Starbucks Has Been Slowly Raising Prices for a Year

Your Frappuccinos aren't affected by the latest price hike, but brewed coffee will cost you more.
brewed coffee

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.

It's a 'Safe' Way to Increase Revenue

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.

In the past year, Starbucks has increased prices by 1% to 2%.

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.

Your Frappuccinos Are Fine

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!

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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I hate to say but they're already pretty expensive and are even getting more and more. Need to buy more k-cups to make it cheaper at home. Just use their shot pumps
I exclusively drink espresso drinks and while I did notice the 10 cent price hike around Labor Day, last year, and though it did add 1.9% to the cost of my latte (was $5.25 changed to $5.35), one must keep in mind that the rate of inflation for 2017 was 2.1% and thus far in 2018, it sits at 1.9%.

Anyone who might get "scared off" by such am increase is not being reasonable.
Cat Gynt
After getting crap coffee at most restaurants and "fast food" places, paying a few cents more for superior coffee is worth the price. A tall Pike Place @ $1.95 is better than $2.29 to $2.99 for a terrible cup of coffee with endless refills. Additionally, S'bux Still offers a dime discount if I use my own cup. Better for the environment too.