The price of a morning Starbucks visit may have just risen slightly, depending on one’s beverage of choice: The coffee giant has instituted a price hike on its regular ol’ brewed coffee, the Wall Street Journal reports.
All sizes of brewed coffee are now 10 to 20 cents more expensive, meaning a tall brewed coffee now clocks in between $1.95 and $2.15 depending on the location, excluding tax. (That’s still a steal, compared to the brand’s $5 neon-colored Frappuccinos.) The brewed coffee price increase affects most of Starbucks’ 8,000 company-owned locations in the U.S. Other, more elaborate drinks, including espresso-based beverages and Frappuccinos, are not affected.
The chain’s last major price hike seems to have been instituted last fall, when it quietly raised prices on around 10 percent of its drink menu, by as much as 30 cents. A Starbucks spokesperson confirmed to the WSJ that it’s raised menu prices by 1 to 2 percent over the past year, including this most recent increase. Devoted Starbucks regulars who start every morning with a grande Pike’s Place Roast are unlikely to be concerned about 10- to 30-cent increases, meaning minor, frequent price hikes represent a safe way for Starbucks to up its revenue without scaring customers off.
Meanwhile, a separate WSJ report points out that there are now more Starbucks than McDonald’s in the U.S. Over the past few years McDonald’s has been vying to steal a piece of Starbucks’s market share by ramping up its coffee offerings with pricey espresso machines and promotional pricing. The cost of a small McDonald’s coffee currently hovers around $1 plus tax, making it an attractive option for anyone who’s been priced out of Starbucks.