Latest news about ethical consumerism


Starbucks coffee under media fire

Oct 22

Written by:
22/10/2013 13:50  RssIcon

Chinese media accuse Starbucks of high coffee prices

Starbucks Corporation has been accused of charging Chinese consumers higher prices than in other markets. Wang Zhendong, director of the Coffee Association of Shanghai stated that the company was abusing the “blind faith of local consumers in Starbucks and other Western brands."

China Central Television (CCTV), who lead the accusation, reported: 'a medium-size latte at Starbucks in Beijing costs 27 yuan ($4.43), or one-third more than at a Starbucks in Chicago'.  It was also mentioned that 'a Starbucks coffee mug - which is made in China - sells for between $10 and $14 in the U.S., and as much as $18 in China.'

This latest accusation is one amongst several attacks on international companies by Chinese state media in the past year. Nestle and Apple Inc have both been accused of price hikes and of treating Chinese consumers differently from consumers in other regions.

Starbucks responded to CCTV's accusations saying that 'its prices reflected higher food and logistical costs in China.'

Chinese consumer, Wang Shuo, said "Those who are saying Starbucks is expensive are probably those who don't drink much coffee. The prices are competitive and the quality makes people feel safe."


Check out our product guide to Coffee Shops to see how Starbucks' competitors rate.

This story has been added to our corporate database. The database powers all our live product guides, giving the score for each company on our rankings tables. Find out more about how we rate companies.


Register on the site to receive our free monthly email newsletter and keep up-to-date with all our research and campaigning.






Full News Archive


Ethical news archive going back to July 2009.

Read More

Ethical Consumer Blog

Journal of Consumer Ethics

  • 20/10/2016 10:01

New journal on ethical consumption

Ethical Consumer Blog

Ethical Consumer Conference

  • 18/10/2016 09:43

Yan, who attended the event, shares her experience

Ethical Consumer Blog

Cracked Campaign

  • 12/10/2016 10:09

Weekend of action against UKegg farming