Starbucks raises coffee prices up to 33%

Wow, apparently Starbucks raised coffee prices today, up to 33% for some “complex orders”.  I’m not sure how I feel about it. Its discretionary spending, but they aren’t the only players on the block anymore.

Apparently the price hikes mean a Triple Grande Soy Vanilla Latte now costs $6.25, up from an already astounding $5.55.  I live in Seattle and I can’t believe those types of prices. I can go to incredible coffee shops in the area such as Stella Coffee at 1st and University, Cafe Vita on Capital Hill or even Java Bean in Ballard and I won’t spend that kind of money.  If you want to have some control over your coffee without the mess of a coffee machine on your desk at work, I’d recommend a french press.  I have a Bodum and, though I don’t use it every day, its a great way to make only a few cups at a time from any fancy beans that you wish.  I’d say prices are around $0.35/cup if you make it yourself.

This price hike is the reverse of what is going on in the rest of the retail world.  The big guys are raising prices and the little guys look cheap in comparison.  I get price elasticity Starbucks, but at some point that elastic breaks. 

See MSN’s write up on the price hikes here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34925407/?GT1=43001