Most coffee drinkers in the U.K. have a sense of how pricey, or not, Starbucks seems. At an average price of £2.25, a small (or “tall” in Starbucks-speak) hot latte from Starbucks is pricier than a regular cup of coffee, even ordered from a coffee shop or restaurant. But it’s less costly than, say, a meal or an alcoholic drink when ordered out.
But how indulgent is Starbucks beyond our borders? To assess that, we took prices for a hot Starbucks latte in 39 other countries and adjusted them to reflect the cost of other goods and services there compared with the U.K. (See the methodology below for a detailed description on how we generated this data.)
The results reveal that Starbucks is pricier, relatively speaking, in almost every country outside the U.K. Just how much pricier varies significantly around the globe.
In only two countries, the U.S. and Australia, does a latte feel cheaper to Starbucks patrons than in the U.K. Other froth-friendly nations include New Zealand and Canada. Here, Starbucks is more of an everyday purchase than a big indulgence.
On the other hand, stepping up to the Starbucks counter in the most costly countries feels like a far bigger extravagance. Nothing matches the luxe indulgence of ordering a latte in Russia, where the tab would feel like spending £9 for the drink here at home. In other pricier countries, including India, Indonesia and Thailand, the sticker shock would be more akin to spending £6 or so at home.
The relative expensiveness of these Starbucks lattes underlines how inexpensive many other goods and services are in those countries. With bread, milk or other staples less costly there than in the U.K., Starbucks seems like a big spend indeed. The figures may also explain why in many countries Starbucks is an exotic, status-laden chain – an embodiment, perhaps, of affluence and indulgence.
Where A Latte Takes The Biggest Bite
This is the price of a tall (as in small) hot latte in British pounds, adjusted to reflect the relative cost of other goods there. As this shows, Starbucks is a luxe indulgence in these places, costing as much as or more than a simple lunch out.
Where A Cup's An Ordinary Purchase, Like In The U.K.
This is the price of a tall (small) hot latte in British pounds, adjusted to reflect the relative cost of other goods there. As this shows, Starbucks is a little more of an indulgence in some of these places than in the U.K., but still isn't a luxury splurge.
Countries where Starbucks Is Most To Least Expensive, Relatively Speaking
|Country||Comparative Cost of a Starbucks Tall Latte|
United Arab Emirates
We analysed the most recent market data (dated January 2016) from Euromonitor International, a leading provider of market research, on the cost of a small ("tall") hot latte at Starbucks in 40 countries around the world. In countries for which there were multiple price quotes, we averaged the quotes to determine a national average price.
The original data was stated in each country’s local currency. To compare the lattes to a latte in the U.K., we needed to represent the cost of each country’s latte in pounds. Merely converting using a currency exchange rate was not sufficient however, as it wouldn’t capture the different purchasing power of a certain amount of money in each country. To reflect this, we used a converter developed by a consultant, Nigel Babu, that uses data from the World Bank and reflects the respective cost of a basket of goods, including food, in countries around the world. The pound figure we show, then, represents the cost of that latte in context with other goods.
In all countries except the U.S. and Australia, the relative cost of that Starbucks cup was higher than in the U.K., but there was variation in how much higher it was. The figure we show, then, essentially represents the sticker shock, from mild to major, that you’d feel if you lived in the country, making a local salary, and perused the prices at one of the local Starbucks. Put another way, it’s how pricey that drink would seem to a local latte drinker, in light of what most things cost in the country.