Starbucks' New Jolt Doesn't Involve Caffeine

Prices up for complex drinks—though regular joe gets cheaper
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2009 8:14 PM CDT
Starbucks employees should "expect customers to be sensitive to pricing changes in this economic climate," an internal memo advises.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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(Newser) – As promised, Starbucks today began raising prices on some of its more complicated concoctions, the Wall Street Journal reports—though it’s also slicing a few pennies off its more pedestrian offerings. That venti (large) caramel macchiato will cost 25¢ more, for instance; store employees have been told to expect sour customer reaction given the recession, and are supposed to explain that the hikes reflect the increased cost of business.

A tall (small) latte, meanwhile, will cost 10¢ less, a small brewed coffee 5¢ cheaper—trims that reflect Starbucks’ commitment to value, the employee line goes. The price increases and decreases will vary by market, and though they could hurt in the near term, the moves could help Starbucks win back business from rivals, one analyst tells the Los Angeles Times.