Inflation’s latest victims: Pumpkin Spice Latte fans

 A Starbucks coffee cup sits on a table as the company reported supply shortages at some coffee shops on June 11, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
A Starbucks coffee cup sits on a table as the company reported supply shortages at some coffee shops on June 11, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Photo credit (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
By , Audacy

One of the first signs that fall is on the horizon – Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte – dropped Tuesday with a heftier price.

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According to CNN Business, a grande-sized Pumpkin Spice Latte currently goes for $5.45 to $5.95, a 4% increase over last year’s price. For example, the Starbucks at Erie and Dearborn streets in Chicago, Ill., has its Pumpkin Spice listed at the higher end of this price range ($5.95) as of Tuesday afternoon, per UberEats.

In a Monday announcement, Starbucks said the Pumpkin Spice Latte has been a tradition for 19 years.

“The handcrafted beverage combines Starbucks Signature Espresso and steamed milk with flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove to complement the real pumpkin in the sauce,” said the announcement. “Topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spices, PSL is available hot, iced or blended at U.S. stores throughout the season while supplies last.”

Starbucks also revealed that other specialty drinks, such as the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato, will be available this autumn.

CNN Business reported that the PSL price increase is “in line with broader price hikes at Starbucks and other chains,” due to inflationary pressures over the past year. While the Consumer Price Index remained flat in July, it has increased by 8.5% over the previous 12-month period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to third quarter financial results Starbucks released Aug. 2, “North America comparable store sales increased 9%, driven by an 8% increase in average ticket and a 1% increase in comparable transactions,” and “U.S. comparable store sales increased 9%, primarily driven by an 8% increase in average ticket.”

Starbucks also made news this year as some of its employees moved to unionize, CNBC said. By early August, 209 Starbucks stores had voted to unionize, according to National Labor Relations Board data cited by CNBC.

Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz has not been supportive of the movement to unionize. He also said this summer that Starbucks’ is shifting its business model away from in-person consumption in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes have a loyal fan base and help pump up sales for Starbucks, according to CNN Business. In 2020, Starbucks has said drinks were a “catalyst” for a record-breaking fourth-quarter performance, the outlet reported.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)