Twitter Is Infuriated With Starbucks Rising Prices. Here's Why

Twitter is having a field day over Starbucks' recent price hike. The coffee chain said the pressures of inflation have become too much and they will have to raise the prices of their menu items. The New York Times reported on February 1 that other issues the company pointed to were the disruptions the pandemic has wreaked upon the supply chain and rising labor costs. The piece also noted that the final quarter saw sales rise by 31% and revenue reached $8.1 billion. "We have additional pricing actions planned through the balance of this year, which play an important role to mitigate cost pressures including inflation," explained Kevin Johnson, Starbucks' president and chief executive.

This occurred one day after Nasdaq revealed Johnson's 2021 total compensation was $20.43 million, a 39% jump from 2020. These facts were not unnoticed by Dan Price, founder of Gravity Payments, who tweeted: "Starbucks: 'we are forced to raise prices due to inflation and supply-chain issues.' Also Starbucks: 'our profit just went up 31% and we gave our CEO a 39% raise to $20.4 million.' Companies are doing a great job rebranding corporate greed as 'inflation.' " One commenter agreed, "They'll keep using this excuse until they're able to charge 20 dollars for a cup of coffee."  Another wrote, "I can understand blaming inflation or cost increases for price increases if profits are falling, but it's a blatant lie when your profits are increasing."

It's not just Starbucks

While Dan Price's ire was fired by The New York Times piece about Starbucks, other companies have been raising prices. Mondelez, the snack food company that makes Oreos, will institute a second cost increase due to supply chain woes. Many would accept this if it weren't for the fact that, according to The Wall Street Journal, the first price hike occurred when the company's revenue increased from $7.29 billion in the fourth quarter 2020 to $7.66 billion during the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Similarly, Chipotle dealt with increasing their workers' wages by raising menu prices in June 2021 (per NBC). A secondary reason was that ingredient prices need covering as well. However, the company experienced a 7.1% increase in revenue in 2020. This, Chipotle announced in their fourth-quarter report, brought their total revenue to $6 billion. In each case, it's easy to see why Twitter users are angry with companies charging more when it appears their financial revenues are increasing.