Extras now cost extra at Starbucks


The warning came in April 2009, a Starbucks representative tells me: during the analyst call to review the second fiscal quarter results for 2009. CEO Howard Schultz issued the bland-seeming statement, saying price "fine-tuning" would occur, "minor changes that will lower prices on some of our popular items such as tall lattes and slightly increased prices on our larger and more complex beverages." But last week, a series of new price increases were unrolled, hitting customers who ask for extra espresso shots, additional flavored syrups, or soy milk substitutes hard.

In New York and Canada, all the specialty drinks became more expensive, including (yup) the tall latte, by 5-10%. Regular drip coffee did adjust downward by about 10 cents in most markets; tea went up everywhere, significantly, but this was in connection with the roll out of new, more premium looseleaf tea sachets.