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Italians are furious as the cost of an espresso soars toward record highs

Business Insider logo Business Insider 1/20/2022 (Mary Hanbury)
The cost of an espresso is soaring in Italy. Alexander Spatari/Getty Images © Provided by Business Insider The cost of an espresso is soaring in Italy. Alexander Spatari/Getty Images
  • Italians are fuming over the rising cost of an espresso coffee.
  • It typically costs €1 ($1.13) in Italy; experts say it could rise to €1.50 ($1.70) this year. 
  • Global coffee prices have soared because of supply chain issues and poor harvests. 

The cost of an espresso is soaring in Italy, leaving locals with a bitter taste in their mouth. 

According to a recent report from The Times of London, the cost of this popular morning drink has jumped from €1 ($1.13) to €1.10 ($1.25) in many cafes this year and could cost as much as a record €1.50 ($1.70) by the end of the year if ingredient prices continue to rise.

"We are receiving numerous complaints denouncing the rise in prices of coffee," Furio Truzzi, head of the Italian consumer rights group Assoutenti, told The Times. Assoutenti said that roughly 76% of Italy's 160,000 cafes have raised prices, including on breakfast snacks such as pastries.

It "transforms a daily ritual for 5.5 million Italians into a luxury reserved for the rich," he told The Times.

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These price increases are not unique to Italy. Global coffee prices soared in 2021 after bad weather conditions in coffee-producing countries led to poor harvests and ongoing supply chain issues caused delays and blockages, helping drive up prices. 

But experts say that consumers are so addicted to the consumption of coffee that they're likely to withstand price increases. 

It's "such a key part of [consumers'] daily routines, it would take a lot to change their coffee habits," Darren Seifer, a food and beverage analyst at research firm NPD Group, told Bloomberg

Starbucks, the US' largest coffee chain, has addressed inflationary pressures in recent earnings calls and said that it isn't ruling out price hikes. 

"Pricing will be one of many levers that we use to offset these headwinds," CFO Rachel Ruggeri told analysts in July. 

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