Starbucks: Worth the Price?


Photo by Natalie Kiene

Starbucks is a popular place to grab drinks with friends. The Grande Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino costs more than $5.

With inflation at a 40-year high, businesses are struggling to keep their prices affordable. Coffee, a daily necessity for people, has failed to escape rising prices. Customers often have to pay around $5 every morning for their favorite drink, which could cost them $1,825 annually.

While Starbucks can be costly, it is the most popular coffee shop, with nearly 35,000 cafes worldwide. Founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971, it quickly blossomed in popularity. With seasonal drinks such as the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Peppermint Mocha, Starbucks draws in curious customers to try these delicious flavors. In addition, Starbucks has the option for customers to get creative and make their own drinks or order off of the secret menu, such as the colorful Unicorn Frappuccino.

In the past couple of years, prices of simple products such as milk and eggs have increased due to inflation. A cup of coffee in 1970 was 25 cents while in 2022 it was $1.85. In 2022, most items have increased in price by more than 10%. As Starbucks is increasingly popular with unique drinks, the drinks are charged for every add in such as milk and flavors.
I like to make custom drinks, mostly so I can choose dairy-free options. Almond milk and other alternatives are nearly twice as expensive as regular milk, which is devastating for people who are lactose-intolerant or vegan. My favorite dairy-free drink is the chocolate almond milk shaken espresso, yet a grande costs $5.75. I believe that this is way too much for a drink that size, especially since it is merely espresso, almond milk, and chocolate powder.

Refreshers are also a popular drink, especially as the days are getting warmer. An iced drink is perfect to cool down and the colorful and bright drinks are a reminder of summer. The three refreshers are Mango Dragonfruit, Strawberry Acai and Pineapple Passionfruit, and they come with the option to be served with lemonade, coconut milk or plain. A grande plain refresher costs nearly $5, yet it is just a colorful tea with dried fruit.

Despite these high costs, it is important to remember the high demand of Starbucks. As it is the most popular coffee shop in the world, the company must have high prices to meet supply and demand. As milk prices rise, so do the drinks as Starbucks will have to pay more to make the drinks. Although the prices are high, Starbucks has unique and delicious drinks and people may even argue that they must charge more. However, a Starbucks addiction is expensive, so it is necessary for customers to make responsible financial decisions such as choosing to make their own coffee from home to save money. In conclusion, most customers are getting exactly what they are paying for, except of course, when the baristas mess up their order.