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Starbucks raising price of a brewed coffee in most US stores

FILE - This March 14, 2017, file photo show the Starbucks logo on a shop in downtown Pittsburgh. Starbucks is announcing a new policy that allows anyone to sit in its cafes or use its restrooms, even if they don't buy anything. Company executives have said its previous policies were loose and ambiguous, leaving decisions on whether people could sit in its stores or use the restroom up to store managers. Starbucks said Saturday, May 19, 2018 it has told workers to consider anyone who walks into its stores a customer, "regardless of whether they make a purchase." (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — That Starbucks habit has gotten got a little more expensive.

Starbucks said Thursday it has raised the price of a regular drip coffee by 10 cents to 20 cents in most U.S. stores, putting a small brewed coffee at $1.95 to $2.15 in most locations.

The company said prices haven't changed on drinks such as lattes and iced coffees in most stores.

Overall, Starbucks Corp. says it has hiked prices by an average of 1 to 2 percent in the past year, which it said was in line with industry practices — though the increase may be higher for particular drinks. The company has also rolled out specialty drinks over the years that tend to cost more.

Sara Senatore, a senior analyst who covers the restaurant industry for AB Bernstein, noted that the average annual price increase for a tall brewed coffee at Starbucks has been 1.7 percent over time. She said that is similar to overall inflation rates, meaning the price hasn't risen in real terms.

Starbucks said it is always evaluating prices and that the latest change "was not related to last week's store closures and trainings." The company had closed its U.S. stores for several hours last week to train employees on bias awareness after an outcry over the arrests of two men in Philadelphia earlier this year.

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