When Starbucks launched its Pumpkin Spice Latte season this week, the seasonal drink returned with a price that reflects a global trend: higher prices.
In 2022, a grande-size PSL will cost you 4 percent more at Starbucks than in 2021. (I'm not trying to single out Starbucks, but it's a handy example of what consumers may see.) CNN Business notes that the price hike for the seasonal drink reflects other prices increases linked to inflation throughout 2022 that has driven up costs for everything that goes into a cup and of course the cups, glasses and other foodservice items.
While consumers may notice a higher price at their local store, though, a potential tidal wave of higher prices is looming for industries.
The German plastics packaging association IK is warning that its members are looking at energy costs rising more than 300 percent in the coming months due to natural gas shortages expected as Russia limits the flow of natural gas to Europe.
"So far, most of our member companies have managed to pass on at least some of the drastically increased energy costs to their customers. ... But that will change in the next few months if energy prices remain at the same level or continue to rise," warned Martin Engelmann, general manager for IK, in a story written by Karen Laird of our sister paper Sustainable Plastics.
Obviously, fans of pumpkin spice lattes can cut back on their trips to Starbucks to keep their costs down. Packaging makers in Europe —especially Germany — won't find it so easy to cut their costs.