Starbucks spokesperson Jaci Anderson told Snopes by email that the mug was launched in May of 2023 as part of the company's summer collection in the U.K. and that it had no tie to the Israel-Hamas war, which began months later in October following Hamas' attack in Israel.
On Jan. 17, 2024, users on X (formerly Twitter) claimed that Starbucks had released a new mug with a watermelon design.
According to the posts, the company made the watermelon mug available both as a way of showing support to Palestinians during the Israel-Hamas war but also to attempt to cool down any purported efforts to boycott the company. The watermelon was first used as a symbol of solidarity with Palestinians in 1967. The symbol emerged after the Six-Day War, Time.com reported.
However, Starbucks spokesperson Jaci Anderson told Snopes by email that the mug was launched in May of 2023 as part of the company's summer collection in the U.K., and that it had no tie to the conflict in the Middle East. She also said that the company sometimes sees seasonal merchandise being sold out of season when stock remains available, as is the case with the watermelon mug.
In other words, Starbucks released the watermelon mug months before Hamas' attack in Israel on Oct. 7, 2023 – the incident that ultimately led to the start of the war.
We previously reported the timeline of events that led to what some users labeled as a boycott of Starbucks. That story can be found here.
Posts Making the False Claim
The protracted, often bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict exploded into a hot war on Oct. 7, 2023, when the militant Palestinian group Hamas launched a deadly attack on Israel and Israel retaliated by bombarding the Gaza Strip. More than 20,000 people, the vast majority of them Palestinians, were reportedly killed during the first two months of the war alone. The violence is driven by mutual hostilities and territorial ambitions dating back more than a century. The internet has become an unofficial front in that war and is rife with misinformation, which Snopes is dedicated to countering with facts and context. You can help. Read the latest fact checks. Submit questionable claims. Become a Snopes Member to support our work. We welcome your participation and feedback.