Sep 13, 2022 - Economy

Starbucks says it has been "immune" from inflation as CPI rises

Starbucks cups with company logo

Photo: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Inflation went up again in August — especially for food items — but Starbucks has seen record demand, interim CEO Howard Schultz said Tuesday.

Why it matters: “We have been immune from any recognition whatsoever that there is a downturn in customer traffic, a downturn in ticket,” Schultz said kicking off the company’s investor day in Seattle.

Driving the news: Overall consumer prices rose 0.1% last month — after dropping to zero in July — and are up 8.3% over the past year, the Labor Department said on Tuesday, which bucks expectations that inflation would fall slightly, Axios’ Courtenay Brown reports.

  • The August Consumer Price Index compares to the 8.5% year-over-year figure reported in July.

By the numbers: Schultz said the business has changed dramatically with 50% now drive-thru.

  • Cold beverages also now make up 70% of sales, a major shift from Starbucks’ early years when it didn’t have a cold drink.
  • Starbucks Rewards has 60 million loyalty members around the world with 30 million in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Starbucks had its highest sales week in its history two weeks ago when the company launched its fall menu, including the Pumpkin Spice Latte, Schultz said.

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