Starbucks Quietly Ends Its Product RED Card Contributions

Rory Wehrlie March 4, 2012

Since launching in 2008, the Starbucks and Product (RED)™ partnership has generated contributions equaling more than 18 million daily doses of medicine – or more than $10 million to the Global Fund – to help those living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Updated: We’ve updated the article to reflect the fact that Starbucks (RED) partnership is still in place and consumers can expect to see more promotions from (STARBUCKS)RED through the end of 2015 to raise money to help those living with HIV/AIDS in Africa. However, Starbucks has stopped making contributions to the Global Fund if a customer pays with a STARBUCKSRED Card after December 31st 2011. No Starbucks RED Card 2012

Starbucks Product REDOn December 31st 2011, Starbuck’s stopped making contributions to the Global Fund if a customer pays with a (STARBUCKS)RED Card.

While the $10million dollars raised by the partnership is only a drop in the bucket compared to Starbucks’ revenue during the same period, the contributions raised is a significant amount that helps support the Global Fund.  And the awareness generated from the partnership helped bring attention to the HIV/AIDs epidemic in Africa.  Starbucks continues to raise awareness for other important issues too, including its recently announced Create Jobs for USA initiative.

2008 Starbucks Product RED Partnership Announcement

Starbucks Coffee Company and (RED)TM  announced a multi-year partnership that will give coffee lovers a chance to do good every day.  Through the partnership, a portion of the proceeds from special STARBUCKS (PRODUCT)RED products will go to the Global Fund to help save lives in Africa.

The (STARBUCKS)RED Card and partnership with (RED) was another iteration of the Starbucks Shared Planet commitment to responsibly serve the communities and people that grow Starbucks coffee.

During its initial stages the contributions were only generated on the sale of  (STARBUCKS)RED EXCLUSIVE beverages: Peppermint Mocha Twist, Gingersnap Latte and Espresso Truffle.  Starbuck’s would later expand the selection include other (PRODUCT)RED products.

Bono, co-founder of (RED), joined Starbucks’ ceo, Howar Schultz, to announce the partnership at Starbucks’ 2008 Leadership Conference in New Orleans.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and ceo, said of the partnership.

“(RED) is making remarkable progress in the worldwide effort to address AIDS in Africa.  We have a deep partnership with coffee growing regions in Africa.  We are proud to partner with our customers to contribute toward an AIDS-free Africa.”

Bono (Paul David Hewson), co-founder of (RED), proudly proclaimed.

“(RED) is coming to a corner near you thanks to Starbucks. The business of Starbucks with roots in Africa and branches all over the world is an ideal fit for (RED).  It’s pretty mind-blowing to think that millions of people can buy (RED) going about their daily lives and in doing so raise millions of dollars to fight AIDS in Africa.  That’s not a bad hit from your caffeine.”

Shortly after its initial partnership announcement, Starbucks expanded its offering to customers with the the opportunity to make ever purchase at Starbucks stores (RED) when they use the (STARBUCKS)RED Card. Every time a customer uses this Card to make a purchase at Starbucks, five cents would be contributed directly to the Global Fund to help save lives in Africa. 


2009 Starbucks Product RED Holiday Season

Starbucks Coffee Company celebrated the holidays by giving customers an opportunity to shop at Starbucks and give back. During the limited time promotion, customers can turn any purchase (RED)™ by spending $15 in a participating Starbucks store in the U.S. and Canada and Starbucks will contribute $1 U.S. to the Global Fund.

Starbucks Product RED All You Need Is Love CDCustomers who participated received a complimentary “All You Need Is Love” limited edition offer CD, featuring Starbucks and (RED)™ exclusive tracks from John Legend, U2, Dave Matthews Band and Playing for Change.

By November 16th 2009, less than a year after launching its partnership with (PRODUCT)RED, Starbucks had generated contributions equaling more than 6 million daily doses of antiretroviral medicine through the purchase of select (STARBUCKS)RED products to help those living with HIV in Africa.   Just two weeks later, by November 29th, Starbucks and Product Red announced that the partnership had generated enough money to buy more than 7 million days of medicine to help those living with HIV in Africa.

To help celebrate World AIDS Day in 2009 (Tuesday, December 1), Starbucks committed to making a five cent contribution to the Global Fund for every hand-crafted beverage sold in US and Canada.


2010 Valentine’s Day Starbucks Product RED Partnership

Starbucks Love Cup - Product Red

To celebrate its Product RED partnership, Starbucks served hot beverages to its customers in a limited-edition cup – departing from its iconic white design – at participating U.S. stores to celebrate a major milestone through its partnership with  (RED)™.

By February 2010, Starbucks had generated funding for the Global Fund equivalent to more than 14 million days of medicine to help those living with HIV in Africa.


2010 Starbucks Product RED Partnership: Sharing Holiday traditions with Starbucks and Designer Jonathan Adler

Starbucks collaborated with designer Jonathan Adler for one-of-a-kind creation to share with loved ones.

“The design represents two sources of inspiration I feature in all of my pieces – Peace and Love.”

- Jonathan Adler

Starbucks Product RED Jonathan Adler Ceramic To-Go Cup

Working with (RED)™ and the Global Fund is another part of our ongoing commitment to the people and communities that grow our coffee. While supplies last, Starbucks will contribute $1 U.S. to the Global Fund from sale of each (STARBUCKS)RED Jonathan Adler Ceramic To-Go Cup.

Additionally, in honor of World AIDS Day (Wednesday, December 1), Starbucks made a five cent U.S. contribution to the Global Fund through its partnership with (RED) for every hand-crafted beverage sold at participating locations in the U.S. and Canada.



2011 Starbucks Product RED Partnership

During its fourth (and final) year of the Starbucks and Product (RED)™ partnership to raise awareness.  In honor of World AIDS Day (Thursday, December 1 2022), Starbucks committed to make a five cent U.S. contribution to the Global Fund for every handcrafted beverage sold in the U.S. and Canada to help eliminate HIV/AIDS in Africa.

By December 1, 2011 the Starbucks and Product (RED)™ partnership had contributed nearly $10 million to the Global Fund to help those living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Starbucks Product Red

Starbucks RED Card 2012?

(RED) engages business and consumer power in the fight against AIDS.  To date, (RED) partners and events have generated over $180 million for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  This money has supported HIV/AIDS programs that have reached more than 7.5 million people affected by AIDS in Africa.  Current (PRODUCT)RED Proud Partners include: American Express (UK only), Apple, Beats by Dr. Dre, Belvedere, Bugaboo, Converse, Dell, Gap, Nike, Penfolds and Starbucks and Special Edition partners include: FEED, Girl Skateboards, Mophie, Nanda Home, Shazam and Solange Azagury-Partridge. Companies whose products take on the (PRODUCT)RED mark contribute a significant percentage of the sales or portion of the profits from that product to the Global Fund.  On World AIDS Day 2010, (RED) launched “The AIDS Free Generation is Due in 2015″ campaign. (RED) is joining the global health community in raising funds and awareness to help eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015 and helping to realize the first AIDS-free generation in nearly thirty years.  Learn more at


The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund is a unique, public-private partnership and international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents an innovative approach to international health financing.  Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the main financier of programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with approved funding of US$ 22.4 billion for more than 1,000 programs in 150 countries (as of 30 June 2011). To date, programs supported by the Global Fund have saved 7.7 million lives by providing AIDS treatment for 3.2 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 8.2 million people and 190 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.  (RED)™ is the largest business initiative supporting the Global Fund. For more information visit


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