Starbucks says it will boost coffee prices in U.S. and Canada by an average 11 cents a cup

Tuesday, September 28th 2004, 9:08 am
By: News On 6

SEATTLE (AP) _ You'll soon be forking up an extra dime and a penny for a gentrified java.

Starbucks Corp. said it would raise the average price of its beverages by 11 cents at 4,500 stores in North America because of increases in the cost of coffee and sugar.

In its announcement Monday, the company did not reveal what the average price of individual beverages would be after the increase Oct. 6. Currently, a 12-ounce Starbucks latte ranges from $2.25 in Minnesota to $3 in New York City.

The price hike _ the first since August 2000 _ will amount to an estimated 3 percent for all the company's drinks, Smith Barney analyst Mark Kalinowski said.

The company had announced previously that it would raise prices by the end of the year, saying coffee prices have risen 36 percent and sugar prices 39 percent in the past year.

McAdams Wright Ragen analyst Dan Geiman said he did not think the increase will hurt business: ``It's 11 cents,'' he said. ``That's not a huge amount when you're already paying a few dollars-plus for your beverage.''

The higher prices do not apply at Seattle's Best Coffee, a smaller chain owned by Starbucks, company spokesman Alan Hilowitz said.