Cost of a flat white coffee 'could hit £4' as milk prices rise

20 October 2022 by
Cost of a flat white coffee 'could hit £4' as milk prices rise

The price of a flat white coffee could exceed £4 by the end of the year as inflation returns to a 40-year-high, a coffee roaster has warned.

Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rose to 10.1% last month, up from 9.9% in August, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Milk prices hit their highest level on record at 62p per pint this summer and the Telegraph reported in August that the cost of a flat white had topped £3 at UK cafe chains for the first time.

Experts expect the price of coffee to rise by another third before the end of the year.

Robi Lambie, coffee roaster and co-founder of Cairngorm Coffee in Edinburgh, said: "We're very concerned about the impact of inflation on our business.

"One worry we have is that rising costs could push the price of coffee into a bracket where customers decide it's more of a luxury lifestyle decision, rather than everyday morning essential.

"With everything considered, we predict the price of a flat white coffee will be at least £4 by the end of the year. It sounds ludicrous, but it's the position we're likely to find ourselves in."

Lambie also expressed concerns about the rising cost of energy, because of his reliance on gas to roast coffee.

He added: "While it's good to have some certainty [with the energy price cap], it's still a cap on prices that are significantly higher than last year."

Hospitality operators have warned that the industry is in for one of the "toughest winters in history" after chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a review of long-term energy support for businesses and households beyond next April.

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