merch tends to be on point. The latest example is a collaboration with Samsung that created engraved cases for the Galaxy S22 lineup and the Galaxy Buds 2.
One of the Buds 2 case alternatives is a dark green case with a Starbucks logo. The additional is a small white mug with a hold and faux latte art whose top swivels away to display your earbuds.
Unfortunately, thanks to the giant mermaid logo on the side, it won’t appeal to anyone other than the most diehard of Starbucks Javaheads.
Samsung’s Starbucks collab got a bunch of new cases… some more attractive than others. Image: Samsung
Samsung holds history with fun cases like these, too. You might remember, for instance, its poké ball case for the Buds, which it released — also exclusively in South Korea — last month. Like that one, the mug is hilariously impractical: it takes a small, stealthy, pocketable case and turns it into something loud and unwieldy. To give you an idea of the thing’s size, you put your entire charger inside the mug. There are no new features or added battery capacity in that big body — just more gizmo for your gizmo.
But why shouldn’t chargers be more fun just for fun’s sake? The mug is just a cute desk accessory, a place to put your whole earbud kit, so you’re not constantly rooting around your pockets and desk to find that small case. And, if you’re the purse-carrying type, a more significant and oblong case might be a good thing. Finally, the world could use a more chaotic take on cases and chargers in general.
It’s not yet clear what the new Samsung-Starbucks merch will cost when it goes on sale tomorrow, and given that they’re in limited supply and exclusive to South Korea, you probably won’t be able to obtain your hands on one. But my eBay alert for “coffee mug Buds case” is already set.
Starbucks Corporation is an American multinational chain of coffeehouses and roastery reserves headquartered in Seattle, Washington. It is the world’s largest coffeehouse chain.
As of November 2021, the company had 33,833 stores in 80 countries, 15,444 of which were in the United States. Out of Starbucks’ U.S.-based stores, over 8,900 are company-operated, while the remainder is licensed.
In 2021–2022, votes to join Starbucks unions were successful at multiple Starbucks locations, including in cities such as Seattle, Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca, Kansas City, and Manhattan.
The rise of the second wave of coffee culture is generally attributed to Starbucks, which introduced a wider variety of coffee experiences. Starbucks serves hot and cold drinks, whole-bean coffee, micro-ground instant coffee, espresso, caffe latte, full and loose-leaf teas, juices, Frappuccino beverages, pastries, and snacks. Some offerings are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store. Depending on the country, most locations provide free Wi-Fi internet access.
Starbucks was founded in 1971 by Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. During the early 1980s, they sold the company to Howard Schultz. After a business trip to Milan, Italy, he decided to convert the coffee bean store into a coffee shop serving espresso-based drinks. As chief executive officer from 1986 to 2000, Schultz’s first tenure led to an aggressive expansion of the franchise, first in Seattle and then across the United States West Coast.
Orin Smith succeeded Schultz, who ran the company for five years and positioned Starbucks as a significant player in fair trade coffee, increasing sales to $5 billion. Jim Donald served as a chief executive officer from 2005 to 2008, orchestrating a large-scale earnings expansion. Schultz returned as CEO during the financial crisis of 2007–08 and spent the succeeding decade growing the company’s market share, expanding its offerings, and reorienting the brand around corporate social responsibility. Kevin Johnson, the current CEO, succeeded Schultz in 2017. In March 2022, Starbucks announced that Schultz would return as CEO in April 2022.
In addition to drinks and food, many stores carry Starbucks’ official merchandise, such as mugs, tumblers, scoops, and coffee presses. Several select “Starbucks Evenings” locations proffer beer, wine, and appetizers. In addition, Starbucks-brand ice cream, coffee, and bottled cold coffee drinks are sold at grocery stores in the United States and other countries. In 2010, the company started its Starbucks Reserve schedule for single-origin coffees and high-end coffee stores.
It is scheduled to open 1,000 Reserve coffee shops by the end of 2017. Starbucks employs six roasteries with tasting rooms and 43 coffee bars as part of the program. The latest roastery location was unlocked on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile in November 2019 and is the world’s most prominent Starbucks location.
The company has been subject to multiple controversies linked to its business rules. Conversely, its franchise has commanded substantial brand loyalty, market share, and company value. The company is ranked 114th on the Fortune 500 and 288th on the Forbes Global 2000.