Even Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte isn’t immune to inflation.
The fall favorite, which returns on Tuesday, is increasing in price, with a hot, oversized PSL costing customers between $5.45 and $5.95 depending on location — an increase of about 4% compared to 2021. This is in line with broader price increases at Starbucks and other chains, All of which led to a gradual increase in menu prices over the past year due to inflationary pressures.
PSL, as it is often referred to, has been a popular item on the Starbucks menu for nearly two decades, sparking excitement among its loyal fan base. Starbucks has sold more than 600 million PSLs since introducing the drink in 2003.
Also returns is Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, an iced drink topped with cold pumpkin foam and a dash of pumpkin spice that Starbucks launched in 2019.
Even as the cold weather approaches, cold drinks are popular with Starbucks customers, accounting for nearly 75% of total beverage sales for Starbucks in the United States in its most recent quarter. Overall, sales at its US stores that have been open for at least 13 months jumped 9% in the quarter.
In addition to pumpkin flavors, Starbucks is reproducing Apple Crisp Macchiato and Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato, the latter of which is a new adaptation of the one-year-old drink because it’s now made with a milk substitute for dairy products.
Starbucks enters the PSL battle later than its competitors this year. Krispy Kreme brought back its fall drinks on August 8, the earliest it’s ever returned, and Dunkin’ added pumpkin-flavored drinks and snacks on August 18. Inspired by the popular bread with the same flavour.
These seasonal items are increasing hype and brand awareness in the competitive fast food space. In the past, Starbucks said pumpkin drinks were the “catalyst” for a record-breaking performance in the last quarter of 2020.