Months after we all started fretting over the prospect of a global coffee shortage, it seems we might actually start to feel the caffeine-related effects of Brazil's massive drought and Central America's coffee fungus, in the form industry-wide retail price increases.
For now, retail prices for coffee are stable. Roasters typically have enough supplies to cover themselves for a few months. But if the price of the Arabica (pronounced uh-RAB-ick-uh) beans continues to rise, consumers could start seeing the cost of their morning coffee creep up later this year.
And that's exactly what appears to be happening. Starbucks said today that consumers at more than 7,100 stores in the U.S. should expect prices on some drinks to jump by 5 to 20 cents each. According to Reuters, grande and venti coffees will be 15 to 20 cents more expensive at most locations. The cost of a grande coffee hasn't risen in nearly four years.
Starbucks will also increase the prices of bags of whole and ground coffee beans sold at other locations by about $1 per bag.
The company made its announcement soon after Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis said that "coffee prices will go up a little bit in our stores, but not by much." J.M. Smucker, which owns Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts supermarket brands, said that it also plans on raising coffee prices by about 9 percent.