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Starbucks is raising America’s drink prices for the third summer in a row

Workers prepare coffee during the inauguration of Starbuck's first Colombian store at 93 park in Bogota July 16, 2014. Starbucks Corp opened its first shop in Colombia on Wednesday, 43 years after the world's biggest coffee chain first started buying beans from the country famous for its premium arabica coffee named after fictional coffee farmer Juan Valdez.
Reuters/John Vizcaino
Cheaper coffee, pricier workers?
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

For the third summer running, Starbucks is raising coffee drink prices in the US. The increases will vary market to market, but for the beverages affected, the price hike will be between $0.05 and $0.20, Starbucks spokesperson Sanja Gold told Quartz. For the most part, summer favorites like frappuccinos and iced coffee/tea are exempt. But Tall (Starbucks’s 12. oz size) and Venti (its 16 oz. size) brewed coffee are both jumping up $0.10 a piece in most stores.

The price increases go into effect tomorrow (July 7).

Food and bagged coffee offerings won’t change price. The company says the average check will go up 1%, and that it thinks fewer than 20% of customers’ bills will be affected by the increase.

Last year’s price hike came as Arabica coffee prices were at a particularly high point after a drought in Brazil. This time, coffee prices have dropped to the point where JR Smucker, which sells Folgers, cut prices by 6%:

The company says the pricing increase isn’t due to any one factor, but several. “We evaluate pricing on an ongoing basis trying to balance the business’s profitability with providing value to our most loyal customers, and attracting new ones,” Gold said.

In other words, it isn’t just coffee prices, but also increases in other costs, notably rent, labor, and other operating expenses.

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