Starbucks hiking prices on drinks, packages of coffee

Company says Starbucks increase is not solely driven by surging coffee bean costs.
By CANDICE CHOI, Associated Press Published: June 21, 2014

Starbucks is raising prices on some of its drinks by 5 to 20 cents starting next week, and customers can also soon expect to pay $1 more for the packaged coffee it sells in supermarkets.

The Seattle-based chain also raised prices on some of the drinks sold in its cafes a year ago.

The latest hikes don’t seem to be driven purely by the surging bean costs that have pressured other coffee sellers to raise prices, however, since Starbucks has said it already locked in its coffee contracts for the rest of this fiscal year and much of the next.

In March, CEO Howard Schultz said during an interview with Fox Business that Starbucks had no intentions of raising its prices.

“We can manage this, we have over a year’s worth of protection,” Schultz said at the time.

“I suspect that most of our competitors are short, and we are in a much better position than they are.”

Official cites costs

In an email Friday, Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson noted that many factors go into pricing decisions, including “competitive dynamics” and the company’s “cost structure,” which he said includes costs for a variety of ingredients, as well as materials, labor and occupancy costs.

Continue reading this story on the...