Panera’s Limited-Edition Holiday Coffee Cups Are Truly Ugly … but That’s the Point

published Dec 2, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
panera ugly sweater reusable cups
Credit: Panera

Specialty holiday cups have become a cult favorite among coffee drinkers (see: a certain red cup that makes itself known every winter). But the latest holiday cup to hit the market is definitely pushing the envelope: Panera’s line of limited-edition cups are … how shall we say this? Folks, they’re downright ugly.

But wait! That’s the point. Taking a page from the lovable “ugly sweater” tradition, Panera teamed up with Emily Zugay, a hilarious TikTok star with over two-million followers, on the launch. Emily worked with Panera to design four specialty coffee cups to really capture the *drama* of the holiday season. The cups, which look like the work of a 5-year-old with a 10-minute tutorial of Microsoft Paint under their belt, are delightful. My favorite is the neon pink one, decorated with amorphous antlered blobs, and sprinkled with misspelled reindeer names (Who is Vickey and why are we just hearing about her now?).

Another way these holiday cups differ from those featured in the mainstream? This set is a gift that will keep on giving for one reason: They’re reusable. Reusable mugs aren’t just eco-friendly — they’re a must for Panera’s coffee subscription club, which includes two months of unlimited coffee for $15 (or three months for $20). I’m thinking that the coffee-loving comedian on your gifting list deserves a set of these ugly cups paired with a coffee club membership. And, because this is guaranteed to be a hit, I’m thinking that you might need one too. (If you sign yourself up along with a friend, your unlimited coffee is free for an entire year. Wowza.)

Feeling lucky? Of course you are; it’s the holidays! From now until Monday, December 6, you can enter to win a set of mugs yourself at — a URL that is as entertaining as it is accurate. If you’re still wondering, “But why?” rest assured that Panera is totally in on the light-hearted joke. In a press release, Panera states that these mugs are meant to inspire appreciation for what’s inside, rather than glossy decorations and materialistic goods. But regardless of what’s inside, these cups will make you LOL every time you fill them up — now that is some strong holiday cheer.