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Most coffee consumers know that getting a customized drink at Starbucks won't be cheap. But anyone opting for brewed coffee over the latest limited-edition Frappuccino might be surprised by their tab. It turns out, Starbucks has been raising prices on its regular brew, and the latest increase happened earlier this month.
In the past year, the coffee chain has upped prices by 1% to 2%, a Starbucks spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal. That doesn't sound like much, and in the grand scheme of things, it's not. For those who enjoy plain brewed coffee, the most recent price hike means they'll now pay around 10 cents to 20 cents more per drink. So if you order a 12-ounce "tall" cup of coffee, you'll now pay from $1.95 to $2.15.
But it can't be ignored that this is yet another price increase Starbucks has instituted over the past year. Around Labor Day 2017, it raised prices on 10% of its menu items at certain locations, right as it was kicking off pumpkin spice season. This didn't go over well with some customers, as the increase applied to certain sizes of brewed coffee, select espresso drinks, and even some baked goods. These items went up in price by 10 cents to 30 cents.
The minor increases may be working for Starbucks. As Eater points out, regular customers who opt for brewed coffee are "unlikely to be concerned about 10- to 30-cent increases" on their drinks. This means Starbucks has found a "safe" way to increase its revenue without "scaring customers off." Basically, regular, tiny price hikes can help their bottom line and not incur the wrath of regulars.
The more elaborate drinks aren't affected by the latest price increase. So if you prefer the blended icy concoctions, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You won't be spending any more on that lemon-flavored Frappuccino than you were before.
Readers, have you noticed the price hikes at Starbucks? Take our poll below, and then leave your thoughts in the comments!