Jan 10, 2024 - Business

Stanley cup craze kicks into high gear with Starbucks mug

Pink Starbucks Stanley cup

A limited-edition, pink Starbucks x Stanley quencher has been selling out at Starbucks locations in Target stores. Photo: Courtesy of Starbucks

Tumbler brand Stanley was once known for thermoses used during World War II. But now it's better known as a viral brand that's generated an enthusiastic following on TikTok.

The big picture: Exclusive Starbucks and Target versions of the vacuum-insulated quencher model have created a frenzy across the nation.

What's happening: The limited-edition, pink Starbucks x Stanley quencher went on sale Jan. 3 at Starbucks' Target locations for $49.95 for the 40-ounce tumbler.

  • It's now sold out at many stores, the coffee giant told Axios.
  • Days earlier, Target released a few exclusive Stanley products including a red quencher for $45.
  • "The craze has prompted long lines outside of Target stores in the dead of night. Ugly fights have broken out. Shouting matches have erupted," the L.A. Times reports.

Yes, but: Starbucks tells Axios the Stanley won't be restocked.

  • Quantities of exclusive products often are limited and while supplies last.

State of play: The special Stanleys have been so popular that resellers are listing them on sites like eBay for hundreds of dollars or more.

Stanley cup collaborations

Between the lines: It's not the first Stanley cup that consumers have camped out for and it's the third Starbucks Stanley collaboration, which included a red cup that went on sale in November.

  • Other collabs have also sold out quickly, including country star Lainey Wilson's "Watermelon Moonshine" quencher that sold out in 11 minutes, CNN reported.
  • StockX told Axios that the "Watermelon Moonshine" quencher has had an average resale price of $215, the most expensive Stanley product on the online marketplace.

What they're saying: "The consumer obsession with Stanley Tumblers is a great example of a brand embracing the virality of TikTok and social media," Drew Haines, StockX merchandising director, told Axios.

  • "The recent cultural shift towards hydration with hashtags like #WaterTok has provided Stanley with the right moment in time to drive scarcity-fueled hype, leading to sold-out product releases," Haines said.

Zoom in: The colorfulness, durability and handy design of Stanleys have combined with a savvy marketing campaign that has included reaching out to social media influencers.

  • Annual sales for the PMI Worldwide-owned brand have gone from $70 million to more than $750 million over the last four years, CNBC says.
  • A November TikTok that showed a Stanley that still had ice in the aftermath of a car fire gave the brand more exposure.
  • "I couldn't think of a better example of our product's quality," Stanley president Terence Reilly said in a TikTok video response.

The bottom line: "Once the brand was able to reach Generation Z, its popularity hit a new level," NPR writes.

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