Starbucks announced late yesterday it will be raising the prices of some of their more labor-intensive beverages, thereby sending some grande drinks over the $5 mark. CEO Howard Schultz blamed the price hike on "a highly speculative green coffee market and dramatically increased commodity costs... And while many, if not most, coffee roasters and retailers began raising prices months ago, we have thus far chosen to absorb the price increases ourselves and not pass them on to our customers." Well, the free ride's over, deadbeats!
Starting at a vague time of their choosing, the company will begin implementing "targeted price adjustments on certain beverages in certain markets." And so Starbucks' Phase 2 begins.
The good news for those who like buying overpriced burnt coffee at enervating, generic chain stores is that Starbucks has vowed to "maintain or lower the price of some of its most popular beverages, including certain espresso beverages; and, in most markets, its popular $1.50 tall brewed coffee." But green arabica coffee bean prices are close to a 13-year high, and costs for its other raw ingredients, including dairy, sugar and cocoa, have gone up, too.
Some analysts expect the price of arabica to go down next year, as supply outpaces demand. But Starbucks won't rule out raising the price of packaged coffee, including beans sold in grocery stores, in the coming months. For now consumers of fancy drinks like Grande Mocha Java Chip Double Frappuccino who will have to bear the brunt of the cost. So brave!