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Vietnam third most expensive country to buy Starbucks: survey

Friday, April 28, 2017, 15:33 GMT+7

Vietnam is among the top three most expensive countries to sip a Starbucks, compared to the U.S. coffeehouse chain’s home country, a survey finds.

Financial research group ValuePenguin studied the price of a small, or ‘tall’ as Starbucks names it, cup of latte in 39 countries to pinpoint where the drink is the biggest extravagance.

To evaluate the information, data gathered in the local currency was converted to a dollar value reflective of the purchasing power within each of the countries covered, according to the company.

The study eventually found that Vietnam is among four Southeast Asian countries where a Starbucks latte costs three times more than in the U.S.

“Southeast Asia is the standout region - where buying a small latte would be akin to paying $4.70-$8.20 in the U.S, reflecting how Starbucks lattes are marketed as a luxurious indulgence here,” the U.S. research firm said in an email on Friday.

The average cost of a tall latte in the U.S is $2.75, which ValuePenguin says is “pricier than a regular cup of coffee… but less costly than a meal or an alcoholic drink when ordered out.”

In all 39 countries analyzed by ValuePenguin, the relative cost of a tall latte is higher than in the U.S., and the variation among the markets is significant.

In some countries, a latte hits the wallet only a little harder than in the U.S., particularly in the froth-friendly nations of Australia, the U.K., New Zealand, and Canada, where Starbucks represents something less than a big indulgence, the company said in a report.

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But stepping up to the Starbucks counter in certain other countries can turn a simple coffee into a far bigger extravagance.

“Nothing matches the luxe indulgence of ordering a latte in Russia, where the tab would feel like spending $12 for the drink here at home,” the report reads.

“In the other pricier countries for Starbucks, including India, Indonesia, and Thailand, the sticker shock would be more akin to spending $7 or so at home.”

In Vietnam a latte fetches the purchasing equivalent of $8.18 in the U.S., falling only behind Indonesia and Russia.

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“These seeming splurges underline how inexpensive many other goods and services are in those countries,” the research firm commented.

“With bread, milk, or other staples less costly there than in the U.S., Starbucks seems like a big spend indeed.

“The figures may also explain why in many countries Starbucks is an exotic, status-laden chain--an embodiment, perhaps, of American affluence and indulgence.”

ValuePenguin said the study was conducted based on the most recent market data from 2016 gathered by Euromonitor International, a leading global provider of market research.

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