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article image Starbucks raises price of some of its drinks

By Nathan Salant     Jul 8, 2015 in Food
Seattle - Feeling the pain? You're not alone.
Your morning coffee just got a little more expensive.
Starbucks, the nation's largest cafe chain, raised the price of most of its drinks by as much as 20 cents on Tuesday.
The price increase, applicable to most small- and large-sized coffees (that's 'tall' and 'venti' in Starbucks lingo), apparently is to keep up with the rising cost of the company's expanding employee benefit programs.
Starbucks spokeswoman Lisa Passe said the price increase is the first in two years for most of the affected drinks, even though the chain has been raising the price of other products regularly, according to Cable News Network (CNN).
Passe said she could not specify all drinks that would be impacted because the company-owned stores charged different prices in various regions of the United States.
But she said the increases were the first for Starbucks' tall-sized brewed coffee and grande-sized latte in two years.
Prices for the chain's signature blended coffee drink, the Frappuccino, and its largest-sized coffee drinks would not change, Passe said.
The chain owns and operates all Starbucks stand-alone cafes, estimated to total more than 12,000, in the United States.
Starbucks cafes in supermarkets and hotels generally are franchised operations.
Starbucks offers its employees hourly wages above the national minimum and offers health benefits to part-time workers.
The company has recently announced a tuition assistance plan that would reimburse employees as much as $30,000 for college costs.
Yet Starbucks profits increased 18 percent last year, CNN said.
"These adjustments are the result of balancing the cost of doing business in these markets," Starbucks said in a written statement, according to CNN.
"Our pricing philosophy is to balance our need to run our business effectively while providing maximum value to our customers," the statement said.
The increased prices come just after the Dunkin' Donuts coffee shop chain passed Starbucks in customer satisfaction according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, CNN said.
Dunkin' Donuts has around 8,000 U.S. locations.
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