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When you have some disappointing news to share, sometimes it helps to cushion the blow with something more pleasant. Starbucks, it seems, learned from this tried-and-true maneuver last week.
Over Labor Day weekend, plenty of fall food fanatics were excited about the much-heralded seasonal release of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Amid the return of the original taste of fall, however, the coffee chain discreetly raised the price on several menu items at locations across the country.
So, how much more is that macchiato really going to cost?
Well, that depends. “Pricing is continually evaluated on a product-by-product and market-by-market basis in our stores in order to balance business needs while continuing to provide value to our loyal customers,” Sanja Gould, a Starbucks representative told TODAY over email. “Beverage and food prices vary by location and customers can find pricing posted in each location and through our mobile app,” said Gould, who wouldn't specifically exactly which of the chain's nearly 8,000 company-owned U.S. locations raised prices.
"Depending on the market, customers will experience increases of 10 to 20 cents on select sizes of brewed coffee, and 10 to 30 cents on select espresso beverages. We expect the average customer ticket to increase by about 0.5 percent as a result of these beverage adjustments, however, 90 percent of beverage prices have not changed,” Gould explains.
To put it more clearly, while 90 percent of the chain's beverage prices have not changed, that means 10 percent have gone up. For coffee lovers used to buying several cups of java a day, those cents may really start to add up. Several customers are clearly unhappy about the news.
For some, that price hike might just be the push needed to curb that afternoon caffeine addiction.
And while you might not be finding deals in the brick-and-mortar stores, Starbucks recently decided to close its digital store so they are currently offering steep discounts on everything from beans to mugs as they clear out stock online. Maybe we can make up the extra few cents we're spending on lattes via a discounted French press?