Starbucks hikes prices

Coffee and espresso prices at Starbucks go up a day after the company increased wages.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Coffee lovers will now have to pay more for their cup of java.

Starbucks is hiking the price by ten to twenty cents (S$0.13-$0.27) more for some sizes of their favourite drinks and by ten to thirty cents for espressos and lattes. It says the price hikes will vary by market.

But it also said that two-thirds of its beverage prices will stay the same.

The price hikes come one day after Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz announced wage raises of at least five per cent starting October 3.

Kevin Sinnott, a coffee industry expert, said, "What's pushing them? Cost. Probably healthcare cost. Starbucks is one of the companies that does go out of its way to try to give benefits to employees. The other thing is sustainability. We're all pushing, as consumers, we all want all coffee companies, especially the higher-end coffee companies, we expect them to buy coffees that are sustainable grown, and, again, farmers get a fair wage, all through the chain roasted fresh, which all costs money."

Starbucks has raised prices every summer for the past several years.

Others are cutting. In May, US roaster J.M. Smucker chopped prices for most of its Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts coffee brands to bring back customers.